Have we become so selfish in our need to self-promote that search engines care more about our customers than we do?
SEO is a funny nugget. Although web professionals have been trying to make clients understand why they need it for over a decade, it hasn’t really caught on as a mainstream idea in client’s minds until recent years. When I say “mainstream idea”, I mean that clients know what “SEO” stands for, and now bring it up in a sales meeting before the salesperson does. They even use terminology like meta tags, keywords and backlinks. Not only do they bring it up, it’s a top agenda item during the discussion.
Which is great, but… all of the material they’ve read and learned about regarding SEO is geared for survival in the 90’s. The majority of it doesn’t apply now, and the remainder that does has a very short shelf life.
It’s time to relegate some of these long-standing SEO ideas to the history books. Read on.
“SEO” is Dead.
I’m not one for drama, but it may be a good idea to just eliminate the term “SEO” from your vocabulary entirely.
“SEO”, or Search Engine Optimization, is a term that comes from an era where search engines where easily gamed. The name of the game was to trick search engines into ranking your website higher than your competition. There were many tricks for this, but they all boil down to one thing: pleasing the search engine.
Well, my friends, here’s a news flash…
Search engines don’t buy your products. Customers do.
And the one thing that customers don’t want is to read your crappy, keyword-stuffed grammatical spaghetti. Customers want to be educated, entertained, and have a great experience with your brand. And most of the SEO tricks you think you know achieive just the opposite.
Fortunately, search engines are getting smarter. A lot smarter. And I’m really happy about that, because I’m tired of all the nonsense that’s being promoted about SEO out there.
Long Live the New King.
A search engine’s job is to give customers what they need. And what they need is quality content. Whether that content is written, in video form, photos, or even products to buy… they want what they want, and they want it now.
Unless you’re the person that’s going to give them all of that great content, you’ll be dead to them. And you’ll be dead to search engines too, who pay close attention not only to how customers behave, but how hard you’re working to please those customers. With social media, analytics, and a myriad of tracking technologies, it’s easy for them to find out who the slackers are.
So there’s no room for laziness anymore. Because the new nominee, and the only method that’s going to make your site visible in search, is content marketing. Whether you want to call it inbound marketing, online marketing, or just marketing… you’ll need to dedicate a full and thorough effort to promote your website to see any real results moving into the future. Building a website and forgetting about it just won’t cut it anymore.
Start With the Customer, Not Search.
The fact is you can build a website anytime and anywhere. But without a strategy for promoting it, the results are going to be dismal. So focus first on your customer’s needs, then build a plan around how to meet them year-round. Develop your website around that plan, then execute, measure and optimize.
This is a non-stop job. No more tricks, gimmicks, or link-a-ma-doodles. You’re either in it for the long haul, or you’re not in it at all. And if you’re not, there will always be a competitor who’ll be happy to take your place.