You’re on a blog about digital marketing, so it’s likely that you’ve heard of SEO at some point. But it may not be something you’re completely sold on. To some people, ‘SEO’ just sounds like another buzzword; another item in the long lists that articles, motivational speakers, and business advisors often throw at budding entrepreneurs, lists filled with things that sound professional and important but end up just being either overly complex or entirely meaningless.
So there are still plenty of people out there who scoff at the idea of SEO implementation into their business, especially with the spread of social media. Many would argue that social media has essentially seen the death of SEO necessity (ignoring the fact that social media relies on SEO itself).
Whether you see it as a useless buzzword, a soon-to-pass fad, or even a full-on scam, there’s no getting around the fact that SEO is essential to digital marketing practices. Perhaps it’s time to stop resisting it?
But what if I can ignore SEO?
While saying that you can ignore SEO might be like pouring acid into the ears of SEO evangelists, the truth is that not every business will benefit from SEO. However, you need to be careful with this line of thinking. It’s really very few businesses that won’t find great use from SEO. If you’re like the vast majority of businesses in that you’re selling a product or service to regular consumers, then SEO is pretty vital.
But what if you’re in B2B and already have the few long-term contracts with clients that are going to keep your business running? In that case, SEO may not help you out all that much. The websites of such businesses tend to be pretty static, working as portfolios or hosts of annual reports. That, or they’re simply web-hosted databases that employees use. So, yes, there are some businesses that don’t really need it; indeed, businesses that have little need for any kind of digital marketing. But they’re very specific kinds of businesses, and they make up a tiny minority of the businesses out there.
Perhaps the strongest argument that can be made in favor of SEO is that it works. There’s no getting around that, as much as the SEO haters may like to deny it; time and time again, businesses have found that SEO helped increase their website visitors and, ultimately, their sales. After all, search engine optimization is the best way to get to the top of the search engine results pages, which is where most of your prospective clients, customers, and other visitors are going to get to you. How could one claim that SEO simply isn’t effective?
A lot of the people who deny the power of SEO are the people who have been burned by misuse of the practice, or those who have heard the resultant horror stories. Small business owners are, unfortunately, a prime target for a whole host of scams, and that can include the business of shady SEO practitioners. Of course, it’s not always that these practitioners are scammers – it can be that they’re overenthusiastic or simply incompetent. They tend to throw SEO at pretty much every problem their client has, which doesn’t usually result in a lot of good.
The reason this sparks so much ire, of course, is that SEO can be pretty expensive. If you end up throwing a few thousand dollars towards SEO and you don’t see a return on your investment in the form of profit-raising click-throughs, then of course you’ll doubt SEO! But it’s essential to understand that there are right ways and wrong ways to do it. Your best bet is to ensure that you work with an effective and trustworthy digital marketing agency; preferably one that can offer some other services, too. SEO does work – it just needs to be led by experts in the field.
Content and SEO cannot be separated
“Content is king” isn’t exactly a new phrase. It dates back to somewhere in the mid-90s, which just goes to show how long people have understood the importance of web content when it comes to popularity, profit, and marketing efficacy. Emphasis on that last item, by the way.
Content and SEO cannot be separated. And if you’re building a website, then it’s unlikely that you’re not already aware of how important good content is. It’s the bait that will help bring people to your website and get involved with your business. (Of course, if you’re running a blog or some other creative endeavor, then that content is your business!) Sure, you can share that content over social media; if it’s good enough to get spread around (which also requires having the right contacts and followers), then all the power to you. But outside of that medium, you need to rely on search engines to get people to your content. This is where most people find such content, after all.
So it should be pretty clear that SEO ties into content in a pretty big way. Of course, even those who don’t keep SEO in mind when they’re creating their content are likely following its tenets, even if they’re not aware of it. For example, producing detailed articles that remain on-subject will generally mean that your word count will exceed 500 and that you’ll use plenty of important keywords in the particular subject. These are essential to good SEO as it relates to content production.
Google isn’t exactly disappearing
Google is the way that most people find new websites, businesses, and content. With that in mind, it seems a little absurd that people would dismiss SEO. Unless, of course, they’re under the impression that Google is waning in importance. While that sounds like a nice idea for several reasons, there’s simply no evidence that suggests Google is going anywhere any time soon.
Of course, even if Google were to collapse, this wouldn’t mean that people would stop using search engines. Let’s ignore that fact that there are several search engines out there that could easily replace Google – and SEO is targeted for all search engines, remember. The fact remains that the Internet is too darn big, and that people need a search directory for it. As long as there’s that need, there will be a service that fills it – and as long as that’s a fact of Internet life, it’s something that you can’t afford not to consider in your own marketing practices.