This Week’s Top Misunderstandings About SEO
(this article first appeared on Alignable.com.)
Call me callous, call me rude, but I am continually astounded by what some people think about SEO, and the vast amount of misunderstanding they have about it. The top misconception is that it is not a once-and-done occurrence. Search Engine Optimization is an ongoing process because Google makes anywhere from 400-600 algorithm changes a year. They are constantly tweaking the formula to “create a better user experience.” Getting to page one is easy compared to staying on page one. It takes knowledge of the process, intuitive skills and just plain diligence. There is no magic to it, just hard work.
If you are fortunate, sometimes the right people come into your life by chance, and they happen to know where some REAL SEO tips and tricks are located.
You could do worse.
But that is not all. In fact, there are so many misunderstandings that it makes me shake my head each time I hear someone complain what their SEO ISN’T doing. Here’s two of the most “lack-of-understanding” comments I have heard this week.
- “The SEO works fine for the desktop site, but the mobile version it doesn’t.” Huh? What does that mean? If the targeted keywords created position the desktop site on page one of Google, why wouldn’t the mobile version follow?
- Well, there is only one reason I can come up with to validate that client statement. The customer has a desktop site and a separate mobile site. They are not one site mobile optimized. When confronted with the truth, the client refused to pay for SEO for the second site. Go figure.
- “Why should I pay for keywords for every city we’re in? Can’t you just make generic SEO? Whaaaat? Those days are long, long gone. What was once a grand Internet is now the 2.0 version. Remember around 2004 when Web 2.0 came into being? That changed everything. The next step was Pigeon. The Pigeon Update created local search. Search for a topic in Cleveland or Vancouver, and you’d get two different set of results. Local search means local. If you want to be ranked for Widgets in Chicago, the keyword string is Widgets in Chicago. If you want Widgets in New Jersey, guess what? Right. You have to rank for Widgets in New Jersey. “Well, that just can’t be true, so you’re trying to cheat me.” Yeah, I’d become very successful trying to cheat every customer I have with multiple locations.
I do not claim to know everything there is to know about SEO, but I do know this. There are word and phrases that make a difference, and there are those that are meaningless when it comes to ranking. For instance, if you wanted to rank for banquet dining in Las Vegas, how far do you think you’d get? Not very. The competition for banquet and conference space in Las Vegas is the largest in the country I believe, so why would I take someone’s money to attempt to rank for words or phrases that are generic to the industry? People are funny.
For those that actually lack the reasoning behind Search Engine Optimization, let me explain how we at Marketing Partners looks at it.
- We interview the client regarding goals and objectives. No, the simple “get us on page one” is not a realistic goal. There has to be more meat to the deal than that. We are looking for words or phrases that specifically position our content to be searchable, and better yet, find-able. Organic, non-paid traffic comes from placing the right words and phrases so that search engines have an easy time locating your content.
- Next we speak about time frames. If you want to rank for 10 keywords next week, it will cost more to do so than if your goal was to get there in 2 months. It’s time and effort for results. Do you want your lawn grown from seed or sod?