For years you have heard about the value of SEO. Standing for Search Engine Optimization, web developers assured us that without the magic of keywords, our website would be left in the dust. Nobody would find us unless we were on the first page of Google and our competition would be scooping up our clients by the handful. Were they wrong?
Not really. SEO is vitally important for all the aforementioned reasons, however, SEO is highly susceptible the Achilles heel of all technology – progress.
SEO has evolved to encompass more than just keywords as the tool to attract clients. If you are still relying on SEO and SEO alone to generate web traffic, you are missing a huge piece of the proverbial puzzle. It’s hard to see the big picture when pieces are missing, and that is exactly what’s going on in today’s world of SEO value.
So what’s an entrepreneur to do? After all, you just invested in (and finally got a handle on) the ins and outs of SEO. Your content is optimized and you have keyword-rich blogs and articles all over the web. Now what?
The answer is not daunting. Just as you continue to grow and evolve your company, you must grow and evolve your SEO strategy. You see, SEO value plummets only when you don’t follow them up with the support system that has organically grown around SEO. SEO is such a necessary tool it has spawned an entirely new generation of online tools – and if you don’t use those tools, your SEO strategy will have no value.
Take a look at this:
What you are seeing is the first website. The World Wide Web (WWW) was created in 1989. Within the span of 26 years we went from not having Internet at all to multi-functional sites that allow people to connect with others all over the world to sell products, share ideas, have romances and plan travel. The WWW knocked the travel agent industry into a tailspin (hello Expeida), singlehandedly launched the rise of blogging as a career, erased the notion of wallpaper being something you tear out during a renovation project and leveled the playing field between big and small business. It only took 26 years to completely change the world.
The crucial thing to know is that the world is still changing. The Internet ushered in a rapid change that revolutionized life as we know it, but it didn’t stop once the word got out that SEO was the future wave of marketing. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. That is where SEO can fail you. You can get people to your website, but you have to convert that traffic into sales.
To get the full value of SEO, use it as your starting point. Then use the next and upcoming progression of Internet tools close the deal. Here’s how:
1. Have Great Content
When you looked at those two early websites above, what did you think? Did you laugh at their simplicity? Decry the lack of visuals? Websites don’t look like that anymore and if yours does, anyone landing on your page won’t stick around for long. Your website is the face of your business. It has to look great and have visuals along with clean, clear content.
2. Keep Your Site Users in Mind
You may be able to write code, zip around online and live with one hand permanently on your smartphone, but not everybody is as tech savvy as you. Your website must be easy to use, have links that work and not inundate your readers with rambling text.
3. Respect Google
Google’s algorithms are designed to maximize SEO. When they change the rules, make sure your website changes as well. For example, Google recently launched a new algorithm designed to “reward” mobile-friendly sites with more web traffic. Those that failed to make their sites mobile friendly lost out on high search engine rankings.
4. Social Media Integration
Social media marketing is a critical component of digital marketing strategy and it works hand in hand with SEO. Ignore social media and you are ignoring a large portion of your client base.
In 26 short years the way we interact with people, particularly our clients, has drastically changed; and since we now rely on the Internet for everything from getting customers to processing payments, we have to pay attention to the way SEO works and evolves. SEO has immeasurable value, but only when you appreciate how this amazing marketing tool has grown. When you use SEO along with its supporting tools, you truly maximize your investment.