A lot has been said about the importance of incorporating search engine optimization (SEO) techniques into an overall search strategy. But what does a search engine optimization strategy actually entail? Some business owners lump it into social media marketing and neglect the technical aspects of the job. Others make the assumption that since SEO is analytical it must be infallible, and is therefore be the only digital marketing service worth investing in. Both points of view are right in some respects, and wrong in others.
As one of the most influential digital marketing services in driving traffic to your site, it is important to separate fact from fiction in the organic search arena. Here are some common misconceptions about search engine optimizations that need to be cleared up before any effective work can get done:
Misconception #1 — SEO is like a makeover (just a “one-time-thing”)
This could not be farther from the truth. While you only get one chance to design your site with SEO in mind, optimization techniques need to be done on a consistent basis over the mid- to long-term in order for results to show.
SEO is a process, not a one-time fix. Daily routines include building backlinks, creating new content, researching short- and long-tail keywords to inform a content strategy, optimizing pages with alt tags and meta descriptions, and so much more.
Misconception #2 — Link building is all SEO analysts do
Google has stated clearly that sites with more backlinks will do better than those with fewer. SEO analysts do spend a healthy portion of their time working on back linking strategies, which often means sharing recent blogs with industry peers or landing guest blogging opportunities for a client. Google has also been very clear about what constitutes good and bad backlinking behaviour, and SEO analysts must follow the Webmaster guidelines in their backlink strategies otherwise they risk penalization from Google. As Google has improved their ability to differentiate the quality of a backlink, optimization work has shifted from creating linking databases to building strong outreach efforts based on authoritative blog content.
Misconception #3 — PPC helps your organic ranking
Pay-per-click advertisement has little to do with SEO. Literally billions of dollars are spent over year on Google Advertisement for specific keywords, but this has nothing to do with organic ranking. As Moz points out, Google and Bing have “erected walls in their organization to prevent” any preferential treatment for those who spend millions in advertisement every month. As long as this separation continues there will be no organic search boost to spending advertisement dollars. In fact, SEO is meant to be a more affordable digital strategy than buying clicks for over $2 (according to research by Hochman Consultants in 2016).
As evidenced by these misconceptions, SEO is an effective part of an overall digital strategy that includes content production, social media outreach, and effective branding. These domains of digital marketing support the underlying technical objective of search engine optimization: using search data for specific niche keywords to inform the structure and content of your site.
All you need is time (4-6 months) and patience and you can get that new business through digital marketing efforts. If you need results quicker, a website refresh and pay per click (PPC) program may be better suited to your needs. Contact me.
Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consulting in the Great Toronto Area with over 20 years experience in building and implementing marketing plans for small business.