Everyone says I should invest in SEO. After all, SEO gives me free traffic from Google… Right?
One of the most misunderstood areas of online marketing is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Sorry, but I’m going to have to break the bad news: there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
The main aim of SEO is often forgotten: to build traffic from your target audience and increase action on your website. If you understand this, you’re already off to a good start.
However, just to make sure you do understand, let’s look at the following misconceptions. If any of these sound like you… well… you may want to quit while you’re ahead.
1. “I want to rank first NOW!”
Nup, SEO doesn’t work like that. Google is trying hard to put only the best quality sites at the top of search results. And should your new and unproven venture promoting your car wash suddenly spring to the top? You might think so but Google doesn’t.
Google ranks sites based on over 200 proprietary ranking factors to determine quality relevant results. When your site starts to take notice of these, it will rank better over time.
2. “I want to rank only for the keyword ‘Legal’ ” (or other high competition keyword)
Good one! Wouldn’t we all. There are only so many words in the English language so it stands to reason that we can’t all rank for the top words. In fact, most websites get their traffic from long tail keywords; these are the more exact keywords that may only send one or two visitors.
3. “I can do it myself and get the same result as a professional.”
LOL, yes you can. That is if you know everything a professional does and want to spend the time on it. To understand the nuances you would need to have years of experience. It will also help if you’re a qualified web developer.
4. “I’m not willing to update my web site.”
The best idea is to trust your SEO consultant and update the content. Content is one of the three main aspects of good SEO. The other two are site structure and quality links pointing to your site.
5. “I think SEO will make more sales regardless of my web site quality.”
If your web site is crap, it doesn’t help to have more people who know that. The increased visitors will arrive and leave just as quickly. Oh, and Google is pretty smart: even the GoogleBot can sniff out a poorly designed site.
6. “I don’t care what Google says; I have a friend who knows some tricks.”
Ahh, the old pirate approach, eh! This is known as the Black-Hat SEO method – basically break Google’s rules and try to beat them at their own game. You might get ranked for a bit, but watch out for the Google slap where it drops your site from its index completely.
A good SEO consultant will practice Ethical White-Hat methods that keep you safe from any Google penalty.
There may be a few nods of agreement or maybe some frowns of disapproval but if you made it this far you might just have what it takes.
Alright, I know I’ve been harsh so you can give me some back in the comments.
What do you reckon?
Scott Donald designs quality web sites that achieve Google front page rankings. Scott is the owner of Creative Digital, a full service digital marketing agency.