There is a long list of articles questioning the use of the term SEO, and more agencies dropping the letters from their own brand. So much so that you may be thinking, do I even need SEO? As part of the marketing landscape, I understand the shaky legs that one may get while taking a look at the historic tendencies of the SEO industry as a whole, but a few facts remain that need to be considered before your throw the baby out with the bath water.

Do I need an SEO? Why?
Photo credit “Let Me Think About This” by Flickr User Chris Gilmore

All Signals Matter

Search engines consider a culmination of signals from across the interwebs. To neglect any of those signals is to fail at optimizing. A good SEO will understand this, and be able to harmonize the strategies needed for success in each of those unique arenas (data congruency, social media, legitimate review acquisition, and data analysis that leads to productive on-site action).

Each Aspect of Your Marketing Needs to Play Nice Together

SEOs (I really should specify by saying SEOs who are worth it) are the people in the digital marketing landscape who understand the technical complexities of each facet of a successful digital marketing campaign. And they understand this thoroughly enough to be able to strategize in a manner that allows those facets to work together. More fairly stated, they have been pushing against the guidelines long enough to actually understand them 😉

Search Engines (Google) Drive Massive Amounts Business

Search engines are still the place that people are seeking information exactly when they want it which heightens the chance for a purchasing decision to be made if they find what they are seeking. Compare this to the intent that people are harboring when they find your brand on social media channels. In social, they are mainly looking for enriching information or entertainment, not products or services.*

*Please note that being found on social medial platforms (maybe not active on every channel, but found there) is still a trust signal and important for almost every business.

Technical Aspects Matter. Words Matter.

No matter what content you are putting out, there is a need to strategically display it. Site-structure, page attributes, and how well the words are put together still play a huge role in how clearly the material presented on your site is seen by people and SE Algorithms.

I Leave You With a Story

I had friends throughout my school years that would spend hours finding a way to cheat on a test. They would write all the needed notes in a structured format in size 4 font on a small piece of paper, wrap it around a pen, or tape it to the inside hem of their t-shirt.

I always laughed at them because by the time they had devised this plan, and printed the material, they could have just studied and actually learned the material. I remember one specific occasion when a friend was caught cheating because he blatantly forgot he was cheating. He had learned the material while building his cheat, just by typing his outline, and didn’t need to use it during the actual test. When he was walking out of the room, having completely forgotten about the sheet, it dropped to the floor and he was busted.

If you are looking for a cheat, or a quick win through SEO, please stop. Spend the time to do it right. Get all of the different aspects of your marketing efforts working together, onsite and online at large, and you will begin to realize the SEO benefits, and the brand equity, that these efforts effectively build.

April 3, 2014 | SEO Basics

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