What You Don’t Understand About SEO and Why It’s Hurting Your Business
Search Engine Land recently posted an informative article in which author Trond Lyngbø shared the ways a leader with a “quick fix” attitude towards SEO can hurt their business. In this blog post we’d like to unpack several of the very important and common misunderstandings towards SEO that he points out.
1. Great SEO can’t fix what’s wrong with your product.
Google wants to provide searchers with the very best results possible. If someone is searching for a new dentist or the best built in vacuum cleaner Google wants to recommend the most trustworthy websites and businesses. Are you truly the best or would your customers beg to differ?
Lyngbø suggests that your visibility will eventually be affected by the way your customers feel about your products and services. We believe that Google is already making the move to incorporate your customer reviews and general reputation into your visibility. Faulty product? Poor customer service? Your SEO success may soon come to an end.
2. SEO is not a “quick fix” or “duct tape” solution for your business.
Lyngbø makes this point in reference to using SEO to cover up your bad product or customer service but the statement is true in a broader sense as well. SEO works best when backed by a stellar brand, great customer service, strong understanding of customer needs, an informative and easy to use website, and so on. SEO is often the final missing piece of the puzzle for brands that are already doing everything else right.
3. You can’t just “install SEO” quickly and easily.
This misunderstanding stems from a number of valid sources. For example there are SEO companies out there who claim to do SEO at a very cheap price and very quickly. This makes many business owners and managers believe it’s a quick install or that there’s just one way to do SEO. There are also SEO software programs and even WordPress plugins that claim do SEO for you. But SEO isn’t quick or easy, and can’t just be installed. It takes an experienced person to analyze your website and all the various factors (between 200 and 300) that come into play when Google decides how to rank the website. They then have to know the best strategies to optimize the most important factors to get your website to start ranking better and for more and more relevant queries as time goes on.
4. An expert can use SEO to make your marketing stronger and prevent expensive mistakes.
The basics of SEO can be fairly easy to understand and start to implement. But would you know how to run a detailed audit of your website to identify areas where you can make it even faster? After all Google favors fast websites. Would you know how to confirm that Google is properly accessing and crediting all of the pages on your website? If you are getting a site redesign do you know how to ensure that all of your credit is properly passed on to your new pages? Will you risk losing rankings and traffic with your new site design?
5. Paid and Natural Search traffic are highly connected.
Lyngbø comments that:
“Some business leaders consider paid traffic to be completely distinct from search engine optimization, not realizing that an SEO specialist can help you amplify the reach and impact of your paid search campaigns … But both address search users, and having SEO and PPC teams work together can be powerful.”
It can be a costly mistake to think that your PPC is driving all your traffic or that Search is driving all your traffic. The two can be highly correlated and can work best together.
6. Just getting more visitors isn’t enough.
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If 500 visitors to your website a month doesn’t result in any new leads then is it reasonable to expect that 5,000 visitors would? At some point you have to stop chasing more visitors and start going after better visitors. The other option is tweaking your website so that you start getting more out of the same number of visitors, which is called Conversion Optimization.
On a bigger picture level, Lyngbø challenges any business owner:
“If only a tiny fraction of what you do is effective in bringing you desirable results, why repeat everything that doesn’t work again next year?”
7. Insights gathered from Google can help future-proof your business.
Over the years we have had to have some hard conversations with clients who were in what seemed to be dying industries. After seeing the total number of people searching for their types of products and services decline they questioned if they were still relevant or if people still wanted what they had to offer.
On the other hand, we’ve also been able to point out exciting opportunities we can find through search behaviour. The conversation often goes like this:
Us: “We’ve noticed an increase in the number of searches for X product or Y service. Is that something you would be able to offer?”
Client: “We have actually been considering adding that to our business.”
Us: “Well now may be the time because a lot of people are looking and very few other businesses are offering it. You can be a first mover.”
After all as Lyngbø it’s free to access Google’s search data and glean it for new insights. For example, do you know the most frequently asked questions on Google about your type of products?
8. SEO is built into your website design.
There are several factors that you may not think of as “SEO” but in fact have a pivotal effect on the success of SEO: website structure, navigation, internal link architecture, information architecture.
In addition to the above items that Lyngbø mentions a more recent belief is that Engagement Metrics such as time on site and bounce rate will (if not already) affect rankings. So if your website is poorly designed and your visitors are constantly leaving after spending only a second or two, your SEO could suffer.
9. Your rankings on search engines are not limited to your own site, either.
One important thing to understand with SEO is that many components are outside of your control. As much as there is to do when optimizing a website there are a number of things you don’t control, such as:
- The area your searcher is located
- The age of your domain
- The direct competition going after visibility for the same types of Search Phrases
- Plus indirect competition that Google also favors for your targeted Search Phrases
Changing Your Thinking Towards SEO as a Leader
In conclusion Lyngbø gives words of encouragement:
“Integrating SEO into all that you do, both offline and on, can enhance your results and speed up your growth.”
So how are you doing with integrating SEO into every fiber of your business? In our experience our clients who achieve the best success with us are all in and willing to do everything it takes – both online and offline.
If you need to start SEO for the first time or have realized it’s time to start taking SEO more seriously by hiring a qualified and experienced SEO expert give us a call at 1-888-262-6887 and we’d be happy to speak with you!