Although it's become one of the core elements of online marketing, many businesses still consider search engine optimization overly-complicated, unproductive, or merely a fad. But overcoming these concerns is just a matter of using SEO to your advantage. In our experience guiding clients through their online marketing decisions, we've encountered a few common misconceptions about SEO.
1. Believing it is too hard or too time-consuming
No matter how little time you may have, you can always perform bite-sized SEO activities which advance your overall strategy. For example, ask ten customers which keywords they most closely associate with your company or products. Or look up the top five most visited pages on your website and try to identify how the on-page elements (copy, titles, meta data, etc.) help or hurt that popularity. Apply what you learn to the rest of your pages. For those times when there really is no time, Vodori is here to help.
2. Treating it as a one-time deal
It's tempting to treat SEO activities like spring cleaning—carve out a block of time to optimize those on-page elements, and once that's done, forget about it for the rest of the year. However, as marketplaces change (i.e., constantly), so do the keywords that consumers use to describe them. If keyword search patterns evolve and you don't evolve right along with them, you're likely to lose traffic and sales.
We recommend conducting keyword or user research multiple times per year, to stay on top of changes in each industry. Furthermore, organic search engines like Google and Bing are constantly tweaking their search algorithms (almost daily, actually). Make sure you keep up with these changes, and understand how they can affect your SEO tactics. Most search engines outline significant updates on their blogs.
|One step of SEO feeds into the next in an ongoing process.|
3. Neglecting to measure and course-correct
Again, SEO is not a one-and-done tactic. Before implementing a campaign, consider how the knowledge you expect to gain will impel constructive changes for your business. As with any online marketing strategy, some actions will pay off and some won't.
In my opinion, the real key to success lies in developing a reporting-recommendation-change action plan once your campaign is in place. Track your results closely, identify what isn't working, adjust or eliminate those misfires, and then track the changes. Rinse and repeat. Using this framework, with analytics driving adaptation, has worked quite well for Vodori and several of our clients.
4. Failing to integrate within an overall marketing strategy
SEO is probably not the only tool you wield (and if it is, that's a mistake worthy of a whole different blog post). There's no hard and fast boundary separating it from tactics like location-based targeting, pay-per-click, social media, and PR. Determine how SEO fits in with your larger online promotions plan—where it complements other tools, and where it might conflict.
5. Looking for one "key" to getting it exactly right
A truly successful SEO campaign relies on several components, including well-executed customer and keyword research, on-page optimization, community involvement, and a link-building strategy (plus plenty more). Optimizing one of these may yield quick success in some markets, but for most, a winning long-term plan will touch on several different techniques.
In fact, if there is one "key" to achieving outstanding SEO, it lies in your human resources: the sharp, adaptable employee or employees who grasp all these techniques, and who can develop and execute a comprehensive plan.