The SEO Rabbit Hole
A World You Can’t Control, But Must Control
BY DAK DILLON
Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is not an exact science. Far from it. It’s really a complex process that requires testing, monitoring and collection of various data points to create goals and decisions. The problem with SEO is that it all depends on the will of one company: Google. They make the rules, they enforce the rules and they decide when and how to change the rules. Oh, and the rules are private and a very tightly controlled secret. So, no one really knows the “magic formula” for making a website rank No. 1 on Google, leaving you at its mercy. There’s no rule book to follow and there’s no formula for success. Sure, there are best practices, but those best practices have evolved over time, and continue to evolve daily. If you don’t know the latest changes, your site will suffer. Its ranking will be like an elevator that can’t decide if it’s going up or going down.
Search is important
Dak Dillon is the principal and creative director at Hub & Spoke, a Columbia-based creative agency that helps businesses find focus for their brands through web design, marketing and strategy.
A whopping 93 percent of online experiences start with a search engine, according to industry digest Search Engine Journal, so ranking in the top spot is big business. SEO is more important than printing business cards, buying a billboard or running ads on the radio. It’s the most important piece of your marketing
puzzle. Yes, that’s right. It’s the most important piece. Your customers have moved to the internet, and your marketing dollars must follow. Having a professional website that can actually be found is very important. Search Engine Watch reports that 33 percent of the traffic on Google only clicks on the top search results. Being first or second is important.
The right direction You must realize, SEO is like the Wild West. Some companies focus on data and accountability, while others use buzzwords to take advantage of an unknown field. Search Marketing is now about creating positive buzz for your brand. It’s about creating meaningful content that a user actually wants to read and use. To put it simply, make sure your website is something you would actually want to use. Make sure the resources you post actually provide help to a potential customer. Ask questions of the experts you call on. Research for yourself online, understand the terms and exactly what the expert is going to do. And make sure they’re not just focusing on outdated concepts like “keyword stuffing” and “updating meta keywords”. True SEO is about creating excellent content, building solid links and adding credibility to your website. Do this, and customers are bound to follow.
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