The internet is a hyper-competitive marketplace. Your website is one among billions. In your business category, it’s one among hundreds or thousands, all competing for the same peoples’ attention. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and marketing make your website do what you want it to do: let people find you for the reasons you want to be found.
The evolution of organic SEO is a case study in self-regulating integrity. It has taken approximately 20 years for Google to figure out what sites are authentic and authoritative, which ones are mediocre or minimally acceptable and which are just “spam.” And believe, me, they know!
Bogus gets the boot!
Guess what Google focuses on when determining your website’s ranking? Your actual industry knowledge, the depth and veracity of your site’s content, the visitors’ user experiences, visitor interactions, shared links and referrals. Should you ever speak with someone who professes to be an “SEO expert,” and they begin confusing you with a lot of technical jargon, walk away. If instead, they discuss robust content development and ways to improve user experience, then it would be worth having a conversation with them.
In 2017, the bottom line for organic search is this: If you want good organic SEO results, you need to work hard to make sure your web content is valuable, dynamic and comprehensive for visitors. That takes creative brainpower and has nothing to do with technology.
In recent years a lot of companies wasted a lot of money on SEO services that may have shown early results but then worked against them because of “black hat” tactics such as keyword stuffing. Too much effort was expended trying to court Google (or fake them out) based on keyword and metadata veneer with little or no substance behind it. Now, you better make sure there’s valuable substance to your content and that it’s as deep as you can make it.
You know where to spend your time. Where should you spend your money?
Are you considering a search engine marketing campaign and budget? Good! Because today we have more definitive ways to drive search engine results. Any reputable web designer should build your website properly so that it’s “search engine friendly.” In 2017 this should be a given! The point is, don’t worry about the technical side of SEO or put any real money into it.
If you’re going to spend money on organic search, start with a writer who understands your industry or else pay yourself to do it (spend your own company’s manhours). The best place to put your money is exactly where Google wants you to spend it – in a Google Adwords campaign. Paid search marketing will deliver immediate results and give you extremely valuable data to keep improving the results, not only of your paid campaigns but also your organic website content, further boosting your organic SEO efforts. See the synergy?
The Old One-Two Punch
So, now you have a clear route to search engine optimization and marketing success in 2017. Spend time on content and (gulp) money on advertising! You need to be proactive on both fronts: quality web content and targeted pay-per-click advertising with a set budget that you control. You only pay for actual results – real world search clicks to your website. When those legitimate searchers land on your website, the content better darn well deliver what they want! Then you’ll be firing on all cylinders.