10 things SEO is not

We spend a lot of time talking about what SEO is and what we do. Today, we take a look at some things that SEO is not.

Last month, I wrote about some people’s bad perceptions of SEO and how they end up with these misconceptions. Many people think poorly of search engine optimization because they don’t fully understand it.

To help you better understand what SEO is, this article will concentrate on what it isn’t. Let’s chip away some of the things SEO isn’t and we may get a better view of what it is. I am sure that you will be able to add to this list and I encourage your comments in the section below.

1. SEO is NOT A Replacement for Poor Web Design

If your web designer doesn’t believe in SEO or at least have basic understanding of how rankings happen based on site structure and the ability for the bots to crawl your site, you need to run. Even if they don’t understand it, there are some basic things we used to charge for that is now done automatically through many great Content Management Systems.

2. SEO is NOT An Overnight Success

If you just built your web site last month or you are in danger of going out of business next month, I wouldn’t look to SEO to save you. SEO is a long term business strategy that will drive relevant traffic and can grow your bottom line… but it doesn’t happen overnight.

3. SEO is NOT Just On-site Optimization

Just adding some keywords to your homepage will help but that is a very, very small piece of the puzzle. There are many other things that we look at.

4. SEO is NOT Just About Google

What? Yes, it is true that Google is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Ignore them and you will get crushed but it is important to remember that there are more ways to drive traffic to your site than just Google. Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and several other platforms have their own search rules and also play into Google’s results, so it is important to understand how you can optimize for these sites as well. For some of our customers, we see these sites as a top traffic generator.

5. SEO is NOT Magic

The one part science, one part art that was mentioned in my last article doesn’t include magic. If done properly and successfully, SEO is hard work. It takes time to research, it takes time to do the work, it takes time to analyze the results and it takes time to make adjustments.

6. SEO is NOT About Rankings Anymore

Years ago, rankings were important and were the way we could look to see if what we were doing was successful. Fortunately, the search engines have evolved and changed the way they work. Unfortunately, it makes it harder to look at one number to track results. With location, search history, the device you are using, and numerous other personalization factors being included in search, you will see different results from place to place, day to day, and person to person. The better guide is to look at traffic and conversions.

7. SEO is NOT Free

As I said in point #5, proper SEO takes lots of time. In today’s world, time truly is money. You can spend tons of time doing it yourself or pay someone to do it but it definitely isn’t free.

8. SEO is NOT a Total Solution but a Piece of Your Digital Strategy

SEO is a piece of your strategy that includes SEM (Search Engine Marketing), Social Media, Bookmarking sites, Blogging, Search Retargeting, and Video.

9. SEO is NOT Buying or Cheating Your Way to the Top

Gateway pages, link farms, stealing content, hiding words in the code, hiding words in the background, etc. These things are not SEO today. Run from anyone with the “easy secret” to top rankings.

10. SEO is NOT Finished – Ever

Everything on the web is changing all of the time. By the time you read this, I may have changed my mind about something in this article. Plus, your competition isn’t going to stop trying to get your traffic. Finally, you can always do better, get more traffic, or convert more visitors to leads or sales.

At the end of the day, SEO is a continuous process of improving your website’s ability to attract the right kind of visitor and then convince the visitor to do something. It involves site architecture and creating content that is good for both search engines and people while encouraging them to take some sort of action.

Just as no two businesses are the same, our digital strategies are unique to your needs. We would love to sit down with you and discuss ways we can help you drive more traffic, capture more leads, and help increase sales. Please fill out this form or contact us at 205-823-4440 to schedule an informal chat.

Jerry is not afraid of a good fight. Not with other people mind you, but with your competition. He loves to help our clients get web traffic and high search engine rankings for terms that are usually dominated by big box retailers and Fortune 500 companies. This doesn't happen overnight, but when it does, it will transform your business. He is one of the pioneers (he hates that term) of Web Marketing in Alabama and is scary good in his understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising, analytics, and online user behavior. You definitely want him in your corner.
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