Thursday, April 16, 2009

SEO is just one piece of the online success puzzle

If you build a good website, one which provides your visitors with information they want to read or see in video, chances are that in time you will gain respect from the search engines and your rank will rise. You may even get some top rankings for some key phrases.

I advise my clients to obtain good basic SEO advice from experienced professionals. I also encourage my clients to use the existing resources of smart people within their company to do much of the legwork and continue the SEO work done by your professional advisor. Read more in this fine
Guest Post.

Finding Balance Between SEO and Non-SEO Traffic Generation
Copyright (c) 2009 Kurt D. Lynn
KLynn Inc

So much SEO.

You might think, from all the buzz about search engine
optimization - SEO - that it offers a cure for all the world's
business ills. Somehow, SEO has been propelled from the
backwaters of Internet geekdom into the forefront of modern
business marketing. For example, if Google's own search results
are any indication, the interest in SEO yields almost 50% of the
interest in general advertising. That level of interest seems way
out of proportion to the realities of business advertising.

So Why All The Hubbub?

The excitement seems to be around the notion that SEO means
"free advertising", that it means, if you do it right, millions
of people will be clicking through to your site willy-nilly
having found you on some search engine and then will immediately
do business with you. And behind all that excitement are
thousands of overnight SEO "experts" that, variously, all claim
to ... (pick one)

* Have SEO secrets that will help you get an unfair advantage
over the next guy;

* Guarantee you a first-page listing for an incredibly low
monthly rate;

* Provide hundreds of high page rank sites that will link to
your site;

* Give you 5/10/20 quick tips to immediately improve your

* Tell you what Google/MSN/Yahoo doesn't want you to know about

* Tell you that whatever SEO you're doing is all wrong; or

* Some other variant of the above.

To some extent, this notion of "free advertising" is not
altogether inaccurate. SEO can result in your site being found -
free of charge - and it can result in traffic to your site that
may, in fact, result in new business. But the reality of SEO is
not quite that simple.

SEO Is Far From "FREE".

SEO takes work... often, hard work. For those that aren't
familiar with what's involved in SEO, below is a list of some of
the typical activities that (as the CREST commercials used to
say) "when applied in a conscientious program of regular
professional care" will result in higher search engine rankings.

* Researching and selecting keywords that are truly relevant to
your desired audience;

* Researching competition for desired keywords;

* Researching and analyzing competitive websites;

* Re-writing and restructuring your website to address desired
keywords, to be more accessible by search engine "crawlers", to
appropriate label meta tags, headings, and inter-page links;

* Create a program to build links to your site from other sites
(directories, exchanged links,article marketing, etc.)

* Create a program to keep content on your site regularly
refreshed and synchronized with all the above.

* Regularly (daily or weekly) monitor all the search engines and
your competitors positions

SEO Is Not Easy.

Doesn't quite sound as easy as some people suggest does it?
That's because it's not. And it's all the more complicated
when you realize that every site on that first page, and on the
second and third, is trying to do the same thing - but against
you! You boost your rank above them. They go to work and boost
their site back above yours. And so on and so on... It's a war
and the SEO "experts" are the arms dealers.

Your Goals And Those Of The Search Engine May Be Different.

If you're going to pay good money for SEO, it may also be
worthwhile to keep in mind that search engines don't necessarily
have a goal of making you the most findable site on the web. The
bottom line for them is making sure that their users finds what
they are looking for. Satisfying that requirement may mean that
you don't and should not come up first. Google is the number one
search engine for a reason: Google users get results they want.
Those may not be the results you want.

Short Term and Long Term.

In the short run, there may be some serious benefits from
investing in SEO to boost your search engine rankings. In the
long run, however, there's probably not much you can do beyond a
certain point. Frankly, if you have a finite budget, altering the
basic nature of your site and trying to boost how valuable your
site is to others (as represented by links to your site) can only
be taken so far. After a point, the perfect market
characteristics of the search engine will prevail.

Balance SEO With Other Forms Of Traffic Generation.

What this means is: yes, do make sure you do the essential SEO
necessary to optimize your rankings in search engines. But do it
in the context of an overall marketing program. Definitely use
SEO to ensure that you get a fair and accurate appraisal by
search engines. But also invest in other non-SEO lead-generation
methods to bring traffic to your site and business to your table.

Above all, measure the results of your SEO and non-SEO activities
carefully and frequently. When SEO reaches the point of
diminishing returns, cut the rate in which you invest in it and
boost your reliance on non-SEO marketing to reach your goals. In
the long run, traditional non-SEO marketing may just be the most
reliable and consistent way to boost traffic to your site.

Kurt D. Lynn has been a founder, cofounder, or senior executive
of half a dozen enterprises in both the U.S. and Canada.
Currently Kurt provides consulting and communication services
focused on the needs of emerging and growing businesses. His
consulting firm, KLynn Inc, offers an assortment of proven
services for the development of sound marketing strategies,
tactics, and project execution. His communication services,
while more diverse, are focused on optimizing sales and
marketing effectiveness:

I add that social networking may be an important aspect of your online success. Article marketing could be another. Blogging yet another. There is much more you can do on your own to improve your targeted visitor count. Keep that in mind. You need targeted visitors, not plain vanilla visitors who leave as fast as the arrive to your website.

Greg Cryns
The Mighty Mo Website Design and SEO Promotion