It can be three words – Search Engine Optimization or three letters –SEO. Those three words and letters are the source of weekly and sometimes daily frustration for me. Even though we are an Online Marketing Research company, what we don’t know about SEO is a lot. Unless you happen to be on the Google Team that wrote the new Penguin Algorithm, you should just admit it…there is a lot you don’t know too. Awareness is the first step.
How do I know most people, companies, businesses, SEO service providers and web-based consulting companies don’t know about SEO? Mindspot could conduct an online marketing research study that would quantify what website owners think we know about search engine optimization and improving our Google page rank. I could even look to see if someone has already conducted an online research study like this; and, I am not going to do that because I am busy ranting right now. Fortunately, this is the Mindless Babble Blog, and a rant based inexperience is likely to be tolerated and possibly even well-read.
Here is how I know Mindspot Research has an opportunity to improve:
Page Rank Benchmarking: We re-built our website in WordPress about 9-months ago, and our page rank is still 2/10 on the PageRank Checker. Some people question the credibility of page ranker and insist on checking page ranks on the official Google page rank site. To each their own. We compete against a few larger research companies (yes because we are that good and a better value in my absolutely biased, yet well-supported opinion) and many of them have page ranks above 5. They may have a dedicated team, they may have a company that works on their site or the site may have been there since the dawn of the internet if the internet has dawned. The point being, a good way to tell if you are winning the SEO battle is to benchmark your site against your competitor’s sites. Ask yourself who does your company lose business to and then go check out their website. What’s their page rank?
Conduct keyword research: We do a lot of keyword research by talking to customers and conducting surveys and then using words our customers use on our website. They are the ones trying to find us!
Here is why you are still reading: I am going to tell you the answer to the question of why SEO is so darn difficult. If it was easy everyone would rank 10/10. Even the page rank is based on an algorithm of the probability of you getting to that page. Right? Right. It is not so easy. The odds of getting a 10 on Dancing with the Stars are better. Getting your company or business to rank highly on Google or any other search engine requires Hard Work.
It is simply an old-fashioned concept for relatively new technology or even a brand new Penguin algorithm. It seems like so many people just can’t figure this one out. Irony, perhaps?
There is nothing new about hard work or building an algorithm.
Here are 10 reasons supporting the Search Engine Optimization is Hard Work:
1) It takes time. People and businesses are running their companies lean these days. There are many other responsibilities, and because of this, some are not willing to commit to dedicating the time required to improve their search results.
2) You don’t know what you’re missing if you don’t know what you are missing right? There isn’t a visible opportunity cost for lost leads. It’s difficult to quantify and easy to ignore.
3) You have to learn all the time. Once you think you know what is going on they change the rules and throw in a Penguin. It is meant to reward those of us who practice “white-hat” search techniques and we will see.
4) You have to take the time to update plug-ins like All-In-One-SEO to keep them current. If you constantly update your site you need to take the time to back-up your site or schedule the back-up of your site.
5) You must conduct research and understand what keywords and long-tailed (strings or phrases) keywords are relevant to your audience. “Long-tailed keywords” is a phrase first heard from Dan Blanton, President of Media Tech Plus.
6) A blog will help keep your content fresh and provide you with the opportunity to have others backlink to your site. These are known as inbound links. Writing a blog is hard work because you have to take the time to be inspired and keep it fresh with new content.
7) Your blog should be good if you are going to take the time to write it. Hubspot suggests guest blogging this is a way to gain access to an entirely new audience and an opportunity for more inbound link building.
8) You need to stay sharp and remember to ask for what you want. People don’t have ESP or at least most people don’t. You need a call to action. For example, if you are digging this blog article or any other blog articles, we welcome your non-spam inbound link. Please re-tweet or re-post our blog link– it’s what we want.
9) Inbound link building is a job. Even if you are looking to simply be listed in a free directory – you still have to do the work to be listed in that free directory. I just learned that EzineArticles.com is an important article directory and might be a place to list our best articles. Then I learned you shouldn’t write an article like a blogger. What we don’t know again- even while creating this post.
10) Keyword stuffing. I am certain our site has keywords falling out of the seams. We use Scribe to optimize our website copy and to flag our big fat keyword stuffing so we can go in and skinny it up.
Only 10 reasons why it is hard work? Yes, we both know there are so many more reasons! And, like any tough gig you have to start somewhere. Start with understanding where you are currently, where you want to go, and how much work you are willing to do to learn what you don’t know.
by Lynnette Leathers President of Mindspot Research, a Division of Mindspot, Inc