In my work with a wide variety of clients, I’ve seen both, ones that understand the value in SEO and ones that do not. In order to appreciate Search Engine Optimization (SEO), one needs to see the full picture and understand how big of an impact it plays in the businesses’ success. Many will grip their hands on the traditional marketing methods and bring it to the online world, and this is fine, but there is a right time and place, and a right method for everything.
Let’s start with AdWords and other Pay-Per-Click advertising networks. This is what I want to steer you away from in this blog post, not for ever and not completely, but you need to understand that if you do not do this the right way, you are just trowing your dollars in the wind. This is no joke, stop flushing your money into the toilet.
Many business owners that I know will dedicate a small budget for their Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, like $300 to $1000 per month, then sit back and wait for it to rain sales on them. Not going to happen.
A Successful AdWords Campaign
To have a successful PPC campaign, statistically, you will need to allocate about $10,o00 budget just on testing the campaigns and finding winning combinations of keywords/ads/bids/ROI and once you have them, you will go and choose how much money per month you can afford to spend on them and have a good ROI. You must know, how many dollars you will make for every dollar you spend on PPC, only then you can sit back and have it rain sales on you.
Just setting up a small campaign and spending a few hundred dollars on it is like driving blind, you have no idea what’s out there and if there is even any buyers out there, you’re just wasting your $300 per month on a chance. Probably better to just go blow this money at a casino and you will enjoy it a lot more, and sometimes will win some of it back.
Investing In SEO Instead
As one blogger has said, “you do not buy a hammer to drive a nail, you buy it to build a bench”. A hammer is a tool that is used to build a bench, once the bench is built, you can sit on it over and over again. Same thing with SEO, you do not invest in SEO to please some Google gods, you do it to build your brand and create new “door ways” into your website, ultimately, to get more leads and sales.
As a small or medium size business, you don’t have much money to throw around, this is why investing the small amount you have, in something that will bring you a return, is much wiser. SEO is for ever, if you do it right. Every dollar you invest will build on top of the last dollar you invested. Every blog post you create, every article and guest post you write will accumulate and build up the authority of your website. Even if you take a break and do nothing for months after an ongoing campaign, the SEO that you have built up will continue to work for you, bringing in sales, month after month. Unlike PPC, even with a successful campaign, as soon as you stop paying, the flow of sales stops.
The key in SEO is to do it right and not to fall for cheap, low quality work. If you do, it will hurt your website more than anything and then you’re at step one again, maybe even worse.
What is Good SEO?
SEO has two parts to it, internal SEO and external SEO. Internal SEO is pretty easy to satisfy, it’s just a few things you need to make sure you remember to do when creating new content as well as some website structure elements. It can all be covered with a simple check-list. External SEO is where you can get in trouble and should be careful. As long as you have the main thing in your mind while working on External SEO, you should be on the right track. Remember that with everything you create, you are trying to help the Search Engines achieve their goal, which is to provide a better experience to the users. If you do your part in creating great relevant content for the search engines and their users, the Google gods will smile at you.
Here are the main points when it comes to good SEO;
- Quality Content
- Original Content
- Useful Content
- Relevant Content
Create content that will follow those 4 things and spread it all over the internet, linking back to your website. That is basically the name of the game.
What is Bad SEO?
Bad SEO is what used to be good SEO in the early 2000’s. When Search Engines just began in the 1990’s, the main goal of professional SEO’s was to cheat and trick the search engines to get their clients to the top of the listings, all the listings, no matter what the topic of the search was. Poor Search Engines just chugged along and carried those SPAM listings on their backs until Google revolutionized the Search industry.
Many SEO’s still try to cheat and trick the Search Engines to get their way. This “cheating and tricking” is what bad SEO is. There are right ways of doing SEO and there are wrong ways. These methods have been separated into 3 categories, White-Hat, Black-Hat and there is also the Gray-Hat SEO.
White-Hat SEO is when the methods used to optimize a site strive to achieve the same goal as the Search Engines, to provide a better experience for the users. Create quality content that is useful and original.
Black-Hat SEO is when the methods used to optimize a site focus on tricking the Search Engines. Usually they use automated content creating machines and spew their garbage content out into the Internet in huge amounts. These methods will provide results, sometimes great results, but Google and others are very good at detecting their garbage and deleting it, eventually.
Gray-Hat SEO is where a lot of SEO’s live and this is where the methods they use strive to provide great content but also use a a pinch of tricks to help the results.
When Hiring an SEO
Look for an SEO that does White-Hat SEO and has a very good understanding of Gray-Hat SEO and how it is to be used to be undetectable. Quality standards and methods are super important as well as making sure they do not use software to mass-create or mass-syndicate content. Hire an SEO that takes the time to find the links for your website that can not be “bought” and can only be earned.
If you follow the information in this blog post, you will surely be investing your small online marketing budget in a much better way than AdWords and PPC. Once your SEO is in order and going great, save up about $10,000 for attacking the PPC world and invest smart, don’t just throw your money away.