For many years, having a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy for websites has been a very important topic. Being in the top searches of the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing can be a great business, since it will bring your website traffic, without paying a single penny to this companies. Being first or being 10 in a search result can implicate a difference between million of visitors and potential buyers. As entrepreneurs, this is a very important subject as you will probably create a website if you don’t have one yet, and the objective is to make as much money as possible.
This article I write it from the perspective of an entrepreneur, but mainly as an Internet and Strategy Consultant, who has been working in Internet related projects for over 15 years. Some of my views might be a bit controversial, but this are all bases on my experience and on what I’ve done and seen throughout this years. I invite you to keep reading and if you have different ideas, please share them at the end of this page.
First let me start by saying I consider SEO an important strategy, however it is important along with many other elements. For instance, SEO has to be part of an Internet Strategy. Also, there are other important topics, such as web design, usability, tactics, email marketing, social networks, Internet marketing and more. So this is just one subject to take into account, from a long list.
The way SEO has been marketed to us has several problems. The first one is that since SEO can account for an increase in sales and profits, too many people and website owners are looking for the first result in search engines. Some will make it, others wont. This is like the Holy Grail, and although it exists, we shouldn’t be focused on the first position. It will be great if we have that first position, but many times just making it to the first page will be enough.
I’ve seen many companies invest great deals of money in SEO strategies and tactics. They pay agencies and consultants to make their position better, however their website is poorly constructed, so any increase in SEO positions won’t count for more clients (just a few). In this cases I advise, that maybe some of that money will have a greater impact in a better designed website, than in SEO. For instance, with a better website that creates more leads and clients and with less money invested in SEO, the results can be much better.
A second major problem with SEO, is that there is a great deal of experts. Some are actual experts, but many say they are and don’t have the way to back this. Some people read a SEO Blog or Book and say they are experts. For instance, at least once a month I receive an email on this Blog form one of this experts announcing his services. I always write them back with the phrase “get a real job” and so far no one has answered me back.
For SEO to work, we have to understand it as a process, not a single task. Plus, it has to be a constant process, which can take months or even years to show results. Some people are looking for instant results and some of these experts offer them this. Definitely this isn’t the way to go.
Another problem with SEO is that the algorithms used by the major search engines can change overnight. One day your website appeared on the first position, the next day it’s number 50. There are several documented cases where this happened, and the traffic and income for this websites decreased in 70% or more.
To address the previous problem, I recommend you have several simultaneous strategies. SEO is important, but have backup plans such as paid advertisement, email marketing, social networks and more.
Finally, to make all these strategies successful, you have to innovate permanently. In Internet, things change rapidly and you must have this same speed. If you don’t this, someone else will do it for you and you will eventually loose all the efforts you did to position your website.
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