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Take the Time to Invest in Your SEO


By Sarah Noel, Contributor

The search-engine optimization — or “SEO” — universe changes like the latest fashions.  It’s important to have experts who can keep up with dynamic changes across multiple search channels.

1. SEO does not mean “just get as many social-buzz links as possible!”

Not all traffic is good traffic. For instance, social-media marketing with the piggyback method can skyrocket your promotions on social channels, but it can also kill your conversion rates and possibly your reputation. For examples of good piggyback marketing, State of Digital reported on successful campaigns that used the summer Olympics, new movie releases or other hot events to boost brand awareness.

Plus, Google’s John Mueller publicly stated in an August 2015 video that Google doesn’t use social signals as part of its search-ranking factors, and fellow webmaster trends-analyst Gary Illyes backed up this fact in a June 2016 tweet. Furthermore, “because of sheer volume alone, Google doesn’t attempt to index all — or even most — of the social posts generated.” At best, social media gives indirect benefits for SEO through bringing in new, short bursts of traffic.

2. SEO isn’t a “magic bullet” for overnight success.

Experienced SEO expert Jayson Demers on Inc.com explains that beginning to follow good SEO practices needs to have realistic goals, “Within one to two years, I typically see clients start breaking even and seeing a positive ROI.”

One company who learned that the hard way was Boo.com, a now defunct European retailer that planned to sell clothing and sporting goods online. They failed for many factors, among them was that they were trying to build an international online brand in just a few months, without the patience needed to establish a foundation in SEO.

Their timeline was unrealistic because, fundamentally, great SEO requires the “fuel” of lots of great, relevant content, and that requires a significant investment of time to build.  Without existing brand awareness and resulting search demand, getting the traffic needed to move a significant amount of inventory can be very expensive.

3. SEO does not mean your ranking in Google alone.

Google didn’t create the word “SEO.” Recently, Search Engine Land reported that “YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world behind Google,” so consider all your search avenues.  Also understand that Amazon has now eclipsed the collective of search engines in the percentage of consumer searches.

If you want to really get the full bang for your buck in digital marketing, then you need the right kind of SEO focus. Every SEO consultant specializes in different aspects of the field, but no expert SEO marketer focuses only on one area. It’s the holistic approach that stands the test of time, which often includes search results from both organic and paid-advertising, email-list building, affiliate ads and display ads for optimum results.