SEO is Like Investing: It Takes Time and Incremental Adjustments to Build a Portfolio that Yields Results
Guest blog author: Alisa Meggison, Green Sky Development
Search engine optimization, what geeks like me call SEO, is the process of making web pages easier to find in search engines for different keyword phrases searches by “optimizing” elements of website site pages, or even the site itself as a whole. If you talk to someone like me, who has been optimizing websites since 1994, you’ll get a veteran’s tale of our perpetual “fight” to keep sites relevant amidst Google’s frequent search ranking changes.
Many clients I talk with remember the “good ‘ol days,” nearly two decades past, where you could simply tuck a keyword into pages and “buy links” to get your URL “out there” and Voila!, you could get on page one of a search. Today, SEO takes a bit more planning and strategy than that. However, an SEO campaign executed with a plan and strategy very likely leads to better search results compared to your competitors’ results. Let’s just hope they’re not reading this article.
Like investing your money in a smart and dynamic portfolio, search engine optimization is a slow, steady, evolving, and dynamic process that requires consistent effort, intelligent choices, and trustworthy advice to yield results.
Let’s explore your portfolio options…
This is akin to investing in your website, its structure, and its environment. Some SEO ranking factors that matter here are:
- The website code is as error-free and quick loading as it can be.
- The website and the webserver environment underneath are updated and secure.
- The “on page” elements follow best SEO practices (navigation, page titles, META descriptions, internal links, image size & ALT text, correct use of headers, and page content).
This relates to creating trust and a good reputation. It is about what others think of your business (and the ‘energy’ they can bring you!) Things that matter here are:
- Backlinks. These are external links from others’ websites to your website. Companies or organizations link to your site from theirs due to a relationship. Buying backlinks is a no-no.
- The same company name, phone number, mailing address, and email address (Called: ‘NAP’) need to be consistent across all your online profiles: LinkedIn, FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Yelp, FourSquare, TripAdvisor, Houzz, your Chamber of Commerce info, your BBB info, your D&B listing, etc. Even if you aren’t active in all these spaces, you need to CLAIM these spaces and make sure the base info is correct.) This all about being who you say you are – authenticity.
- Ensuring that wherever your customers (or critics) are leaving responses, you are listening and answering. This point goes to responsibility and good stewardship.
- Ensuring that when you provide links to others or advertise through pay per click or image ads, the message you send is the message your visitor receives when they land on your site. This practice is about honesty, consistency, and do what you say.
Show value and making your “investment” work better for you and those platforms you invest in (the better you do, the better they do).
Things that matter here are:
- Be present where your customers want to hear from you, primarily mobile and social media. There is a lot of debate on just how much social signals affect search engine ranking, but being a part of social media is a “relationship with your fans” investment. The better you do here, the farther and broader your fans spread a positive message, which in turn yields better “pool” returns over time.
- Google has moved to “mobile-first” indexing. If your site is not mobile responsive and easily usable, you’ll suffer compared to competitors. If you haven’t redesigned your website in the last five years, it’s time to talk to Construct Marketing.
- Confirm that your direct marketing and your online marketing are in sync. Not the same, per se, but that one supports the other; it is a wise practice to confirm there are no conflicting messages.
- Seek consistency in everything you do from a marketing perspective: emails, catalogs, direct mail to customers or prospects, social media, video media, to marketing/messages on business cards, invoices, packaging, letterhead, invoices, package inserts, in-store rack displays, convention/booth displays, etc.
The question is… When they go looking – are you there?
OK – grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and let’s recap…
SEO is like investing…
- You don’t do it alone, and the company/people you hire to help cannot do it all alone, either. It’s a partnership between you and them that requires communication, investment, and time.
- It is composed of many facets, some of which can yield quicker returns, others slower. SEO is a process, not an event.
- It requires consistency and strategy.
- Those companies who have been “investing” longer, have more significant “portfolios” (i.e., they rank above you). You don’t start investing and expect a million overnight. Invest with purpose and keep at it, and you’ll find you become more competitive.
- Understand that the rules change. Google these days gives organic ranking preference to those who have built trust, information, and reputation over time. You want to move to the head of the line without those investments – there is this thing called “Google Ads.”
- Partner with someone you trust. Your SEO person should care about your business like it was their own AND know what they are doing.
- It is your money. You (or your people) need to be involved in getting the best results. SEO is a synergy.
- Do it well, and your investments will provide long term gains.
Questions? Please ask. We are here to help
Read More: SEO 101 – SEO Basics