Confused About Online Marketing?

Published on April 14, 2016

SEO & ONLINE MARKETING MISCONCEPTIONS

Over time it is natural for misconceptions to develop in any industry, but in the SEO and Online Marketing industry the misconceptions are all over the place! Mainly these issues stem from faulty information and a failure to understand a very simple thought process..."Things Change".

Over the last few decades there has obviously been a major push for businesses to rank higher on Google and other search engines, and most companies would do whatever it took to get there. People and specifically business owners need to realize that Google has evolved and fine-tuned their ranking algorithm, and as surprising as it is (*sarcasm inserted here) they are much different than they were in 2003. You wouldn't believe some of the things we here when speaking with potential clients.

Things like: 

  • "I need to be on the 1st page of Google by next month!"
  • "Can't I just throw in a bunch of keywords?"
  • "I can do this myself, SEO can't be that hard."
  • "I used to rank on the 1st page a few years ago, why am I not anymore?"
  • "Can't I just pay Google to rank me on the first page?"
  • "My friend's son builds websites, can't he just do the SEO?"

These statements and questions happen literally every month when speaking with people. It is our job to educate them on how SEO works and inform them of the exact steps that need to be taking place every month. One major thing that people need to realize is that it takes knowledge, education, and experience to do SEO correctly. Don't think that anybody who knows a little bit about websites or website design will know how to properly implement an effective SEO and Marketing plan. 

At the same time there are actually a lot of misconceptions among "SEO Experts." The main one being that there are a lot of self proclaimed SEO Experts, when in reality they barely know their way around a website let alone an actual marketing and SEO plan. They mainly just speak a little of the language and throw out made up statistics, which is why they fool so many people. Some of the other common misconceptions among the SEO world come from people who do know a little but about SEO and marketing. These mainly focus around SEO techniques and areas of focus.

Things such as:

  • "Just add a bunch of content and your good."
  • "Meta Data isn't important anymore."
  • "Just buy a bunch of Backlinks."
  • "You don't need Social Media."

These statements are also based off of faulty information and not enough proper education. SEO is an ever changing industry and you need to always be aligned with the right information to stay ahead of the game. I will now attempt to give you some basic answers to some of these misconceptions and hopefully give you some useful information to guide your next SEO and marketing decision. I'll break the info down into a few categories: Time, Techniques, Sources.

Time - SEO is a long term solution, not a band-aid fix.

Many people ask, how long does it take to do SEO? Let's start there, you don't just do SEO, it's not a 3-6 month project. SEO and Online Marketing should be a consistent part of your business plan and is vital to your success as a business. With that being said, SEO results can take time to develop and to achieve lasting results you should expect anywhere from 6-12 months depending on your market competition. However any good SEO or Marketing Firm should be able to do other things to achieve more immediate results that will benefit your business and  website traffic.

The below graph is what many people expect when they hear that SEO takes time

This doesn't happen very often and if you do see traffic data like this, make sure you vet those results and make sure they are valid.

When in reality your website traffic data will look more like the one below.

Organic Rankings Take Time, And Can Be Hard To Judge, But If You Do SEO The Right Way Things Will Work In Your Favor.

Organic Rankings Take Time, And Can Be Hard To Judge, But If You Do SEO The Right Way Things Will Work In Your Favor.

Techniques - SEO is difficult work because it takes attention to detail.

Like I have previously mentioned SEO & Online Marketing is an ever changing industry and it also has a wide variety of techniques that can be implemented. The key to this is pretty simple, always follow Google's Best Practices and never stop learning. There are a wide variety of techniques that are effective and if done right can be very helpful to your business.

  • PPC Campaigns - Pay Per Click Ad Systems are a very good way to increase traffic and convert customers through your website. However PPC's have no direct effect on your actual organic ranking within Google Search. Here is a link to Google Adwords which will help give you some more insight on how to use this and why it is effective if done right.
  • Social Media Marketing - Social Media is obviously an intricate part of our society today and whether you like it or not Google has made social media a factor in your rankings as well. Social shares are a good indicator of how valid and informative your content is and while it isn't always popular in your industry or market, it should still be done to allow more links to your site, more viewers seeing your content, and it helps you maintain your relationships with consumers.
  • Meta Data - Meta Data optimization is still an absolute necessity for SEO and many people have begun to think that this has lessened in importance within Google's search algorithm. However the only area of meta data that has gone down in significance is meta keywords, which used to be a core part of SEO. They are not dead yet, but keywords have lost their significance because Google wants to take keywords from your actual content, which they believe will help them understand how relevant your website truly is for your viewers. In fact meta titles and meta descriptions have increased in importance and are still a very critical factor in determining what your website is about. Make sure your SEO company values meta data and is always optimizing the content and meta data so that they will match up together correctly.
  • Backlinks - Backlinks are still very important to the ranking and visibility of your website. Backlinks give your website "juice" or substance. They also help indicate how relevant and informative your content is, whether you are getting organic backlinks, both external and internal, or you're simply buying backlinks. Be very cautious about your backlink methods and remember to always follow the best practices.

Sources - Get good information and make informed decisions

This is an area that we cannot stress enough, whether you do your own SEO, have an in-house SEO guy, or you hire it out to a marketing agency, make sure you have effective information. The old saying, "knowledge is power" is a very true statement and it applies very well in this situation. Make sure you have data that tells the real story, don't let some SEO guy fill your head full of numbers that sound impressive when in reality they hold no true value. The real determining factor in whether or not your SEO and marketing is working is if you are getting more business. I am a firm believer that a good marketing professional can get you results that actual add value to your company. For example an increase in website traffic doesn't always mean your marketing is working, it can be a factor, but a true success is when they are also turning into customers.

Hopefully this information can help guide small business owners and even SEO experts out there who are trying to figure things out. There's no shortcuts in this industry, you have to invest money in your SEO, Marketing, and Advertising if you want to be successful. They key is do it the right way, and that is the informed way.

Ken Turley

Marketing Director - Easy Storage Solutions

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