There isn’t a website owner on the planet who has not received an email or a few hundred promising higher Google placement, including Google.
Yes, even Google gets the emails promising Search Engine Optimization (SEO) miracles.
I am here to tell you there are no miracles. There are no shortcuts. There are no magic beans. SEO takes a bit of work. SEO takes an ongoing process of work as Google and the other search engines are all striving (like you should be) to be better at what they do. We all search online differently than we did 2 years ago, which is different than we did 5 years ago, and considerably different than we did 10 years ago. We use search engines to ask complicated questions and we expect those answers to appear on the first page of Google search. There are more than 2.9 billion searches conducted on Google alone…every day.
Not only do we expect an accurate answer, we expect a local answer to our question, and we expect it within seconds. The only way for search engines to do this is to read each and every website. The content of every website is then parsed, categorized, and memorized to provide the answer to whatever question is being asked. As smart as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is getting, it is still artificial, and for many things, dumb as a rock. The reason being, we as humans, are constantly changing how we speak and what words mean.
I recently saw a bit about language from comedian Jim Gaffigan that drove this point home to our community. Speaking on modern language, he commented that we will say things like “That jacket is sick. But you don’t want a medical professional being like…your test results are sick.” While we understand the comedy instantly and pretty instinctively, search engines do not. They have to be taught.
For example, while many of us use the term eyewear to speak to our customers and patients about eyeglasses, by a close to 3-1 margin consumers search eyeglasses over eyewear. Therefore, the websites who talk more about eyeglasses are going to get more visitors than the ones who speak strictly about eyewear. Google doesn’t really know the difference and more to the point, neither do your customers.
Over the next months we will certainly delve deeper into things you can do to help your store or practice rank in search engines, let’s go back to the beginning of this article where I mentioned all the emails every website owner receives from bots or robots about their website’s SEO or ranking. Most are 100% total fabricated bull excrement designed to promise you an easy fix and do nothing but to make your wallet just a little lighter.
Yes, there are wonderful dedicated SEO professionals out there who will work on your website and your web presence to help you rank better. However, nothing happens overnight, and nothing last forever. Ranking high for something today doesn’t mean you will tomorrow or next year, without constant vigilance and effort. Again, these are some things we plan on covering moving forward.
The one thing we want to leave you with today is, Search Engine Optimization takes place on the actual website. For years I have seen beautiful presentations about SEO cross the desk of many a client and former client (who still reach out for advice from time to time). These proposals talk all about how this company will do SEO work to bring more customers through the doors. One company promising increased traffic for a local accident focused law firm grew the web traffic a notable 10-15%. All the increased traffic came from Brazil, about 5,700 miles too far from this law firm to either obtain clients or practice law, but who is being picky?
Another more recent story comes from a chain of optical stores who signed up with an SEO company earlier this spring. They have been working together for almost 6 months now and as far as traffic to the website, well, last week saw a nice jump in the number of visits to their website. Turns out more visitors came from a state 1,300 miles away from where they do business than one of the states they actually operate in, but I digress.
Should you consider SEO? Absolutely. It should be baked into your website from the ground up. What if a company approaches you promising SEO miracles? Often they are selling nothing more than magic beans. Ask for references for starters, Ask how they plan on implementing their plan. Ask what measurements and metrics they plan on using and most of all, beware the plans that tell you it can all be done without actually working on your actual website.