When you feel an urgency to hit the ground running herding traffic toward your website, PAY-PER-CLICK (PPC) and other display advertising avenues are hard to beat for infectious, encouraging instant gratification. Something long-term online presence and staying power can’t grow without springs from embracing the patient labors of SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO).
Everyone who does business online lives every day in the throes of one all-important reality: we’re all living in a millennial world where consumers have no further warm-fuzzy feelings about being told what they need and why they need it. As billions more people look to Google first for their shopping needs, and bleeding-edge advancements in mobile web-browsing and shops optimized for buying on the go leap forward further and further, the way your customers seek out what they know they need has changed.
More than they’ll tolerate being “marketed to”, the people you need to purchase your products and services want to believe someone who can provide those things that make their lives easier are not only listening to them, but using what they hear to make their products better. That’s a matter of priceless trust, and that bond between consumer and brand comes only with building relationships. Ultimately, those relationships are built on the bedrock of a customer’s trust in one resource dependably providing useful, trustworthy information catered to a unique set of needs.
FROM RELATIONSHIPS TO REVENUE
SEO is nothing new, SEO as we know it today is an animal evolved far beyond its beginnings.
Roughly 1.17 billion people turn to Google each month in search of…something. Whether that “something” happens to be Apple stock updates, sports scores, the nearest mechanic specializing in import automobiles, a quick link to PewDiePie’s YouTube channel or a cat that loves being shoved across a floor with a broom like a curling stone, everything starts by typing what you want into the search bar.
Quicker than a hummingbird’s heartbeat, Google then generates a list of indexed web pages that appear to be relevant to what the user requested. That’s because, from the beginning, Google’s web crawlers have been guided by explicitly defined algorithms that have only become more refined and intuitive through the years to accomplish one task: based on a formula that accounts for the presence of the keywords on the page, whether they’re naturally used in an unsuspicious volume, the page’s daily unique traffic and now how often other Internet users share it across various social networks, rank the relevance of each page, placing the most relevant result at the top of the first page of “organic” search results.
Statistically, Google searchers beeline straight for the top ten suggestions – that is to say, the ones listed below the clearly marked paid advertisements. SEO is the art of strategically orienting your website’s content so that it sits atop all other results for searches, products, services and topics with which you want your brand or business to be closely associated.
Suppose you run an auto body shop in Phoenix. You want to be easily found by automobile owners near you who need a dent pulled out or a new paint job. If you expect potential customers to search “Auto Body Repair Phoenix”, you want content that cements you as your area’s authority in auto body and auto collision repair. SEO is how you give others a chance to crown you their go-to business based on the useful information you regularly share.
That notoriety generates recognition through trust, which generates leads, which you then have a chance to convert into customers eager to refer you as a business that cares about their customers’ needs and interests.
“GOOD” VS. “GREAT”
Good things come to those who wait. Great things through SEO come to those who have the patience to go chase them down, then stick with it.
SEO success is the opposite of an overnight proposition. SEO comes with absolutely no guarantees. It’s a modern take on the most tried and true reputation-building strategy in business: build trust through proven value, again and again. Share information and news that leaves no doubt you know what you’re talking about and that you know something you feel can and will makes others’ lives better and easier.
Along the way to (hopefully) leading your target keywords’ organic rankings, some magical things happen gradually that transform unknown businesses and brands into leading measuring-stick authorities in their industries:
- You develop opportunities to listen and participate actively in the conversations that surround your customers, their needs, your products, and where they all intersect. As a result…
- You enjoy a long-term direct tap into every answer you need to know why your customers choose your product, why some consumers support your competitors, and what you can do to change that balance.
- Word-of-mouth spreads interest in consuming and sharing your content.
- As your content accumulates swelling volumes of page views and social shares, Google takes notice that users love you.
- Consistent, quality content shared on a regular basis to loyal users leads traffic to your website, where their amazement at your exceptional-quality products and services turns visitors into customers, who then proudly refer you to friends and family anywhere and everywhere they can.
Again, one last time: NONE OF THIS IS CERTAIN, NOR IS IT INSTANT. SEO builds relationships, not just traffic. Your brand can only accrue that kind of trust over long-term consistency. Anyone who “guarantees” a top search ranking or some quantifiable level of traffic is either lying or engaging in unscrupulous “black hat” SEO tactics of which you want know part – trust us, Google has no qualms de-indexing websites engaging in unethical SEO practices, which means NOBODY finds your page.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. We want to start your SEO campaign off on the right foot and keep it in-stride toward not just building effective sales funnels and watching ROI roll in, but shaping relationships with your customers that last. Remember, good things come to those who wait. The greatest go out and get it.