There was no commercial internet in the 80's, but that doesn't mean that we can't reach into the recesses of our past to see that, everything we know now about SEO, we already knew back then. How? From the greatest, most magical music of all time: 80's hair band glam rock!
They just don't make music like this anymore, and it's a shame. The sweet sound of rock'n'roll has never tasted better. All it takes is a reflective look at some of these song titles to realize that these guys knew their online marketing! (Though I'm sure they were all too wasted to even know it!)
I always seem to run into people who read a little about SEO and think It's So Easy (Guns N Roses). Throw in a few meta tags and a title, and you're all set, right? Actually, there's more to it than that. What It Takes (Aerosmith) to perform SEO correctly is more than just a basic understanding of how search engines work. In fact, you have to be something of a Modern Day Cowboy (Tesla) if you want your pages to rank above the competition. A good SEO will Rock You Like A Hurricane (Scorpions), making sure you get the results you want.
SEO has a pretty bad history with spammers. Heck, I think just about any SEO who has been in the business for more than a decade has spammed at least once! Back then we were Runnin' With The Devil (Van Halen), but we really weren't Foolin' (Def Leppard) anybody but ourselves. When Google came on the scene, they gave us more than Looks That Kill (Motley Crue), they gave a hardcore Shout At The Devil (Motley Crue) and combated spam like nobody's business.
Spammers today are a different beast than ten years ago. You could say back then it was just our Youth Gone Wild (Skid Row). Everything was new. Today, there isn't so much ignorance going around. Every spammer is a Wanted Man (Ratt), not just to Google, but to all legit SEO's out there.
Spammers: you're not making the internet better. You're cluttering it with your crap. People want to fall in love with websites, but You Give Love A Bad Name (Bon Jovi). And for that, well, you can just Burn In Hell (Twisted Sister).
But, the real problem with websites that use spam techniques is that, while they may rank well for a while, eventually they'll go down in a Blaze of Glory (Jon Bon Jovi).
In online marketing, there is such a thing as love at first site. Every first time visitor comes to you with the Eyes of a Stranger (Queensryche), and you have just fractions of a second to answer the question: Is This Love? (Whitesnake). If you give them love at first site, you've got a convert and a customer. If not, you lose.
For too long, the needs and wants of visitors have been ignored. Instead of falling in love with your site, they come thinking, "Please, Don't Treat Me Bad!" (Firehouse). Your audience is more than just a traffic count or a conversion rate. They are your customers, your evangelists, your survival! You need to look at each and every customer in the eye and say "Oh, dear Sweet Child O' Mine (Guns N Roses), there is No One Like You (Scorpions) in all the world.
You have to take the time to know who your audience is and what they need. Then build your SEO and marketing strategy around meeting those needs.
If you think SEO is just about rankings, Welcome To The Jungle (Guns N' Roses) of online marketing. While businesses may tell you they want rankings, in reality, it's conversions that are Wanted Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi).
A lot of SEO's Runaway (Bon Jovi) from talking about conversions. They just want to bring you traffic, traffic, and more traffic. But, what's the point of traffic without sales? You want your visitors to think of your site as Home Sweet Home (Motley Crue) and to be Still Loving You (Scorpions) from the time they land on your site through the end of the purchase process.
If you already know the importance of having strong SEO and conversion friendly content on your website, then you're definitely Nobody's Fool (Cinderella). Unfortunately, too many website owners still don't get it. If you want your visitors to come Back for More (Ratt) then you have to give your content a Reason To Live (Kiss).
Content provides the justification your visitors need to complete the purchase. If you could hear your visitors thoughts, they'd say "Tell Me! (White Lion), Why are your products better? How is your service is more thorough? Can you meet my needs? Why should I trust you over your competitors?" In short, they'll say, "Talk Dirty To Me (Poison), and tell me why I need you!"
If you can't do that with great content, you'll have a site that's just like any other. Nothing special.
If you have a great website but nobody is linking to it, you're Alone Again (Dokken). You might as well tell all of your grand marketing plans to "Kiss Me Deadly" (Lita Ford), because a new site without links might as well not exist.
When your sales-less website is asking you to "Pour Some Sugar On Me" (Def Leppard)... you better take heed. Your website just needs some lovin'. Good link marketing plans are not easy, nor are they cheap, but they are essential for new websites to be successful.
Good SEO takes time. Not just the implementation of a solid SEO strategy, but for the engines to translate all that hard work into good rankings. Once you have optimized your pages, you've got to have Patience (Guns N' Roses). But, don't just sit back and Wait (White Lion) for the magic to happen. Be proactive and continue to look for opportunities to improve your site for search engines and visitors.
SEO and website marketing is an ongoing process. Sometimes you feel like you're going Round and Round (Ratt), but there is really more to it than that. It's about continuously finding new keywords to optimize and fixing ongoing site issues as they are discovered.
Don't Stop Runnin' (Y&T) to your analysis tools to assess the on-page optimization, architectural, and usability issues. You may think to yourself, "Here I Go Again" (Whitesnake), but revisiting your SEO regularly is an essential part of achieving and maintaining SEO dominance.
The great thing about SEO is that it doesn't always have to be a Shot In The Dark (Ozzy Osbourne). Routinely looking through your analytics software to see if you're visitors love you, hate you, or are In & Out of Love (Bon Jovi) with you is important. Sometimes you make a change to help improve search engine rankings, but it turns into Bad Medicine (Bon Jovi) for conversions. You don't have to ask each visitor to "Tell Me What You Want" (Zebra), you can let your analytics do the talking.
In the world of SEO, Every Rose Has It's Thorn (Poison). Sometimes there is a very delicate balance between top rankings and better conversions, or rankings for one keyword vs. another. You simply can't expect to be #1 for every keyword, or that your #1 ranking will produce as many conversions as a better targeted #2 ranking!
Everyone wants to be on the first page. But, sometimes you have to accept being Seventeen (Winger) for one keyword if that helps you improve another keyword that drives more traffic or conversions. Some keywords are better as a Fallen Angel (Poison) if they don't contribute to profits.
Good SEOs will have a bit of a Wild Side (Motley Crue). They are always on the look out for The New Thing (Enuff Z'Nuff) that is going to help their clients gain profits. Notice that I didn't say better rankings! That's a part of it, but profits matter most. Anyone telling you otherwise is involved in some Monkey Business (Skid Row) and can go Jump (Van Halen) off a cliff. Outside the box SEO is usually results driven SEO!
If you've been around SEO long enough, you know that, ultimately, you're just Livin' On a Prayer (Bon Jovi) that Google doesn't screw with their algorithm so much that you lose all your rankings. There is nothing worse than getting figuratively tossed aside like a Rag Doll (Aerosmith) while Google is Bringin' On The Heartbreak (Def Leppard). It makes you want to Bang Your Head (Quiet Riot) against the wall while screaming out, "Somebody Save Me!" (Cinderella), as the Tears Are Falling (Kiss).
But, that's the risk we all take. This is why having secondary online marketing strategies is essential!
Properly implemented SEO and additional online marketing strategies will, ultimately, bring the sweet flood of success as you see rankings, conversions, and sales pushing their way upward. When all your online marketing efforts are going well, you'll think Heaven's On Fire (Kiss) while you're living in Paradise City (Guns N' Roses)!
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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