Following on from an article written elsewhere at the end of 2007, about the insistence of some “experts” that they are achieving top listings on Google for a particular search phrase, I was today astonished that still this is highlighted as successful SEO activity. And while I suppose it is successful at what it was created to achieve, it’s wasted effort by missing out the fundamental step of knowing what your customer is actually looking for!
It bothers me that this is being promoted as the way to carry out SEO. Such vanity is really easy to pander to – especially when nobody else is trying to achieve the same – so they are happy bunnies. It’s not something I will enable or carry out for my clients or friends unless there is a sensible reason for using phrases that nobody actually searches for.
It could be that I’m missing something, but I suspect not – funnily enough there’s a good reason why I focus on Internet marketing strategy. I do wonder if perhaps I should stop being quite so insistent on giving thorough, results-based value, some of which is not what people want to hear, and make money out of what I can do. However, to my mind, giving clients a false sense of success is dishonourable and downright unethical – the result of this is that I have to dodge the occasional sideways swipe at my reputation from dissatisfied ex-clients, but I can live with that. I’ll stick with being authentic in my marketing.
It may be that the chosen phrases are intended to be contentious and not meant to be of value from a business point of view, other than to point out to people that they have achieved a high listing on Google for this particular phrase. And they do generally provide relevant content for that phrase, they are doing the right things from that point of view, but just imagine how powerful and beneficial it would be for their business if they’d researched and chosen phrases that people actually use. Of course the whole point may be to score points somewhere along the line – fair enough – but to actually label it as successful is inaccurate, incomplete. The point of SEO is to be an active contributor to your Internet marketing, surely.
If you’re going to bother, why not first discover what your intended visitors actually search for, and whether they do even look for you on the web. For some the Internet is not the route to market; it can support the route to market, but some sectors and services just may not be using the Internet as their way of finding out about you. Of course taking action now is going to reap rewards, but to celebrate an empty achievement is vanity, nothing more.
If you’re going to make the effort to try to attract people to your website, find out what those people are actually searching for. It’s not rocket science, but is fundamental. So time to get busy practicing what I preach and show those of you that want more business how to achieve that through the Internet.