SEO. Three letters that have been terrifying website owners for years…
At Clear Partnering Group we think about SEO differently. We don’t see it as terrifying or confusing – and we’re not afraid to talk about it in honest, transparent terms with our clients.
SEO is actually important. It has a technical side that meets social sciences in some very unique ways. However, it’s not magic and it’s not as ambiguous as people think. Most marketing companies would rather you stay in the dark when it comes to SEO because they can keep sending those huge Google Ad Words bills. People pay for things they don’t get
Over the years we’ve noticed is that when our clients first started talking about SEO, there were tons of broad assumptions about what it was and what it could do. All those assumptions came with a healthy dose of fear… and they’d all been throwing money at that fear for too long.
There’s enough anxiety surrounding the subject that we wanted to address the fear and confusion and offer a better, more healthy way to talk about SEO.
1) Why Send People to a Website you hate?
It’s ironic to us that owners are often desperate to drive traffic to websites that they personally hate. Their websites aren’t impressive nor effective and don’t bring in new customers – so why pay to show it off? It’s a lot like your best friend bragging about his 1971 Ford Pinto and then taking it to every car show he could find.
Why have great visibility when all anyone ever sees on your site is something you aren’t happy with? SEO is a tool that should be accompanied by great content that actually means something to all those visiting your page.
Good SEO only works when you have something worth showing off.
2) Google’s product is “The Truth”
One of Google’s main assets is their search engine results. Those results are worthless unless Google preserves their accuracy and validity. By extension, Google has a high vested interest in their search results being The Truth. Maybe you’ve heard of the infamous “Google Algorithm” mentioned in semi-religious intonations. The entire goal of Google’s search function is to give people the most accurate, most truthful, most relevant results as possible. They want to give you search results that mean something so you inherently trust what you are seeing.
In short, Google’s results should be seen as some of the smartest people on the planet working to give you a list of the most relevant answers to your questions. If a competitor ranks higher than you across the board, it’s possible they are actually just more relevant than you.
It’s important to consider the possibility that your business may not be as relevant as you’d like. Real world circumstances often correlate with online SEO performance.
3.) SEO is not terrifying.
People fear of things they don’t understand. SEO feels technical and obscure. The marketing industry knows there’s lots of money to be made from fear and uncertainty. However, from a technical perspective, SEO really isn’t that complicated. The most technical part involves ensuring search engines can find the information they need to determine the content, validity, accuracy and overarching themes of your website.
There’s no “Better SEO” trick, per se as every company is basically working with the same set of rules. There’s code. Their’s content. Theirs better verbiage. And finally, there are the rules that Google tells us to follow… but there’s no trick or hidden technique that one company has that another doesn’t.
4.) Stop trying to “Trick” Google.
For better or worse, it’s possible Google knows more about your business you know about it yourself. Google also has a terrifyingly accurate idea of who is going to your business and for what reason.
Trying to trick Google into thinking your business is relevant in an area where you don’t operate or pumping your website full of verbiage about products you don’t offer are great ways to eventually land on Google’s bad side. Google knows what you are doing and they are looking to protect the accuracy (“The Truth”) and validity of their product.
The people at Google are smarter than you are, I promise. This is the company that gave us Google Earth, Google Street View, and self-driving cars that drive more safely than most of us. They also know what you do online and lots of times where and why you do it. How do you think they come up with traffic information and businesses “Busy Hours”?
Not only that, Google has rules. They’re serious about you following those rules. It’s actually possible to end up on Google’s Blacklist if you ignore those rules!
Google may temporarily or permanently remove sites from its index and search results if it believes the sites do not meet Google’s quality guidelines, or for other reasons, such as if the sites detract from users’ ability to locate relevant information.
Don’t Pay SEO “Experts”, Pay Content Creators.
Pay for content creators that can tell important stories. We firmly believe that paying photographers, videographers, designers, and writers that help show off the beautiful, accurate and engaging stories your business experiences every day is one of the best investments you can make. Marketing has become so ubiquitous and obnoxiously fake that people’s BS detectors are permanently stuck in overdrive. Putting out a message that is truthful has become cross grain. In fact, the truth now stands in stark contrast to what people expect!
Want to make an investment in your marketing? Invest in being better at what you do and then proudly to show it off!