No, it’s SEO, or search engine optimization. Swarms of SEO-related issues are sweeping across the landscape like rampaging locusts in a grade B film — or like spiders crawling all over your website.
Why? Because SEO is at the top of the official list of Hot Topics for Small Business. The background chatter at business gatherings hums with questions: “What’s your SEO ranking? Have you run web analytics? Did you check SERP results today? Where does your competition rank? Did you know we dominate the SERP for (fill in obscure search term here)?”
Once you’ve been bitten by SEO, it’s hard to stop scratching the bite. I find myself in deep discussions with clients, partners and colleagues. We wrestle with what SEO means this week, how to set priorities, how to test it, how to manage it, what the metrics really mean, and more, ad infinitum. Like electronic gear that’s on even when it’s off, SEO is consuming time, energy and brainpower 24/7.
Avid amateur converts try to game the system. They cram their web copy with the most common search terms. They pack their websites with keywords, pages, tagged images, and inbound and outbound links. They display every conceivable social media link, then appoint a czar to manage all things SEO.
But your mom was right: just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
Many amateur efforts actually lower rankings, and of equal concern, the drive to cozy up to search engines may begin to contort your brand, strategy and image. Search engine results encourage you to count those you reach, rather than focus on reaching those who count — such as genuine high-likely prospects and customers.
The SEO buzz has grown so loud, it often masks the most crucial point. People, not search engines, buy products and services.
Case Study | The Negative Side of SEO
SEO | Do SERP Rankings Matter?