Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective marketing strategies on the internet, so why do so many marketers take it for granted by developing SEO blindness? The SEO process is multi-faceted and detailed, requiring coordination between client and agency, as well as among many departments such as marketing, IT, and more. It also takes time to implement and realize results. But despite these obstacles, the rewards are huge and long lasting. Many companies have SEO blindness, as shown in the examples below.
Instant gratification as SEO blindness
The advancement of technology gives near-instant access to any bit of information at your fingertips in search engines. Instant gratification is more apparent than before, and people generally feel they don't have time to develop strategies for the long term. People want results now. This is especially true in the world of internet marketing, where specific placements of keywords in search engine rankings can lead to huge increases in traffic and sales. The brass ring is very clear, but often the time, effort, proper planning, and biggest opportunities for gains get ignored for the sake of a quick fix.
SEO is favored as an internet marketing strategy for the following reasons:
- Reach -- Search engines have access to potentially millions of searchers. Even a small niche percentage of searchers can lead to big payoffs.
- Free advertising -- All marketing is a cost investment. However, if a search engine likes your website, this is in essence "free" to get your site in front of those thousands and possibly millions of potential customers. Keyword rankings equate to "free" marketing once in place.
- Good ROI -- Time and money spent on properly optimizing your website yield extremely lucrative and profitable long term results, once optimization is implemented.
- Increased brand awareness -- Saturating the web with your brand not only yields keyword related traffic, but also elevates your brand as an authority on your specific products and services.
"Build it and they will come" mentality
That being said, business website owners are still under the impression that if they build a website without SEO in mind, stuff it with keywords, and launch, people will flock to it -- and they will magically increase sales. Then, when this tactic isn't as successful as they hoped, they turn to an SEO strategist to improve their site. Often, they feel the results should be instantaneous, and they don't account for shifts in search engine algorithms, search trends, the competitive landscape, and tragically, almost completely ignore the failings of their own site and the contribution it may have on their lack of search engine presence. SEO experts often come aboard and have to fix previous attempts of what I've deemed "website malpractice" -- sites that were not built with SEO in mind from the beginning.
Business owners often lack patience and an understanding of how SEO works. It is definitely not a quick fix that will obtain instant results. While it is possible to see results quickly, this should not be the expectation. SEO is not just cramming keywords on a website for rankings. It involves keyword analysis, traffic analytics measurement, identification of end goals and how they relate to the search trends, analysis of the competitive landscape, website architecture design review, content revisions and additions, analysis of missed opportunities, as well as offsite factors such as content syndication, natural link building, and brand awareness techniques that could involve social media as well. SEO takes time, focus, and proper planning and analysis to be truly successful. Once successful, the opportunities will present themselves and yield immense results.