If you search the web for search engine Optimization (SEO) you will find millions, maybe billions, of articles on how to get your website to the top of Google, Bing and Yahoo! If you could be number 1 or number 2 for any given website or page wouldn’t you want that?
Of course you would! However, have you considered the following when it comes to seo:
- How competitive your industry is online?
- How much research, work, and skill is required to rank a website or given article?
- What are the financial and time resources needed?
- Your over reliance on a search engine to bring you traffic?
- What happens after they come to your site? Is it a dud or a winner?
When we talk about search engines, as website owners we have to remember that we are not their customers; those searching for information are their customers.
A search engine’s ultimate goal is to offer the best possible information to their customers based on what they are searching for. A lot goes into that and this is not a technical article that is going to go into those details.
For over ten years I’ve been building websites, engaging with social media, understanding and learning business so that I can better understand how people think, feel, and respond to websites when they arrive at them.
After working with hundreds of businesses over the last decade it has become apparent to me what the real, underlying issues are that is holding a business back. And it’s not Google!
#1 – Your Business is a Mess
A few years ago I walked into a business that repairs old large format printers. When I walked into the office from outside it just hit me like a ton of bricks.
Disorganization isn’t even the word I want to use!
There were papers and books miles high and the person at the front desk was scrambling and digging through papers trying to find what he was looking for. It was a nightmare just looking around the place.
When I was taken back to the offices to meet with the owner of the company, it wasn’t any better.
Personally in first meetings I like to learn what a business does, how it does it, what problems they solve, who the serve, and how they make a difference for their clients. This person did not even want to go there. They just want number one on Google and he wants to sell his stuff. That’s it.
His attitude was; SHOW ME THE MONEY!
Great, show me the money as well.
He shared with me all the tricks, gimmicks and tactics he wanted to employ. What a doozy.
So let me get this straight:
- You don’t know what business you’re in?
- You’re a disorganized mess?
- You have no idea what problems you solve?
- You have no clear vision, identity, or business model?
And somehow you think a website is going to solve your problems?
This is what ultimately led me down the road to coaching businesses and helping them discover their message and what business they are “really” in.
If your business is a mess and you can’t make money, your website is probably not going to help you if you’re going to do it right.
In fact, your website will expose you. It will expose that you haven’t laid the foundation for your business and it will expose that you don’t know what you’re doing.
Lesson number 1 in marketing and sales is competency. Before anyone will ever give you the chance to know, like or trust you they must feel you’re competent. I don’t care if you’re a restaurant, in the auto industry, bio-technology, a realtor, insurance, retail… it doesn’t matter. If someone is going to write you a check you must initially be:
- Educated in your industry
- Well informed
- Able to solve problems
In short, you must know your business and it cannot be in a mess!!!!
#2 – Are You Hitched to Your Ideas?
Everyone is an expert in websites, marketing, seo, social media or at least they want to be. Right?
Let me ask a question. If I just went on the internet and looked at websites that are in your industry or are your competitors; what would you think if I just came into your world and assumed, without any experience at all, that I know as much as you do? Would you like it if I told you how to do your business because I’ve looked online and got a few ideas?
I can’t tell you how many people come to me and say this is what I want and won’t listen to a thing!
I’m not sure that prospect is a good fit for me?
You apparently know something that I don’t.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an ego maniac and I’m always open to helping you have the best website possible and one that you will be proud of. After all, it is your website.
However, you don’t know what you don’t know:
- Maybe the style of layout you indicate you like doesn’t serve your audience well?
- Maybe what you like doesn’t help you shine and indicate that you can solve their problems or help them?
- Maybe your format should be different based on your type of business?
- Maybe you should be different and not copy someone else?
Don’t be so hitched to your ideas that you spend money for something that doesn’t really serve your audience.
Who’s more important; you or them?
If you have a relationship with a competent professional, please listen to them and their advice. If they can explain to you what and why they are recommending something please have an open enough mind to receive it.
Believe it or not, you don’t know everything and you probably do not understand holistically how the internet works. A competent, experienced, proven professional can show how if you’re open to learning.
Here is my suggestion; if you’re not open to learning and you know exactly what you want and you’re not open to receive ideas to help you; find a cheap web designer who do a basic brochure website.
When you do that though, be prepared to receive little to no traffic and for the traffic you do receive be prepared to not receive a single lead or opportunity.
Your website is a reflection of your company. If it’s put together wrong and offers no value, insights or help I assure you that few will link to you, comment on your blog (if you even have one), or engage with you on social media.
Your website and seo problem is because of your unwillingness to let go and allow someone to help you.
#3 – You Need More than a Search Engine
As I asked in the beginning of this article, who wouldn’t want search traffic from Google, Yahoo!, and Bing?
In reality, only a few sites can ever rank on the first page for a given keyword or phrase. There are a lot of reasons a search engine chooses one site over another. But there are a few basic principles:
- How old is your website? Young websites rarely rank well especially if they are competing with much more established websites in heavily searched terms.
- Do you have links from high authority websites to yours?
- Is your content amazing and does it relate directly to the search?
- Do you have strong social triggers from Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn? (There is some debate around social media and its impact on seo.)
- Is your website static or dynamic? Meaning do you update it often by adding new pages, content or blog articles?
These are just a few basic ideas without going over the top on the technical details.
Here is my point; if you’re going to drive traffic to your website you have to have a mind shift, a change in thinking about how you approach your marketing.
To gain influence in a search engine, it’s my opinion, especially for sites younger than two or three years old that you have to work on building a community of raving fans.
What does that mean?
You should get involved online by:
- Blogging – Offer very helpful articles that solve problems and help those who could use your products and services.
- Blog Communities – some call them directories where you engage influential people online with your articles and read, comment, and share on their articles.
- Social Media – engaging with and discovering your target audience.
If you’re going to get the attention of a search engine, you have to be active online. The days of just throwing up a static brochure website are long gone.
You do have other, expensive options to get search engine results. Here is the problem with that:
- A search engine could change its function at any time and all the money you spent will be wasted. Remember who their clients are? It’s not you. Google did this two years ago and many websites lost their rankings and never recovered.
- There are no guarantees.
- You still haven’t really thought through your business.
Putting your website and business in the hands of a search engine is dangerous. As I’ve outlined your search engine ranking probably have little to do with your website. It’s a mirror reflection of your business and of you the business owner.
Key to Success Online
Here is my key to success, and again it’s just my personal opinion:
Know your business:
- Who you are?
- Why you do what you do?
- What problems do you really solve?
- Who you do it for?
- How you do it?
Get help with your marketing and learn within marketing how to:
- Identify what needs to be done. I call this marketing vision and there should be several
- Create multiple strategies for how you will achieve your marketing vision(s)
- Create measurable goals for each strategies
- Assign tasks (objectives) to each goal that you need to take action on in order to fulfill the goal.
Once you’ve identified these things and organized your business, you can actually create clarity and focus that leads to execution.
Can you see that your seo efforts are not working because you’re not working on your business? A search engine only knows what your website tells it, and your website only knows what you put into it.
What you put into it is limited on how well you know your business, your prospects and customers, what problems they have and how your products and services are part of the solution.
Are you ready to learn more? Visit my Begin Here page and discover how you can transform your business!