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Amongst most companies who don’t believe SEO works well for them, there tends to be three main schools of thought that need urgent review:

  • One is that it is a dark art using smoke and mirrors, sleight of hand and even a little Harry Potter magic. In short it’s a bit scary. Best avoided and we’ll be fine without it.  After all – isn’t a genuine website from a genuine company going to get SEO’d “naturally?”.   This is the Ostrich approach.
  • Second – the DIY approach. Keyword stuffing, building back links – as many as possible, and lots of pages. Whatever we do, it can’t do any harm…this is the “have a go” attitude.
  • The third – getting an agency to do the work, and because they are doing it, nobody else needs to worry about it and we can just crack on business as usual. Let’s call this The Abdicator.

SEO MagicOf course there are other outrageous ideas, but normally if a company isn’t prepared to really invest a little time in looking at their SEO, they will fall into one of the lists above.

So why are they so very wrong?

The Ostrich

You’ve paid good money for your website, and it deserves to be found.  It’s also vying for space on Google and other search engines with all your competitors – most of whom are SEO’ing like crazy.  So don’t dismiss SEO, just be choosy about where you get your information. Watch our site for tips and check here:  http://aspidistra.com/shopfront/seo

The Have-a-go-er

Oh you bold and intrepid explorer!  You’re possibly one of our favourites because you really want to do this stuff.  SEO is important, you know that.  And you want to roll up your sleeves and get poking around in Googles back yard.  We salute you!

However, unless you’re going to put lots of effort into keeping up to date and fresh with all the changes that Google (and the other search engines) continually offer, then you may be spending your time unwisely.  Plus, this “we can’t do any harm” attitude – actually you can.  Keyword over-stuffing, looking like a scammer or a spammer, or just changing a few of your links incorrectly – these can easily see you plummeting down the rankings.   Finally – if you need any more convincing,  do a quick time-check on how much of your valuable time you’re really allocating to SEO and how you could be spending it better.

The Abdicator

You started well – you knew SEO is important and with all good faith you’ve employed an external agency.  However, when you turned your back on them and just let them get on with things, that’s where you’ve missed out on some great opportunities.   Working with an agency needs to be a partnership.  Get the best out of your SEO by integrating all your communications and ensuring that your SEO agency is in touch with your PR and marketing departments.  Get your SEO agency involved in marketing discussions and ensure that your marketing boosts your SEO, not just the other way round.

For all of the above, here are a few home truths.

SEO Changes – it is always changing.  We need to change our beliefs about it.  It’s a dynamic arena, and without knowledge it can be a minefield.

It’s complicated

SEO is difficult to interpret – it just IS!   So many matrices, so many opportunities, figures, graphs, grids, goals.  Traffic can rise sharply – it doesn’t mean that your SEO campaign has suddenly kicked in… it could be because of a press article, word of mouth, your social media.

It’s long-term

Likewise, traffic can drop like a stone.  Now that DOES mean your SEO isn’t working!  But it might not be about what’s happened that day.  Traffic dropping could be about work you did or didn’t do on your SEO a week ago, a month ago… you see, it’s not instant.

It can be devious

Not all SEO agencies are created equal.  Whilst the majority may be excellent and very professional, there are thousands out there with a far shadier background.  Using bad practices to show you a short-term gain is just one way that these SEO agencies can operate.  The long-term outcome can be very detrimental to business, as their out-dated services and search engine manipulations can backfire in the most horrendous way.
On the up-side

Using a good agency, one that is recommended and endorsed.  One that works with you in partnership, who “gets” your requirements, and is technically skilled, enthusiastic and creative about meeting your needs, will be a major asset.   And as for all your competitors who are floundering around as ostriches, have-a-go-ers, or even abdicators with dubious agencies, well leave them to it, and be thankful they exist.  Because a good SEO agency will propel you w-a-y above them in the search engine results. Long term.  And that’s what it’s all about.

 

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