I recently attended an interesting seminar looking at future trends in SEO, organised by General Assembly and Hyperclick.
Here at EML Wildfire, we believe that SEO is a crucial part of the PR and marketing mix and so we are constantly integrating SEO techniques into the work we are doing for our technology PR clients.
Because of this approach, it is important to stay up to speed with developing trends. So I thought I’d share some of the insights – new and old – that I picked up over a series of blog posts.
Some fundamentals things to consider before embarking on SEO…
The first thing to bear in mind when considering SEO is that it’s not a quick-fix panacea for everything.
However you manage your SEO strategy, it would be wrong to think that a quick blast of activity will get you to the top of the SEO rankings overnight.
Nor should you then expect to be able to stay at the top of the pile without sustained effort, (or even to automatically assume that getting to the top of the rankings will necessarily do you any good).
The ROI of getting to the first page of Google for any given search result is highly dependant on the unique circumstances of each business. You’re by no means guaranteed to see the millions start pouring just because you’ve hit the #1 spot on Google. In fact, depending on your setup, it could make no difference at all.
No quick wins or cheap tricks
You need to dip your toes in the water (perhaps experimenting with search terms via Google Adwords, and looking at your site structure) to closely examine exactly how high rankings on typical search terms will translate into profit.
In any case, over the last couple of years, the ROI on getting your site consistently listed on the first page of Google has diminished by about two thirds. There are a variety of reasons for this surprising fact, but chief amongst them is the fact that people are becoming more discerning in how they use Google results.
And sometimes SEO simply won’t be the right solution for you. This is why it’s vitally important you go through this period of introspection at the beginning of the process (and a lot of this is just common sense).
Another fundamental consideration is that SEO is not the be-all-and-end-all. Of course you can use technical tweaks and tips to improve your rankings, but this will only get you so far. It was much easier in the good-old-days when you could simply link to your site from dozens of friends’ sites. The bag of black-hand ‘tricks’ from which SEOs can draw without Google noticing is getting ever smaller.
Forget the magic
Rather than seeing SEO as a magical, simple solution, it should be treated as part of the wider potential mix of PRing, advertising and just getting on and doing your job to make a compelling product.
In the next blog on this topic we’ll look briefly at on-page SEO; the fundamentals you need to consider in terms of what’s actually *on* your site.