Rethinking SEO

Hello. I’m an SEO and today will be the same as any other day. I will turn on my laptop, goof around looking at funny pictures of cats and witty memes for a few hours until I realize I’m supposed to by optimizing my website’s rank. I’m supposed to be analyzing competitor’s backlinks and trying to steal them away as quickly and with as little effort as possible. I’m supposed to be creating one hundred new forum profiles and getting more people to link triangularly. Get my blogroll count up and buy some Fiverr gigs. Eat, sleep, repeat.

And then it finally hits me. Since when did my job of internet marketing become about listing my website in thousands of useless directories? When did it become about how many new Squidoo lenses I have or how many followed blog comments I posted? This is not real marketing. And this is the reason why SEOs are having trouble delivering results.

seo tips

As an SEO I am all for bringing a customer the best product available. And truth be told, I think Google has the same thing in mind. So why have SEOs decided to take the easy way out when it comes to internet marketing? Why have we decided to go for short-term (and usually exhaustible) results instead of a long-term gain with better ROI? In short, it’s because search engines let marketers get lazy. They let companies manipulate the system and get to the top of the SERPs by simply paying for lame marketing techniques. Tactics that were designed to rank but offered nothing to the consumer. To remedy this internet epidemic, I believe I have found the cure- the SEO antidote.

It’s simple really. Build great content and the ranking will follow. Now before you click the back button and forget everything I’ve said, hear me out. I am not saying you don’t need to do good onsite optimization. SEOing your own domain is essential to ranking well. But after you have hit all your keywords and put together a site that can be easily crawled and indexed, you need to stay away from getting backlinks abnormally. This is inorganic and as Google has proven time and again, the inorganic junk always gets sorted out. It may take time, but you will be caught.

My former SEO mentor taught me an important lesson. He said, “If a company cannot survive without ranking high on Google, then they probably aren’t a very good company.” So think about your business model. Do you rely on rank to sell your product? And if so, do you really think your product is the best available for the price? It’s time for SEOs to go back to marketing to the consumers needs, not what robots and crawlers want to see. So let’s try something crazy. Let’s try something so far in left field that no other SEO will try it. Let’s create content for the customer.

Write good posts, make quality videos, and provide excellent information. Do these things and the links will happen organically. And an organic link is better than any link you will ever buy. SEO pros will tell you, and I agree, that if you make good content, people will naturally link to it and those links won’t evaporate after the next Panda or Penguin rolls into town. This will give you the best ROI, hands down. So let’s stop wasting our time, Google’s time and the time of our potential customers. Let’s market our products for consumers. Let’s provide them with the products and information they are searching for and let the profits speak for themselves. Don’t believe me? Then please let me know. I’d love to hear of the story of a legitimate, long term business that relied solely on SEO and did no real marketing for the consumer.

Good luck fellow internet marketers!

About the Author: Andrew Hill is the Content Developer of Reilly Realtors, an Austin, TX based real estate brokerage.