I am often asked about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Adwords advertising and Social Media Advertising when I talk with clients, friends and colleagues and as I write I realise lots of businesses make LOTS of money promoting themselves as SEO experts, SEO ranking experts and Ad experts.
When I am asked by my clients, friends or colleagues my advice to most people is this;
“Do you remember when magazines, newspapers and other print publications used to survive on advertisers revenue alone?”
Well of course this situation still exists today and companies with the largest marketing budgets and advertising spend always have the largest, glossiest adverts in the strongest page positions within a publication. Smaller companies or businesses barely afford small box adverts in the classified section at the back of the publication”.
Translated to today and digital advertising, spending advertising and marketing budget with SEO experts, SEO Ranking or Ad Specialists, in my mind, is very comparable to the printed publications example above.
“Let’s be clear, SEO experts are only interested in money”
They very quickly establish how much you have to spend and how quickly they can spend it for you. And when you have exhausted your budget they will find the next company willing to spend money with them.
“I do not believe they are interested in understanding your customers, getting into the detail of your company, understanding your USP’s and taking your business forward”.
Whilst I admit this is a very cynical view, I recall in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s, companies in a particular market sector I was involved in, each spending £100,000’s per annum on glossy ad’s in a select few publications. In some cases this made no commercial sense whatsoever and there were genuine cases of vanity-advertising, just so companies had more ad pages than their competitors in a particular edition.
“Companies not generating revenues large enough to support high advertising spends were simply pushed aside and publications simply moved on to the next companies willing to pay”.
Digital advertising represents a very similar situation.
Companies can choose to re-invest profits in SEO experts (think glossy magazines) for some short lived vanity i.e. they may potentially rank very well with sponsored adverts for as long as their budgets will sustain it, but in my opinion, this does not represent the best value for their business in the longer-term.
“So my advice is to clients, friends and colleagues is consider carefully how you spend money digitally, it is very easy to burn lots of cash without any return or results”.
Due to the ever constantly changing search engine algorithms, strong, high-quality website content is now more critical than ever, if you want audiences to find you, engage with you and learn more about your company/product or service.
Here are my top 8 Tips for being found on the internet:
Tip #1 Avoid companies saying “We can get you to the top of Page 1”
Tip #2 Create strong, visually engaging and interesting Content
Tip #3 Avoid “Keyword Stuffing your Pages” and Optimise all of your website content including Page Titles, Meta Page Descriptions and Images. HINT – If you don’t know how, ask someone who does
Tip #4 Be conversant with Google Webmaster Guidelines, Analytics and Adwords HINT – If you are not, employ the services of somebody that really understands your business who is.
Tip #5 Support all of your web activities with strong, clearly identified Social Media Strategies including Adverts, Landing Pages and Tripwires
Tip #6 Build your Newsletter Contact Database and Communicate Regularly
Tip #7 Read and analyse your Data and Act On it
Tip #8 Test, Test and Test Again