In 2014, when I, and I bet you too, need infos on something, first thing I do is get to my smart phone, tablet or PC and ask a search engine about it. It gets me most of the time exactly the answers to my questions. SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the art of optimizing one site’s content to make it rank towards the first position for some keyword in the search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo just to name a few. Nowadays, getting to the first position is achieved mainly by building your authority in the field you target. Here’s a little parallel that exposes that. Search Engine Marketers (SEMs) and book authors alike build their authority mostly this way: By writing awesome, unique and, hopefully, actionnable content that people will want to read, share and quote. Then, some wizardry happens. Finally, it ends up in a store where you and I buys the book and share it to friends if we liked it. No one actually hates good, actionnable, quality content right?
SEO is simple yet challenging
Sure, SEO looks simple: You get some pages to target some keywords by creating some quality content that is formatted in a way that the search engines AND readers alike will like. But, never judge a book by it’s cover, they say. SEO is part science, part instinct driven. What worked yesterday might not work 2 months from now and no one really knows, not even search engine algorithm magicians, what will. Sure, one can correlate data to gain insights on what is trending right now but, just like the Caramilk, no one exactly knows how they do their magic, and that’s exactly what makes it challenging.
SEO is built around a great community
There’s always some questions that arise sonner or later that stay unanswered by our surroundings. What’s fun about SEO is that the community behind is not only smart and dedicated, it is also as friendly as a teddy bear! That being said, it’s always full of ressources but mainly full of awesome people. I love the people surrounding the SEO community: Rand Fishkin, Barry Schwartz, Justin Cutroni, Phil Nottingham, Sarah Bird, Wil Reynolds, and so on. Not only are they smart and references in their domain, they also are easy to chat with and eager to help. This way, problems get solved quicker and SEO evolves so much faster, keeping us challenged!
SEO is a game changing channel
Ever heard about Pay Per Click (PPC) or Social Media as a quick way to gain interest? If you haven’t spent the last decade under a rock, you probably heard of at least one of the two. With these channels, especially PPC, even though social medias tend to go there, to get visibility, you get to pay; that’s why they call it Pay Per Click, Pay Per X, Y, Z. SEO is a game changing channel. Not only does it cost most of the time less than PPC in the long run, it also continues to grow once it kicks in! You read right, when it kicks in: SEO is no instant candy. It takes time to build content, adjust on-page elements and build a link profile, but when it’s done and it starts to kick in, you will see over time an increase every month in traffic, only thinking about writing more great content. SEO is the web marketing equivalent of free beer!
SEO is a never ending story
SEO is no setup and forget solution, but that’s why I love it. Since search engine algorithms are in constant evolution, you can’t just optimize and forget about it over a long period of time: You have to keep an eye on it. The fun part of it is that it’s not to do all over again every once in a while, but more like a perpetual evolution of your strategy. You do your on-site magic, build links and create content. One will then tweak their on-site elements with a new approach, create some different content, manage and build new links and look for new ways of boosting their results. The more you do this, the more you get results. SEO is a never ending story that never really gets old!
SEO pays off in the long run
Another great advantage of Search Engine Optimisation is that it pays off in the long run. I mean, which marketing channel aside of SEO will get you steady or increasing visits month-to-month weather or not you put an effort into it every week? We see it all the time: People want immediate results and go with PPC, and I’m okay with that, but the day always come where their PPC campaign’s bids decide to go nuts and increase as competitors do the same. Then, they look at their numbers and take part of their PPC budget and invest it in SEO to slowly get rid of PPC. On the other side, businesses that start with an SEO campaign and use some PPC to get on top of heavy competition short term tend to be very happy with their overall results after 3 to 6 months, which is where SEO kicks in and starts to give free visits!
SEO is an investment, PPC an expenditure
Finally, the main reason why SEO is awesome is because I like to see it as an investment. Just like any other investments, SEO starts with capital. You will spend time and money optimizing and building your SEO but once it kicks in, you will collect profit and only need to maintain the momentum. Sure, you’ll make sure to look for signs that could make you loose momentum, like algorithm updates or bad links, but you’ll never need to spend more money to get visits from an already optimized page. And that’s why I love SEO.
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