The statement runs around that "if you aren't on top of the search engine standings, you don't exist."
Unfortunately, that is more false than true.
This isn't to say that SEO isn't needed - it very much is - but your business doesn't have to depend on using SEO for the entirety of its online marketing.
That is just another form of addiction: giving complete control over one aspect of your business to a single source, such that your progress is measured only by a single metric. Much like an addict needing their next "fix", your marketing will go to all ends to maintain and expand your SEO results - even going to find places where you are ranking extremely well, but will never result in sales.
According to Forrester Research (as reviewed on myHermes), 30 percent of purchases start with an email from a retailer. 48 percent say that their buying process probably starts with reviews from a social platform like Facebook. The report said that just 39 percent of web transactions began from clicking on organic or paid search results.
The key point is that search engine searches provide new prospects. Social platforms will provide relevance to their possible conversion to a buyer, as does any sales pages on your site - which is on-page content quality. Your relationships with customers will retain them as clients. 3/4's of this sequence doesn't require SEO.
Here's some other related links of interest down this line:
The summary is that while Google continues to dominate the mass of search engine queries, it's not going to give you anything but a portion of the customers you can have if you diversify your approach.
One key in all this is that the Internet looks to be simply amplifying natural and traditional buying patterns people have developed over the centuries. Yes, people respond to ads. Yes, people now utilize search to wade through the tons of data available.
But when YouTube is getting more search traffic than Google proper, and Amazon has a greater buying reach on mobile and the web, then you would be in error to solely and only work on making your site rank well on Google in order to get new customers.
Frankly, what this says is that you should take that site content and do several things:
1) Yes, get it optimized on-site so Google and the other search engines can categorize it easily. But also,
2) Convert it to several videos and put long keyword-rich descriptions and links on YouTube.
3) Convert it to an ebook and sell it via Lulu.com through Amazon ( as well as through Smashwords, among others).
4) Compile your email list and maintain your relationships through it.
5) Create regular new content and cross-publish everything through the above.
There's a great short blog post about someone getting their book to the top ten list on Amazon via Lulu. (http://www.lulu.com/blog/2012/06/lulu-books-amazon-best-sellers/) You'll note that they promoted it to their list, which resulted in a flood of orders - catapulting their book onto the top-10 list where it stayed. And then it was easier to find (and buy) on Amazon. So these elements tend start a "stacking effect" as they interact with the others.
Which means you link to your Amazon author and book sales page from your site, and your ebook has hot-links to your site and your author page, and your emails have hot-links to a "resource" page which has these links, and so on.
This is the point here - that these all work together. Note that you can also give away that ebook you write to your list as an opt-in - or make a shorter version which is a come-on to buy the Amazon version (even give a discount coupon for those who do.)
The key point is that there is a much wider world out there than just SEO.
And if you do have a company who is doing your SEO, make sure they are also in syncopation with your overall Marketing planning.
You'll avoid addiction, as you understand how SEO is just a small (and getting smaller) part of your overall promotion-conversion-relationship marketing plan.
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