It is virtually easy to find thousands of posts, articles, blogs, definitions, tips, strategies and what have you about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) … a lot of people talk about SEO and discuss what it is… but in this really brief post, I will tell you six things that SEO is not.
SEO is not a make money online opportunity or a get rich scheme; people have however made some money by using SEO as part of an overall strategy to drive visitors to product/service offers found on their websites.
SEO is not marketing; while there maybe similar principles utilized in the practice of SEO, SEO is not itself marketing but a method of getting your message across to achieve marketing goals, the same way advertising is not marketing.
SEO is not rocket science; it does not take genius to learn it. It does however need you to learn by doing and making mistakes. A lot of important SEO lessons will be found not on books and manuals but will be learned from experience, the information you find on books and manuals easily gets outdated because the rules change often. SEO is about playing the search engines’ game, where a majority of the rules to winning the game are actually kept secret by them. It helps if you are a person who documents what you do, measures results of your actions, creates hypothesis based on known facts and tests these to prove or debunk them.
SEO offers no guarantees; a top keyword ranking might not always increase your traffic significantly, or even if it does, it is not a guarantee that your business or sales will improve or increase. However if you do have the top ranking and are getting the traffic from that keyword, you now just have to tweak and test your site to find a way to improve conversions. SEO sends traffic to a website, and if a website is optimally set-up then the website owner can expect to get a good number of inquiries via email or calls, or even sales (if the website allows transactions). Converting that lead into a customer depends on what the website or business owner does to seal the deal. It works pretty much like a brick and mortar business like a store for example, that sells different kinds of flowers in different types of arrangements; the flower shop advertises on radio, TV or newspapers to get people in the door; SEO is a means to getting people through that virtual door.
However, a good SEO consultant is also likely to be a good online marketer who can advise website owners how to increase their conversions once visitors hit their website. At the end of the day it is not about the amount of traffic, but the amount of conversions from that traffic. And, a good SEO Consultant knows how to do the right keyword and market research to identify the right keywords to rank for so you don’t end up spending all that money to get to number one for a keyword that does not deliver any traffic or delivers non converting traffic.
SEO is not enough; it is not the be all and end all of traffic generation; while it is indeed an effective method of getting visitors to a website, there are countless other ways to generate traffic. The problem with depending too much on rankings on search engines (an SEO result) for your traffic / visitors / customers is, if that ranking disappears for whatever reason, your business also disappears with it.
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