Organic SEO: Is it a Waste of Time for Value Based Business?
I'm getting used to comments in the community like, "Win at SEO by Ignoring It", "Don't Waste your Time with SEO", and the general idea that we can just write great content and everything will fall into place.
Maybe you've heard, "don't write for SEO" a few times and you think using SEO will make you look like you are writing for a machine and talking in some unnatural way. Writing for a machine is referring to old-school tactics where a keyword was used over and over in an attempt to make a page relevant for a query. You don't have to worry about this. Google's search engine is getting smarter and understands what the words on the page are about.
I use SEO as a tool to strengthen understanding. To understand how your audience searches.
Can you understand your audience without an SEO strategy?
Some people can. Most can't. At least not in the beginning of their online experience. It usually takes trial and error, and time. So much time. The process usually involves months of coaching to find a niche. Then, after many iterations of offers, some people find their sweet-spot. That place where natural strength, passion, and personal satisfaction intersect with what your ideal client actually wants to buy from you.
Truly understanding your audience (more specifically your ideal client), and their needs, isn't as easy as it looks because you are always stuck with your own ideas about who they are and what they want.
You are stuck with you own ideas about how to structure your website, what to say, and how to be found.
All the while you are missing a vast world of data that can tell you so much about what your ideal client is interested in, what they are looking for, and what they want to hear from you.
There is a conversation taking place between your ideal client and Google, and you are missing the opportunity to be a part of it.
SEO can strengthen sales, social media and content strategy. Optimizing for your audience simply uses the search engine as a tool, to connect you with your right people.
Sales and SEO Can Work Together
Sales is understanding needs and solutions. Good sales people put a considerable amount of time into understanding what a qualified prospect looks like from a demographic and psychographic profile. They know who they should be spending time with and who is just stringing them along.
You might be more familiar with the concept of "defining an ideal client" than qualifying a prospect, but it is essentially the same thing. It feels a little different because we aren't using the word "prospect" and I think that just using the language of "prospecting" or "targeting" feels too much like old-school, aggressive sales. Selling often has the feel of a grueling battle and the language to match.
This sets up the obvious dilemma; we want to avoid selling, but we need people to buy. Fortunately, with the right approach, we can create a sales process that is every bit as genuine as we are. Our visitor can take themselves through self-qualification (on their own). In other words, we simply help them find what they are looking for and let them determine if they are a good fit.
With an ideal client profile, we can start to understand the person who is searching and how they search. By being at the right place, in search results, at the right time, the sales process has started and our prospect just raised their hand to say they are interested. They are looking for a specific solution and they found ours. The work isn't over. Getting people to our website is a great start but there's much more to do. We still have to answer the question, why us? They have a lot of choices and it only takes one click back to keep looking.
Social Media and Search Work Together
Social media is intricately tied to your SEO strategy. The organic approach simply takes the view that growth happens over time and involves genuine interest, care, and understanding (and a lot of weeding out of tactics that are unnatural). Social signals like shares, likes, plus-ones, comments, and tweets have an increasingly positive effect in strengthening ranking factors.
Creating content that is shareable, tweetable, and liked in social channels isn't the same type of content you'll create to sell your services but it is equally important. People want to feel good about what they are buying and it helps when they feel good about the brand they are buying from.
Using Google +, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and whatever new comes tomorrow, means we have to know our ideal client at a greater depth to know what channels to use and what conversations to engage in.There are conversations and then there's the important conversation. The important conversation is the one that you completely commit to, or to paraphrase an old adage, one shouldn't try to sit on two chairs.
It shapes the way you frame your solution, it forms the way people think about your brand, and defines the values you represent. This conversation crosses boundaries from your website to social media. As you become deeper involved in the world your ideal client lives in, you become better at engaging in all channels.
SEO and Content Strategy Work Together
Staring at a blank screen is intimidating. Knowing what words to use, and how to talk to the person reading your website isn't easy. The default is to talk about what we are interested in, to give the reader the best view of who we are and hope that it clicks. It so often falls short.
To connect on an emotional level with our readers and move visitors to buyers takes a deeper understanding of the paradoxes and patterns that push emotional buttons.
Organically Building an Audience
Organically building an audience takes time. Your online business lives here, online. Knowing how this environment works, how search works and how your ideal client searches isn't about writing for SEO, it is about writing for real people. People who perform searches.
Learn more about working together and designing an Organic SEO Strategy for your business.