The general consensus amongst business owners and online marketers is that search engine optimization is getting a lot harder than it used to be. Not only is there more competition than ever, but Google and the other engines are keeping a close eye on tactics, meaning that you can’t over-use keywords, buy links, or engage in any of the other “old tricks” to quickly boost your rankings.
While all of those details are undoubtedly correct, we don’t think SEO is getting harder at all. In fact, we think it’s actually getting better.
Here is why: The search engines aren’t so much changing the way they do business as they are forcing us to be more specific and intentional in the way we describe our businesses online. By filtering more carefully and exposing us to other companies in the industry, they are making us think harder about which keywords matter, what geographic areas our buyers are in, what kinds of content we want to post to our business websites, and so much more.
In other words, the search engines are convincing us to make the hard choices about our companies and online marketing plans that we should be making, anyway.
That process takes a little more time, but it also yields a much higher – and longer-lasting – return on investment than simply throwing together a few landing pages ever did. It’s also yielding us smarter, more focused buyers. If we identify them correctly and give them what they need, they are likely to stay loyal to us for longer periods of time, place big orders, and be less likely to buy from someone else.
When it comes to modern search engine optimization, speed and sloppiness are no longer the name of the game. Instead, we have to focus on patience, research, and highlighting unique selling propositions to search engine spiders and customers alike.
Does any of that make SEO easier? Probably not, but it doesn’t make it harder, either – especially if you are building a business website and Internet marketing plan that you expect to succeed over the long haul.