I have been busy preparing for a local business lunch and learn on Thursday, and one major item small business owners sometimes don’t understand is search engine optimization (SEO).
Don’t get me wrong, getting found on search engines is more important than ever, but search engines are better than ever at finding you!
1. Search engines don’t buy your product.
None of the small business owners I know have ever had Google or Microsoft contact them for their services or products. And even if they did, a person from the corporation would be buying it, not the search software.
People buy your product, algorithms don’t.
2. Google has not found a trick it likes.
I remember building my first website in 2001 or 02. I loved the exploration of technology and the idea that I could build virtual community. Then I learned about how you needed to get links (they could be purchased), put keywords in all the right places (like, every other word), and I could be rich and successful.
I didn’t build another website for ten years. Yeah, I managed some sites, blogged a bit, and joined the social media revolution, but the tricks of SEO turned me off the internet.
Fast forward to today:
- If you write stilted jargon in order to be found by a search engine, your website gets penalized.
- If you purchase links from a link network, your position on Google drops.
- If your site solely exists as a sales page, your Page rank goes down.
How do you rank on Google today? You provide relevant and fresh content that engages your audience so they organically provide links to your site.
3. There’s More Than One Way To Get Found Online
Search is incredibly important, but it’s not the only way to find people.
Maps, apps, social networks, review sites, and offline activity are all relevant and important ways to build relationships.
4. Relationships, Relationships, Relationships
As we continue down the fast path of modern technology (hence my photo for this post), the faster we realize that people are our customers, the better.
SEO matters, but it is not all that matters. Your amazing customers, friends, family, neighbors, and awesome people you have not met yet are the reason to run a business, and the reason to build a great, content- rich website.