Red Flags (SEO) Search Engine Optimization has been a term that has galvanized the Internet marketing community for the past several years. In layman’s terms, SEO is the strategy used to get a web site found and move it up the search rankings. Owners of companies go glassy-eyed for the most part when this term is uttered in their presence. Why is that you ask? Because many industry professionals (i.e., web designers and marketers) and would-be experts make wild statements about SEO such as, “If you let me administer your SEO  and your web site, I guarantee you a #1 ranking in Google searches.” In many cases this could, indeed, be done. However, the delivered results were far from what was expected.  More often than not, the web site and the company were ranked #1 on some obscure search term or page of little relevance.  Question: Did the marketer keep his word?  Answer: YES. Unfortunately, this short fall is due to one thing.  The owner or manager failed to define exactly what their expectations were.

(S) Specifics: The world of web site development and implementation is loaded with (S) Specifics.  You are, in essence, creating something from nothing; breathing life into a lifeless void; willing it to live and giving it shape and form. Here is a silly example of why specifics are so important in life. If you pull up to a Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors Ice-cream Parlor and ask the attendant for a medium ice cream cone, you will get just that.  You may have been expecting the sweet flavor of a hand-dipped strawberry ice cream cone. You take your first lick with great anticipation, only to taste the bitter flavor of coffee ice cream.  With (S) Specifics in the planning stages of the conversation, you should walk away (S) Satisfied.  With out specifics in the conversation, you’re probably going to walk away with a (S) Sour taste in your mouth.

chimpanzee_thinking_poster3Stop – Look – Listen & Think About It

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Don’t be the monkey in the middle of this emerging market. Take the time to be (S) STRATEGIC and learn all that you can about SEO in the time allowed. (S) Search for the answers that you need. They are out there. (S) Study the market and your competitors. They’re great resources to be researched.

(S) Sun Tzu, legendary military strategist and author of “The Art of War,” is probably the most profound strategist of our times.  He, himself, was not a soldier. He was a planner and philosopher who made his living marketing his skills to kings and noble Chinese leaders. Sun Tzu broke down the elements of battle into principles of practice. If followed, these principles would increase the odds of (S) Success.  All business is a  battle. We battle for supremacy in our market. We battle with our competitor for brand recognition which results in (S) Sales.

Sun Tzu advised his clients to (S) Study their adversary by getting to know their (S) Strengths and their weaknesses. Learn  all you can from your adversary’s strengths and exploit their weaknesses.

I GUARANTEE you that a major component of your competitor’s (S) Strength in their web presence are the keywords.  Keyword (S) Strategy is more than just throwing out 5- 10 descriptive words that you “FEEL” best promote your product.  Here is that pesky letter (S) again, this is where you must (S) Study the value of each keyword.  (S) Search the web, blog web sites, books, and/or service providers that you can trust for advice. These will help you grow in your knowledge. It is difficult to compete for rank for the name of a city. That name has its place in your overall  (S) Strategy.  I have found great (S) Success with long keywords. It takes practice and you must remove all knowledge and personal preconceived notions about your product.  Clear your head and ask yourself, “If I was a customer who knew nothing about my company, what search word or string of search words would I put into Google for help?”

CHESS  “The Game of STRATEGY”

scr-3d-chess-unlimitedc6ebWhen asked to describe  SEO or how it works I reply, “Imagine that you are playing an invisible game of 3-dimensional chess.  There are pieces and moves to be made to your left, your right, in front of you, and in back of you.  Now imagine that there are multiple layers of games going on independently and simultaneously above and below you. Each move you make on the level you stand on affects pieces and moves on layers both above and below you as well (an example of global  cause and affect). Move your pieces with intent. Don’t rush too quickly to make a move.  (S) Stop, look, listen, and think about your next move.  A good chess player will get into the mindset of their opponent.  If you can anticipate your opponent’s next move, you can (S) Strategically position yourself to be victorious. Truth be known, I try to plan 3-5 moves out when I play chess.

There is a great deal more  that goes into a  proper SEO (S)Strategy for a web site than just key words. There is link building (S)Strategy,  (S) Social media integration (S) Strategy, and more.  One last note, there is no cookie cutter approach to web site SEO.

Please let me know if  you found this article helpful and if you have a better understanding of SEO.