Put Your Money Away! Stop Spending It on SEO

Chad VanCalster
Chad VanCalster Business Development Specialist, Sonix Studio

Posted on December 1st 2012

Put Your Money Away!  Stop Spending It on SEO

SEO and Social MediaYes, there was a time that little tricks and cheats would skyrocket you to the top of the search engine rankings.  That time has come and gone, and unfortunately it may be time to fire your SEO company.

Now don’t get me wrong, your website still needs to be optimized for SEO.  If you haven’t done that, you still need to.  But what it really comes down to is good keyword-rich content and brand popularity.  Popularity is measured in many different ways, and yes, Social Media is now one of them.

One of the biggest mistakes I see in SEO is that business owners tend to focus on the ranking rather than the results they see from that ranking.  For example, we had a customer come to us for help with their social media, but they thought they were good with SEO.  After-all, they ranked #1 for about 5 different keywords.  Sounds great, right?

Well when we looked at their stats, they got absolutely no traffic from those keywords.  That’s right -zero,  nada,  none.   That means nobody was using those search terms at all and they weren’t getting any results out of those rankings.

Our philosophy is to follow the traffic.  If you follow the traffic the SEO results will come.  Focus on Social Media.  The more fans you have, the more likely your content will be shared.  Create engaging content.  This is how you beat the system. People share engaging content.  This is what brings in more eyeballs and more awareness to your business.  As content gets shared, the search engines will notice.  You’ll start to move up the rankings.  When that happens, the magic begins.

I am by no means trying to imply that SEO isn't important.  It is.  In my opinion though, your money is better spent blogging and spending time on social media than on monthly SEO.  Hire a guest/ghost blogger instead.  That’ll bring in more ROI and help you in your search engine rankings as well.  Spend it on Google Ads.  Or hire a part time employee to help with Social Media.  If you build it – AND PROMOTE IT – they will come.

Chad VanCalster

Chad VanCalster

Business Development Specialist, Sonix Studio

Chad VanCalster is a businesss development specialist with Sonix Studio, a web development, design, internet marketing with offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Dallas, Texas. A Computer Science graduate of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Chad started his career consulting for large corporations in the northern Wisconsin region, including Wisconsin Tissue, Georgia Pacific and Schneider National, among others.

Through experiences with marketing within his own company, Chad became a student of Internet Marketing, with a focus on Social Media.  That eventually branched into helping clients with THEIR Social Media Marketing.  Chad is an expert at using social media to expand your credibility and impact in your chosen markets.

See Full Profile >

Comments

Kent Ong
Posted on December 2nd 2012 at 4:53AM

Hi Chad, rather than using only one type of strategy, we should use different types of strategy. If we too focus on SEO or social media or afflicate programme, what if they are no more search engines, no more social media platforms (who knows).

I suggest we carefully study customers requirements and draft an online marketing plan which includes different strategies rather than focus only one.

Socialbarrel
Posted on December 2nd 2012 at 1:46PM

I think SEO in general sense is overlooked, as just link building-  black or white. Guest blogging is still SEO, and probably the most legit off site SEO you could do - and you get direct traffic. 

Samuel Chan
Posted on December 3rd 2012 at 5:12AM

Back to the old saying of content creation, "Write for humans not robots (search engines)".

I wrote about why social-friendly content are increasingly triumphing over traditionally search-friendly content with the introduction of agent identity platforms such as google+ here:
http://www.officialsamuel.com/blog/google-plus-author-rank/

I don't agree with Kent's suggestions on the possible extinction of search and social media platforms. Search is here to stay. Social networks are here to stay. Who is to say that both would not evolve, but one thing is for sure. Human are inherent social creatures, and human has a natural tendency to seek for information. Interestingly, they have proven to be really effective at doing both since the times of web directories (pre-Google era).

I do agree that our digital marketing mix should consists of several avenues and channels, but an emphasis on one over another is perfectly sensible and practical. 

Chad VanCalster
Posted on December 3rd 2012 at 3:46PM

Some good points below.

The point of the article is that the old practices of SEO are dead. If your SEO company has changed their methods of SEO to blogging more, building social media networks, and sharing content, then they are no longer a SEO company, they are an internet marketing company.  In this case, my article doesn't apply to you.

Unfortunately, I see too many companies that still market their old tactics.  We lost a potential website  sale to a company that promised first page rankings (at $75/month for hosting) or he didn't pay.   Anybody that knows what it really takes to get first page rankings knows that they aren't going to get there using relevent keywords with only $75/month.  $75/month isn't enough marketing time to do everything that is needed.

That was about 5-6 months ago.  I should follow up to see how that is going for him.

Good backlinks ARE important.  How/where they come from are important too. Unfortunately, SEO companies tend to focus on their reports of how many backlinks you have and the PR rank of those sites.  All of this means squat if you don't get any traffic from those placements.   Creating relevant and share-able content generates traffic and potential leads -  your most important factor in business.

If your SEO company isn't drawing in traffic, it's time to re-think your strategy.

 

Wesley Picotte
Posted on December 4th 2012 at 12:04AM

While it's apparent that social media now can play a role in creating search visbility, this post glosses over elements of SEO that remain critically important, seemingly to position social as some kind of online marketing elixer.

For example, it mentions "good keyword-rich content". What does this mean? What keywords? What content? How do either map to the buyer's journey? How do they map to the site? And about the site itself, what is its ability to rank for competitive terms? If it cannot rank for high-volume, relevant terms, what issues are present? To infer that this scenario is caused by a lack of a social strategy, or that it doesn't require SEO expertise, is incorrect.

The post also highlights the example of a site's optimization that produced rank but not traffic. This isn't an SEO issue. If indeed the site was optimzed for these terms (vs. those simply being what the site ranks for), that SEO did a good job.

The issue is with strategy, and you can buy a crappy SEO strategy just as easily as you can a crappy social strategy. As a side note, I'll add that the point of SEO is results, not web traffic. If a site's busines goal is to drive leads, the SEO goal is to drive qualified traffic that converts -- leads being the results in this case.

There is a lot of commentary right now about what social means in terms of SEO. The same is true of the confleunce between SEO and PR. Some of it is really valuable, and what's evident is that connecting SEO, traditional and emergent marketing practices provides an optimized marketing mix.