There is an old adage which says “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is”. This holds true for many things in life, but it’s especially true in search engine marketing and optimization. While I understand that the industry is very young and there is still a lack of awareness as to what SEO is and what the potential benefits of a sound SEO strategy are, there seems to be an alarming amount of information out there that treats the industry as a series of tricks and voodoo spells intended to fool the search engine algorithms.
While the thought of some quick trick that propels your site to the top positions may seem very appealing, it can also be very dangerous. It’s true that things like cloaking, hidden text, stuffing keywords, hosting mirror domains and farming links may indeed push your site up the SERPs in the short term. But in the long term, these practices will not only fail to improve your online presence, they can get you penalized or even banned from the engine’s indices. Don’t lose sight of your long term goals when developing an SEO strategy. These tricks may appear to be all shiny and bright, but upon closer inspection they are nothing more than fool’s gold. With all the time, effort and money that are devoted to marketing and branding efforts, such short sighted strategies are counterproductive.
It is better to think of your SEO strategy as an important extension of your other marketing efforts. The online presence of your site will fair much better over the long term if you think of SEO along these lines. Put the effort into defining what your online business goals are. Research what keywords are important to your industry, your business and your customers. Remove any unnecessary hurdles that may keep the search engine spiders from finding your relevant content. Work on improving the linking structure of your site. Monitor your progress and track the important metrics of not only positions, but traffic, sales leads and conversions. If an SEO strategy is developed and implemented in the right way, it will be a long term contributor to your business’ branding and overall marketing strategies.
Successfully optimizing a site for the long term requires time, effort and expertise. When thought of as a component of your overall marketing strategies it will show the kinds of rewards that fool’s gold never could.