7 Ways to Avoid Optimizing the Toxic

The number one marketing activity that I am seeing is an investment in SEO.  You always ask me what I’m seeing in the field, and I always tell you.  Everyone feels comfortable with SEO because we use it to find what we’re looking for.

As I mentioned here: http://is.gd/7eH7Z looking in the direction of the market is looking in the right direction.  To summarize briefly, 4 or 5 years ago one of our colleagues invested heavily in his web site and search engine optimization.  As a result, whether you were in El Paso, TX or Chicago, Bangor, ME or Ensenada, his company name came up first when searching on every product in the portfolio.  The response to this success, after a couple of years of monitoring whether this internet/search thing was for real, was for everyone to jump on the SEO bandwagon.

I understand the importance of SEO.  You want to be found, and rightly so.  However, SEO without an online strategy is tantamount to having an open house with dirty dishes in the sink, clumps of dog hair on the carpet, and your neighbors having a heated domestic dispute in the driveway along side your property.  (Oddly enough, the status of stately Westerberg Manor right now.)  The visitors who find you WILL NOT STICK AROUND.

Furthermore, you are better off not being found.

Here’s an example and it’s a true story: one of my colleagues made a referral to a business very good at what they do – arguably one of the best.  The prospect did a search, found them and wondered, rightly, how this business could assert that they would help them find the right system (to solve today’s problems as well as serve their needs into the future) when the most recent addition to the “News” tab of the site was from 2008.

If you find yourself thinking “I feel sick…what should I do?”

Here is your To Do list:

  1. If you haven’t overhauled your web site in the last two years, ask for help. Immediately.
  2. Put together a plan that identifies and schedules content to be added to your website (you should shoot for weekly, but monthly at a minimum).
  3. Look for ways to highlight your products and services through the words and experiences of your customers.  (There is no excuse for not having success stories posted on your site.)
  4. Commit yourself to be the chief content contributor. If you are holding yourself accountable, guess what happens when others in the firm are asked to contribute?
  5. Since you’re doing number 4, you might as well add a blog to the site.
  6. View your web site as it should be viewed – a prospect’s first interaction with your brand.
  7. Then, and only then, invest in SEO.

There are certainly more “To Dos” that can be added to this list and you are warmly invited to share what you think should be on the list (or argue with me) in the comments section.