In the digital marketing world, "SEO" is one of the biggest buzzwords. Here's why you need it AND why you don't.
SEO vs NATURAL NETWORKING
SEO is lauded as one of the important aspects of business in the digital age. But is it all you need? It turns out that SEO is just one factor of attracting business and may not need to be your priority. Depending on your business line, "Natural Networking" should be prioritized over SEO.
"Search Engine Optimization" - SEO - is the process of improving the probability of your website coming up when someone queries on any of the popular search engines, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
Search Engines "index' your website to understand what products and services you offer, audiences that use you, and your authority on a subject matter. Your "authority" is established by the content on your website, your media (social and blog), and external links that direct to your website.
HOW TO "DO" SEO
Optimizing your website for search engines takes time. SEO starts with the content of your website. Your website content should be detail, descriptive, and relevant. The body of content will be the main subject matter that search engines use to index your site.
Search Engines also index your site based on the amount of links that lead back to your site. These can be established through other websites, social media posts, and advertisements. Search engines look at this factor to see if your site is "reputable" and that people are being directed to it from other sources besides search queries.
Be careful about trying to avoid the process that Search Engines use to index your website and "game" the system. Search engines watch for this and will blacklist your site - meaning your website will never come up no matter the search. Stay tuned for a future blog post on SEO "Do's and Don'ts"
Overtime, search engines will start to understand what audiences visit your website and further index your site based on these visits.
As your website matures, you will start to see a rise in your rankings!
We have talked about what SEO is - what's "Natural Networking"? You may want to consider natural networking as what running your business would have looked like prior to online marketing, digital advertising, websites, etc, etc. Natural networking is getting your hands dirty, reaching out to potential leads and engaging with industry associations. This dirty work is what really establishes who you are and what your brand is.
Natural networking takes more sweat equity than SEO. SEO will over time bring people to your business simply by consumers querying "keywords". However, natural networking means scouring the market, identifying leads and doing business development.
The bottom line is every business and organization needs a basic level of Search Engine Optimization. Luckily, most web-hosting platforms now build this capability into their site construction and walk you through the initial process. Then the burden rests on you to put out good content and build a digital presence.
Product-based companies or any company aiming for a high volume of online sales must develop a high level of SEO. However, service-based companies will need to do a heavier lift of "natural networking" and traditional business development. To focus on building a digital presence over natural networking would be "putting the cart before the horse" for most service based companies.
But even with these efforts, consumers now base their conception of your business on your website more than any other factor in the digital age. Consumers will almost always look to access it on top of your natural networking efforts. So even for you traditional businesses, you cannot afford to lack SEO.