24
Mar

SEO – No Longer An Advantage



Optimized Website Content is Now Normal

Years ago, on an Internet that barely resembles ours today, “search engine optimization” was new and represented a genuine advantage to those leading edge firms that utilized their website as an essential piece of a marketing strategy.  Today, an optimized site is no longer an advantage, it is the basic commodity required to even play in the search game.

In the early SEO years, you could divide most businesses with an online presence into two camps.  There were those early adopters that “got it” and aggressively pursued positioning themselves with SERP through keyword analysis and an optimization strategy and there were those that didn’t really think the web was that important to their business. (Of course many firms did not even have websites but that’s a different story.)

The got-it firms knew that search was getting stronger and that online marketing would replace or at the minimum greatly impact a significant amount of the offline marketing currently in place.  Other firms typically didn’t put much credit into using the web for lead generation or sales production.  The goal for the not-yet-getting-its was simply to HAVE a website.  In their mind, if they were online they were doing just fine. Just like having a business phone number, having a URL became another element on their business card.  The got-its had the URL on their card too, but they wanted their URL, like their business phone, to be constantly ringing with leads and sales.

Today’s got-its battling for page one rankings of course have gone well beyond search engine optimization and on-site SEO efforts.  The leading edge is further and further out there.  For most competitive search terms, every site you compete with not only has a well optimized on-site plan but also has active and engaging campaigns off site as well.  These campaigns, whether through microsites, blogs, videos or other viral efforts create significant and powerful user traffic that completes the cycle of great page with great content to great links from a supportive community to great on-site traffic to great authority which creates great serp.

What has SEO become? An optimized site is now commonplace, basic and ubiquitous.   The ability to compete for traffic today relies more upon how well you know your marketplace, how well you compete webpage by webpage and how well you develop an audience or community that supports your cause.

So, if you have a classic SEO strategy in place, today, that means you are… average.  But hey, that’s not a bad place to start.  Recognize that there are clear and established pathways regarding what to do next.  Just look at the got-its of today.  They’re easy to find.

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