Are you enjoying the current buzz about SEO vs. social media? Some claim that your command of social media gives you quicker visibility than any campaign to conquer search engines.
We can configure onsite SEO with complex exactitude, or we can play the memes, the social trends, in order to advance. Which is more efficient? Perhaps it depends on where your talents lie. If you’re a geek, obviously SEO suits best; if you’re more of a performer, social media is closer to your style.
In the end, though, every site owner has to pay attention to both sides of personality. You can’t ignore the nerdy SEO freak who requires proper coding and copy for the spiders; but you also have to make room for the humanistic sharing that the soul requires, that is accomplished through social media channels.
And, indeed, the harder challenge is the sharing. Figuring out Google’s algorithms is not possible, but guessing at them is an impersonal and amusing distraction that can, now and then, lead to actual gain. Certainly, applying basic SEO rules makes perfect sense.
More essential, though, is your social media sharing, where with every move, with every update, you advance your actual purpose.
Watched the Jon Stewart rally on the Washington Mall today. I appreciate the ‘sane’ approach advocated in this ‘movement.’
It’s so understandable. Everyone wants to find a formula, a pill, a silver bullet. We are all addicted to the idea that we can have one bite of an apple and instantly master the knowledge of good and evil.
Search Engine Optimization has for several years been considered the magic formula du jour. Do it right and your rankings explode. Do it wrong and you have no hope.
Grown-ups should know, though, that the secrets to success are not governed by rules of right and wrong. As the mentioned article says, “… the audience values content, not keywords.”
Being remarkable is, we must admit, impossible to formulate. We can examine it via anecdotes, but no standard surfaces. In a sense, the successful communication is that which breaks through formulas.
My point? Our primary focus should be on innovation and self-discovery. The playing field is leveled. Being bigger or more powerful is less effective than being a certain color, or feeling, or fragrance.
I’m a compulsive editor, it’s true. Given the slightest chance to correct misused text, I’ll grab it. No offense to the writer: it just makes me feel so much better. Like picking up litter is sometimes compulsive, and you feast on the unsullied landscape when you’re done.
So, having built my client’s website, I cleaned up the text as usual, inserting SEO bits where appropriate. Then my client asked, “Are these corrections for SEO or for grammar?”
The answer is both. It’s not very commonly recognized that clarity of language and optimized content are one and the same. But consider: Google’s spiders may be digital automatons, but they are crafted by humans and bear their likeness. The clearer the content in human terms, the more search-engine friendly it is.
For a long time, we joked about the SEO mongers repeating keywords insanely often throughout their content, dishing the bait with shameless disregard for the human reader. We wrote out long strings of meta-keywords with every possible declension, spelling, and mis-spelling. We sought to outwit the search engine arachnids.
In the end, though, SEO is no more or less than skillful, targeted delivery of data through clean communications. Just like editing.
A solid definition of your ideal client is essential to online business success. But creating that definition is no slide. Nonetheless, lately I’ve been on the brink of progress in that department.
Identifying your niche market, recognizing the sort of person who most relates to you and your business can be tricky. You might think your market is busy moms or people with dogs or investment bankers. But to be actually useful in marketing, your definition has to be far more specific.
And not just predictably specific. It’s not busy moms who live in Peoria and are under the age of 30. That stuff’s important, but not the key. The key is that your busy moms need a shoulder to cry on, or they need affordable diapers, or they need care for their aging parents.
Who they are is of interest, but what they need is bankable.
For me, the ideal client picture has been fuzzy. When I started in this biz, I thought it was okay to focus on ‘small businesses.’ So it’s been a long road from there. You get closer, over time, to a good working definition.
But it’s what you learn about yourself that’s mind blowing.
Blogging. A strange concept. Flinging your moods and tirades out in public like so much laundry on the line.
Only a tiny percent take on such a challenge, no matter how crucially necessary the experts tell us that blogging may be. It is both a tedious chore and an immense privilege.
As shown on Jonathan Fields’ Awake at the Wheel today, there’s a lot of confusion about the nature and value of this particular kind of communication.
To my mind, the ultimate worth of blogging is the creation of community. Some blogs have accomplished this; most have not. It’s easy to feel alone and scared as a blogger, posting day after day with no participation from other people.
One reason to comment as much as you possibly can on blog posts is that the courage (chutzpah?) and determination of the author are noteworthy, if nothing else.
But an even better reason to respond regularly to blog posts is that your comments are indexed quickly and prominently. Solely by virtue of commenting, you can find yourself on Google’s first page for the given content with amazing speed.
In short, it’s hard to beat the SEO of commenting. Do it today, okay?!?