As a client facing member of the Dinkum team, I am sometimes called upon to discuss SEO with clients. Most often I am answering questions on basic concepts, which clients who have recently signed on want to understand. Sometimes I chat over the same things with clients who have been around for a while, but never quite grasped some of the concepts. Most clients understand the research phase, where we delve into the internet space where the client is, or wants to be visible, dissect the competition, and get intimate with hundreds of keyword phrases.
By the time we have explained the importance of choosing relevant keywords, they are on board with wanting to rank the raw data to put their best SEO foot forward with good meta data. Sometimes we struggle with content, but even when we struggle, the client understands the need for well written, user friendly, valuable, keyword rich content throughout their site.
Now comes the hard part. All of this work is just the beginning of the campaign. ”What do you mean just the beginning?” they ask. “We wrote compelling content, you optimized the site, now we just wait for the visitors to click through!” Maybe it is a symptom of the instant gratification we have come to expect in most other aspects of modern life. Or maybe, just maybe, I have not been successful at educating some clients about the ongoing aspect of SEO. Recently I read an article on Search Engine Watch that used an expression that I feel really spoke to the issue at hand. On page optimization “buys you a ticket to the competition” but your online strategy helps you win it.
In other words, you can’t hope to become visible and win the hearts and minds of human visitors, until you have made the site friendly to spiders, and valuable to humans. But that is just opening the door. Online marketing, link building, paying attention to local search, all get you over the threshold and into the arena.
Keyword strategy is not a ranking factor, according to the author, Eric Enge, but it makes sure you are in the right game. Without a well optimized site, search engines have trouble finding you, and if search engines can’t find you for relevant searches, the all important human visitors can’t find you either!
I am going to work on my client education strategy, to make sure it clearly includes the long term nature of SEO, the importance of keywords and good content, not as a ranking factor, but as a relevance factor, and the importance of fresh content, via blogs, articles, press releases, video, social media mentions, bookmarks, and everything else relevant to a given campaign, to keep the site on the radar of the search engine spiders and human visitors.
Content is king, but maybe we haven’t done a good enough job explaining WHY!
If you have client education tips, I would love to hear from you.