In the Emperor’s New Clothes, two tailors promise the emperor a new suit of clothes that they claim are invisible to people who are unfit, when in reality no clothes are made. Everyone, including the emperor, see no clothes and believe the clothes are invisible to them. These sneaky tailors appear to have retired from making clothes and have made a career change to the SEO industry where the work being done is said to be invisible.
If the Emperor did his Homework
If the emperor had an adviser showing him the way, the tailors would have been exposed. In the same way we would love to be your adviser to give you a second opinion on SEO strategies that work and others that don’t to make sure your SEO strategy doesn’t leave you embarrassed and naked.
How can you tell if your SEO is naked? One quick way is to determine if the SEO work being done is exclusively focused in just one of the two primary SEO categories.
The first category (Onsite), involves items such as blog articles, service descriptions, reviews and keeping your site up to date with fresh content. The second category (Offsite) involves items such as your social media presence and making sure listings in areas such as Google My Business, Yelp, etc. are accurate and up to date.
We have had way too many conversations with clients where they reveal they have “an SEO guy” but it is obvious that their website has not been updated for months, and in some cases years. In this situation, the best case scenario is that they are only doing half of their job and raises the question of what are they doing offsite?
This makes me wonder about the quality of what they are doing offsite. Are they hurting your business by engaging in harmful SEO practices such as building low quality links? Are they damaging your reputation by writing fake reviews? Are they commenting on meaningless and irrelevant posts on Facebook?
You may be thinking to yourself “thank you for your concern but our SEO Company has been active on our site”. Even in this “best case scenario” things should be reviewed closely. We have seen many cases where keywords are overly used on the website.
While you may think having a specific keyword appear as frequently as possible is a good thing, Google disagrees, they even have a word for it “Keyword Stuffing” and taken to the extreme, your website content can look like it was written by a 4-year old.
Unlike the stuffing you have for dinner on Thanksgiving, you and your potential customers will find keyword flavored stuffing to be unfulfilling. For website visitors, keyword stuffing leads to a robotic and mediocre website experience, for your SEO rankings, this can push you lower in the rankings and decrease traffic volume!
In Football, you need to play well on both sides of the ball. If you have a great offense but can’t stop the other team from scoring and vice versa. In SEO, going all in on Offsite without thinking about Onsite SEO (and vice versa) is not a winning strategy. In today’s world, you need an onsite content strategy that creates a balance between SEO, engaging content and measures how you stack up against the competition.
This is what Onsite SEO should be in theory but typical has not been in practice. Offsite SEO should be focused on building your reputation. While technology has seen substantial change over the years, many methods of building your reputation (i.e. community engagement, public speaking, customer appreciation, support local little league team) still hold strong today and can play a pivotal role in getting attention to your brand name (and website)
Our Founder & Chief Data Scientist, Bob Dumouchel has written a detailed piece on the pitfalls of overly simplistic SEO and shares what he has learned from his research on how to apply an effective Content Strategy.