Don’t let SEO scare you. It’s a tool just like any other. Think of it as a group of information that can be seen from various perspectives. And just like no two people describe the scene of a crime in the same way, your perspective is just as valuable as the SEO gurus when it comes to your business. Here’s why:
SEO is a measurement of human interaction
The number of times real humans type in a search term is the biggest factor in SEO—the search volume. This means, as a marketer, you can look beyond the numbers and diagnose the kind of person who is typing that word. For example, if someone types in the phrase “jogging routine for a marathon” you have a pretty good idea of what the person wants. However, if a person types in “ideal lactate threshold for a marathon” you know a lot more about the person searching.
This is where you can take SEO to the next level. Break your keywords into different stages of the lead cycle. If you are selling some sort of monitoring system for runners, for example, you know that the person searching for “ideal lactate threshold for a marathon” is a lot closer to buying than the person searching for “jogging routine for a marathon.”
For those of you out there who outsource your SEO to a non-marketer, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Someone who is simply analyzing the data by the numbers might miss the ideal term just because it doesn’t have a high search volume. You have to keep the lines of communication open, otherwise your SEO might miss the human factor.
SEO is the stock market of search terms
Another reason you can’t afford to completely outsource your SEO is that humans are fickle. I can’t tell you who how many times I have had clients send me SEO keywords and reports from weeks, months, or even years before. SEO is not a one time deal, it is constantly changing.
What people are searching for today is different than yesterday, last week, last month, last year. It’s just the way it is. Sure, terms that get millions of searches a month will probably stay that way for a long time. However, long tail keywords or terms like “ideal lactate threshold for a marathon” that might be your next sale can be fickle. It could be an article in Runner magazine or a national commercial or The Boston Marathon that sparks a flood of interest in that term. If you are using a keyword list from 2010, you are missing the boat.
Or, you might have some intelligent predictions for your industry. In that case, you will want to get to the front of the pack, build some powerful content, and prepare for the flood. In this situation the terms will have little or no traffic, but just like in the stock market you are investing early for a better return. And again, if you completely outsource your SEO, you are just shooting yourself and your sales in the foot.
I’m a huge fan of outsourcing, and frankly I do very little that I don’t want to do. I love customer service and reading up on content marketing…that’s how I fill my days. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t keep track of my company’s SEO. For us, this means I scan reports, brainstorm new keywords, chat up our in house SEO, etc. And I do a whole lot of predictions for the next hot term.
Don’t discount yourself. Nobody knows your business, your clients, and their buying stages better than you. Don’t let SEO scare you!
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