Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, has grown in popularity since the early ages of the internet. The popularity of online websites has made SEO a legitimate marketing tool, although it technically isn’t one. The sudden explosion of SEO in the multitudes of websites dedicated to marketing and promotion has led to people getting several misconceptions about what SEO is and what it can do. In this article, we take a look at what is the reality of SEO and what expectations you can have from an SEO strategy.
SEO is not a traditional marketing method
Search engine optimisation involves technical strategies and steps in order to increase the chances that search engines will feature a website prominently in its search results. It obviously differs from traditional marketing in that you are not reaching out to prospective users through dedicated channels of communication. SEO increases your visibility to people who are interested in something and search for it. Unlike say a TV advertisement, SEO will not allow you to reach people who are not aware of your existence. It depends on the user to take the first step.
SEO does not deliver immediate results
The widespread misconceptions about SEO have led to people wondering about how fast SEO can deliver results. So can you get fast results from SEO? To put it simply, no. search engine optimisation is not a fire and forget kind of method. It is a long term strategy that requires continuous attention and refinement. Because we do not clearly know how search engines rank their search results, most SEO is done on the basis of common sense, empirical knowledge, and whatever little technical information that search companies disclose to the public domain. If you think having an SEO strategy will result in an immediate increase in web traffic as you might get with a TV or print advertisement, you are mistaken.
SEO can get immensely technical
While any reasonably intelligent person can read up marketing and SEO related blogs to set up a basic search engine optimisation strategy, you will be fooling yourself if you think it will deliver huge gains in the form of outreach and visibility. Most of what an individual can do is based on good practices and will certainly help you improve your search result rankings. But if you want a pretty significant boost, you will need to approach a web developer or other professional SEO company that offers SEO related services. The process is just too technical to be comprehended by laypeople.
SEO is not a replacement for traditional marketing
You can have the most sophisticated SEO strategy in place and it will be worth nothing if people are not aware of the existence of your brand and your content. Traditional marketing via word of mouth or social media is still necessary if you want to spread word about your brand and what you are doing. SEO can supplement a marketing strategy but it cannot replace one.
Hopefully these pointers cleared up some long standing misconceptions about SEO. Do not let this discourage you from pursuing an SEO strategy for your website; it is a proven technique for boosting your visibility and web traffic. But you must be reasonable in what you can expect from SEO. Otherwise, you are simply setting yourself up for disappointment.