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SEO Strategies: How to Approach the Pretty Girl Who Needs a Date for the Dance

seo strategies

Remember the agony of just thinking about asking your crush to the school dance? In your head you constantly went over different strategies, but they all ended with the same result.

SEO can be just like that at times. Businesses don’t exactly know how to approach it, and they spin their wheels by switching back and forth from completely different strategies. Here’s the usual sequence of developments:

Not caring 

Yup, our greatest hope is that by acting like we don’t care, our crush will play the chase game. Maybe she’ll even do the work for you and ask if you already have a date.

Some businesses like to pretend that SEO isn’t all that important. Or rather, they think that by focusing on content creation, they’ll make more progress on Google’s SERPs than an SEO strategy ever could.

And they’re not just imagining this scenario on their own. This Search Engine Land article, for example, suggests that content is by far the most important factor of SEO:

“Google’s end goal is to deliver the best solution to searchers in the fewest clicks. As the search engines crawl the web, they are searching for content that delivers value and matches end users’ expectations. In fact, content is among Google’s top three ranking factors — so it plays a central role in successful SEO strategies.”

Not to completely discredit either of these strategies, but how often does this actually happen for the regular student or average small business? It’s nice in theory, but most of us will have to put a little extra effort in to get the results we want.

Caring (too much)

Alright, now that the hopeful Plan A hasn’t worked out, it’s time to switch things up. The next strategy calls for a more active approach — starting a conversation and eventually asking the girl to the dance. The only problem is that with no real dating experience, you’re essentially playing Minesweeper.

A recent Search Engine Journal article explains why actually paying attention to SEO (and not just creating content) is necessary to get a better ranking on Google. According to the article, telling businesses to “produce great content” isn’t worth much in terms of SEO advice:

“Search engine optimization is a game of inches. There is no silver bullet. Telling me the answer to all my burning questions about optimization is simply ‘produce great content’ — that seems woefully inadequate. It’s like shouting ‘follow the North Star!’ to someone stranded at sea; thanks, but those generalized directions only help so much.”

In addition, the article offers some genuinely great active SEO advice, like:

  • Prioritizing older pages that are more likely to rank for valuable keywords
  • Refreshing your content so it stays relevant and current
  • Controlling your index by looking at the Google Search Console

These are all great white-hat tactics, but as someone new to the game, you can’t discern them from black-hat tactics. Similar advice can lead you to unintentionally spam and getting a site penalty.

To come back to the school dance analogy, it’s like you’re getting lots of different advice from different friends. Some, like making eye contact and staying calm, are good, while others, like bragging about your non-existent dating history, will just set you back.

What gives?

Of course, you’ll notice that some guys with truly horrible flirting tactics manage to get dates, and even though you’re playing by all the rules, you’re still struggling. This is the first time that the old “Life is unfair” adage hits you like a sack of bricks.

Likewise, you’ll see that some businesses rank on Google despite obvious spam tactics. They recycle the same garbage content and still maintain a top 10 site ranking. A part of practicing SEO is accepting that it’s not an exact or fair science.

When everyone zigs, you zag 

Hitting rock bottom is a good time to reevaluate your priorities. You’re slowly realizing that the girl isn’t interested in you, and it’s time to readjust your focus. The solution? While everyone is trying to get her to say yes, you’ll ask a different girl to go with you.

Most businesses can’t decide whether they should focus on content or SEO. Some are constantly weighing white-hat vs. black-hat tactics. Do you really want to get caught up in this game and follow the same pattern as everyone else?

Today, one of the most effective online marketing strategies is combining your SEO and branding efforts. It’s your way of zagging while everyone else is zigging. This Forbes article explains the merits of this strategy:

“There are dozens of advantages to using personal branding, even beyond its utility for an SEO campaign. In today’s age of corporate distrust and favoritism toward more personal relationships, it’s almost a necessity for corporate brands to get involved. If you’re getting started for the first time, be prepared for a slow build; this is a long-term strategy, and it takes time to generate real momentum. But it’s one that pays off in the long run, and is well worth the initial cost of development.”

Branding doesn’t just convince users to click on your site when they google your keywords; it convinces them to search for your brand’s name. With a successful strategy, you can more or less eliminate your competition.

Does that mean content and SEO strategies are expendable? Absolutely not. The focus on branding is your way of getting an edge on the competition. Even so, you’ll have to create search engine optimized content to get your brand’s message out to your target audience.

Like trying to get a date for the school dance, practicing SEO can take you through multiple phases, only to disappoint you in the end. Remember that you have the ability to flip the game upside down and separate yourself from the competition. To talk more about your SEO strategy, or anything else, contact us today.