Are You S[e]o Serious?

This a guest post by Anthony Pensabene

Hi.  I’ve been watching online marketing festivities, making observations from an in-circus and out-of-industry perspective.  As a comical observer, I can’t help but relay some ideas to play upon the minds of both clients and SEO practitioners.

I must begin with a question.  Are you s[e]o serious?  The answer to the question is contingent on the person/brand; and, the tragedy of the story is the reality of particular brands may be a comedy, savvy?
How serious are you about your brand, its reputation, and future direction?  Lately, I’ve seen some committing the following online felonies.

Chasing the Money

All dogs become hungry dogs.  Every dog’s gotta eat.  And the race ensues…  I need to chase the money too.  The Joker stated in The Dark Knight, “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”  I’ve found a way to make money, to get fed, by doing what I love.  If the need for money perished, my love for what I do remains.   Is true happiness in the essence of deed or strictly the ends?

The love of craft compensates for ‘get-rich-now’ impatience.  Even in best-case scenarios, money-generation takes time and relies on a number of factors; patience is essential regarding a product/service you believe in.

How many out there truly believe in their products/services?  How many are proud and love what you do?  In gutting through some brands via razor-like inspection, I’ve come to suspect some of you don’t really believe in what you’re providing.  Would you like to know who is who?

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Friction and Inertia

Reliant on Others

You shouldn’t build your business heavily on one marketing vehicle (which doubles as another company *cough Google*). Furthermore, do not make your brand side-blind susceptible to the scruples of outsourced services… like marketing agencies.  You’re buying too much into the ‘illusion’ of stability…

All it takes is for one. Little.Panda.or.Penguin to appear…then, all of a sudden, your business revenue is contingent on Google and those who engineer SEO initiatives for YOUR business.  All it takes is a little rupture of that oh-so-illusory every-day status quo…

For one, ensure you know exactly what your SEO agency is doing. Outsourcing should allow additional resources to host your well-understood initiatives.  A lack of in-house resources should not mean a lack of understanding of how your business is being operated and represented.  No tactics should seem foreign or incomprehensible to you.

Secondly, and I hear this too often these days, it’s a bad business strategy to place all eggs in one business-lead basket.  That’s what Google is essentially, yes?  If you’re business’ future is reliant on the maneuvers of another business (you have no direct control over), then (you may want to) revisit your business model.

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Unfaithful to ‘Gotham’

Do you know why it may take so little to make big trouble in particular brands’ ‘cities’?  Some brands are not faithful to respective ‘citizens.’  That creates an opportunity for…chaos.

The customer is king and your marketing needs to be built for your target market.  How faithful are you to your brand’s respective, ‘Gotham’?  Are you ‘building awesome things’?  Otherwise, it won’t take much to upset their faith in you and bring your kingdom down.

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Not SEO Serious

You know why a number of the Joker’s plots were successful?  He was a keen psychologist.  He understood the ‘why’ of people.  The Joker would make an insane marketer, figuratively and literally.
The way I see it, SEO is a two-part process.  It communicates with engines; but, by and largely, it seeks to ultimately ‘speak’ to people through inherent-marketing knowhow.  Otherwise, I really couldn’t say it is optimized SEO, you know what I mean?  Some brands deem themselves experts, but ‘experts’ according to whom?

So while a number of some link-building, social media, and other online-tasks can adopt an automated pace, achieving the “engine” part of online marketing, you essentially need to charm the smiles on the faces of those who are making the actual purchases.  Do you wanna know how the most successful companies’ customers got those ‘scars’?  The companies always had their customers on their minds, not just engines or automated processes.

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The Character of the Author is Relevant

Anthony writes professionally for WebiMax and gets down on his personal blog, Content Muse.  He champions the ‘people’ aspect of marketing and can be found roaming the mountains of Colorado with a smile and sandals on.