What SEO is NOT

Written by Nick Stamoulis

SEO Red Vector Icon ButtonSEO is the practice of making changes to your website in order for the search engines to find and deliver targeted visitors. It’s also defined by its white hat practices, such as creating excellent content on a regular basis, performing effective on-site SEO, and building trusted links.  However, there are some misconceptions out there.

It’s important to clear these misconceptions up because it will allow you to get the most out of your SEO efforts. Here’s a list of what SEO is not:

SEO is NOT Paid Advertising

SEO and paid advertising aren’t the same thing. In fact, spending money on PPC has no impact on your SEO program at all. You may be wondering if it’s more worth it to spend your resources on SEO or PPC. There’s no need to pick one over the other! It can take some time to build momentum with your SEO program in the search engines. In the meantime, you can use PPC to bring traffic to your website. Once your organic search traffic starts to increase, you can back off on the PPC. It takes at least 6 months for a new, consistently worked SEO program to start seeing results and this is an excellent time to invest money in PPC.

SEO is NOT SEM

Those new to the online marketing scene often use the terms SEM (search engine marketing) and SEO (search engine optimization) interchangeably. SEO technically falls under the SEM umbrella but they are not the same. The term SEM more often refers to paid search engine marketing techniques like PPC (pay per click). SEO is not considered a paid technique because it technically doesn’t cost anything. There is no money exchanged between the website owner and the search engine to rank a page in organic search. However, it does take a lot of time and effort which is essentially a cost and since many businesses don’t have the time or the knowledge, they will pay an SEO company to do it for them.

SEO is NOT A Quick Fix

SEO isn’t like other marketing strategies, such as running a promotion that lasts for a specific amount of time. SEO is ongoing and always changing. It begins with research optimizing your website. The next step is link building. A site should build links naturally over time. The search engines view these inbound links as signs of trust. You can’t optimize your site and build 20 links and expect to see results. It just doesn’t work like that. It takes a long time to see an improvement in your search engine ranking and traffic from the search engines. However, it’s a marketing strategy that works as long as it’s done correctly. People are searching online for everything. It’s a problem if you don’t have a search presence. An SEO strategy may take time, but it is time well spent and the payoff is worth it in the end.

SEO is NOT Dead

The search engines are getting stricter and smarter and search is becoming a lot more personalized. This has led some to believe that “SEO is dead”. Old-time SEO tactics like link exchanging and cloaking are dead, but that doesn’t mean that SEO as a whole is dead, it’s only evolving. SEO is becoming a lot more integrated with social media. The search engines understand that users trust the opinions of the people in their network, so they have integrated “social signals” into their search algorithm. SEO is becoming “social SEO” and there is more of a focus on getting your content shared via social media +1’s, Likes, and links. As long as people are searching in Google and Bing, SEO will be an important part of an online marketing strategy.

A great SEO program involves on-site SEO, content marketing, and a consistent social media schedule. This is the program we use for all of our full service SEO clients. We also know that it’s important to understand exactly what SEO is before you get started so that you can have the right expectations!

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