The Truth About SEO In 2020 And Beyond

I am going to say some things that most marketing agencies don’t have the strength to say. This information is going to be regarded as blasphemous and heretical. Hell, it might even be labeled as criminal in the internet marketing community.

But, it has to be said.

You Are Doing SEO WRONG!

It’s the truth. You have no idea what you are doing when it comes to SEO. How do I know this? I know this because you are focusing all of your SEO efforts to benefit your keyword rankings. Seriously, if you are checking to see where your website ranks for any particular keyword daily or weekly, you are doing SEO wrong. You are chasing a dragon. You are focusing your time, money, blood, sweat, and tears on something you have very limited control over.

Before I get any deeper into this, I need you to watch this important video. It details the 6 Ugly Truths Of SEO you need to know about before you even think about touching your SEO strategy again.

What SEO Is And Isn't

First and foremost, I need you to understand that SEO is not about Google. Sure, SEO is search engine optimization and at its most basic sense, it means to optimize your business for search engines. But, I don’t think that is the best way to approach SEO at all. Google is not visiting your website and hiring you. Google is NOT paying you any money. Your customers are who are paying you. So, we need to instead think about how your SEO is supposed to benefit your customers. Nobody can control how your website ranks in Google. Nobody can control the algorithms except Google. I do not like the idea of doing work to chase results (i.e. rankings) that we don’t have 100% control over. But, do you know what we have 100% control over? How we portray your business and services to your customers. If we can get out of the mindset of trying to appeal to Google’s search results and instead focus 100% of our efforts on optimizing your online presence to better serve your customers, you will see much better success. 

Let me put it another way – if we can better serve your customers using great conversion rate optimization in your website, modeling your content for your customers that speaks directly to them and solves their problems, and establish you as the expert, most authoritative, and most trustworthy in your field, you are more likely to have more and more people seek YOU out. And that will translate to better rankings.

Woman holding her smartphone at her laptop, presumably looking for services online

SEO is not a set and forget strategy. SEO is a DAILY necessity. SEO is a mindset. It is an ongoing, never ending commitment (at least as long as your competitors are still in business). In other words, YOU need to constantly be thinking “how can what I’m doing right now benefit my SEO” every single day. Look, I’m not asking you to do our job for us. But what I am asking you to do is to consider how what you are doing everyday can HELP us do our job better for you. I’ll get more into that in a moment.

Items Your Marketing Agency Needs From You Every Week And Every Month

We need you to give us regular updates about what is happening with your business. We need images. We need video. We need ideas. Without those, we can only do the basics. But basics are not going to make you happy. The basics will only give you basic results. And you deserve WAY MORE than just the basics.

There are 4, and ONLY 4, aspects to SEO. They are as follows:
SEO - Search Engine Optimization

On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization consists primarily of the following, and much more:
  • Main landing page development that includes content research, content optimization, audience research, conversion rate optimization, user experience research and enhancement, user interface management and enhancement, image optimization, conversion tracking installation, internal linking strategy, graphic design and video research and development and proper calls-to action.
  • Blog post development that includes the creation of a content calendarcontent researchaudience researchgraphic design and video research and development, link outreach, bio authorship to establish expertise, and internal linking strategy.
Do you notice those words in red? Those are things that we 100% need your assistance with. If we cannot get your assistance with those things, then we are forced to do the basics. And your assistance with those things is not time consuming on your part. We can help guide you and make it as easy as possible. 
 
Look, I know you are very busy and I know the last thing you need is more work on your plate. But the fact of the matter is that we need you (or somebody you designate at your office) to assist us, within reason, of course.

Website Performance

Different Website Experiences - Desktop, Tablet, and Mobile- Arcane Marketing

A fast loading website on mobile devices is a GAME CHANGER. Where we will need your assistance here is that when we tell you what needs to be done that you have an open mind and open ears. In other words, if we suggest website development work to be done that will help to improve your website performance, it is usually in your marketing’s best interest to do these things. Sometimes, drastic changes might need to be implemented. Most times, however, they are simple things. Every three months we do an audit on your website’s performance and we will make suggestions whenever they are warranted. And when we make those suggestions, we will explain why we need to make those adjustments to you so you know why they need to be made.

Link Building

Link building is something we can mostly do by ourselves, BUT, we can really make a difference when we can get a little bit of assistance from you. In other words, we know you provide great services to your customers. And some of those customers might be other businesses with their own websites. And if you did a REALLY GOOD JOB for those other businesses, it is a GREAT idea to ask them if we can get them to tell their website visitors that your company is the best company to do business with. This helps to increase your authoritativeness. This will GREATLY increase your rankings. Your happy customers are as valuable as gold when it comes to SEO. We need to leverage them as much as possible. But we can only do that with your help. We can help guide you. But we need to know who these customers are so that we can give you the best strategy possible.

I also need to address a term that I consider redundant – “Off-Page Optimization.” Off-page optimization is just a fancier way of saying “link building.” When a marketing agency tells you that they are doing off-page optimization, they are talking about link building. Just think about it. Any content, assets, or information about your business that is being done in places other than your website (i.e. “off-site”) is most likely directing users and traffic back to your website in an effort to convert them. That is done by supplying links back to your website within those “off-site” resources. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure that out.

Local SEO

Local SEO is perhaps the only time “Set and Forget” should apply to your SEO efforts. And by “set -and-forget,” I mean that all of the local listings we manage for you need to match each other in regards to your branding and contact information. Beyond that, there is always on-going work that needs to be done. Your Google My Business listing needs to be 100% filled out and the “Posts” feature needs to be used religiously. This is where a bi-weekly and monthly update from you is so important. For us to take advantage of this useful tool, we need to know what’s happening with your business on a regular basis. If you have sales, coupons, company updates, etc., we need to know so that we can keep your GMB profile as current as possible. Finally, reviews. Do you want to be seen as the most trustworthy business in your industry in your local area?

Then, these two things must happen:
  • You need to provide superior service to your clients and customers every time, all the time. Unhappy customers are the most likely customers to leave you a review. And you don’t want reviews from unhappy customers. There is nothing we can do to help you when it comes to the quality of service you provide. This is 100% on you. But, if you’re providing superior services, it makes the things that Arcane Marketing can do SO MUCH easier.

Which is:

  • Get consistent 4 and 5 star reviews from your happy customers on Google Maps, Yelp, and other review aggregator websites. We have a really good reputation management service called BirdEye that can help assist you in getting more positive reviews. In addition to that, are you asking your happy customers for reviews? If not, why not? Also, ALL reviews should be responded to. If somebody is taking the time out of their day to review you, you ought to reciprocate the gesture. A simple thanks is really all it takes. However, it is your responsibility to respond to all 3 star and lower reviews with tact and professionalism. 
Graphic showing a finger on the pulse of all things online marketing.

Are You Going To Keep Doing Bad SEO?

If you haven’t figured it out by now, you most likely won’t. SEO is not about making Google happy. It is not about appealing to algorithms.

SEO’s sole function is to make your customer experience better. If you can understand that and adopt an elevated understanding about how SEO really works, then you will find yourself outranking your competitors sooner than you think.

So, stop checking your rankings. All that will do is piss you off. Instead, focus on what your customers need and want. You will win when your SEO strategy serves those who will actually give you money.

It's Time To Do SEO Right

If you're serious about doing SEO the right way, we would be happy to talk with you. Otherwise, we can point you in the direction of a marketing agency who will be happy to take your money and give you crap in return.
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