We are not here to debate the definition of SEO. I think the acronym itself describes it perfectly: Search Engine Optimization. But a better discussion is, perhaps, what does SEO involve?
Traditionally, “experts” would say that SEO revolves around an attempt to have your website “rank” better in a search engine’s organic search results. Most SEO experts today would also correctly say that this goes beyond having some specific keywords or phrases on your site and gaining a few quality links to your site. Many are even throwing around social media as having a significant impact on Search Engine Rankings.
However, as search engines evolve, I would suggest that looking at one’s traditional organic rankings is just one very small portion of SEO. A simple search for “Pizza” or “Click Rain” would show that there is a whole lot more to a search engine than traditionally ranked search results.
The Knowledge Graph, Carousel, and Google Authorship features are just a few of the items that in many cases are not directly related to your website at all. In fact, many times the information shown comes from multiple other sources, over which you may have virtually no control.
The keyword-focused writing and link building you have done may have won you a top spot in the search results, but what good does that do if someone else gets top billing in the Carousel and you are nowhere to be found?
Or how does it look to potential customers when your competitor has a logo on the right-hand side of the results, but you don’t? Or worse yet, perhaps you both show up on the right-hand side, but your reviews are horrible.
Unfortunately, many SEO “experts” and their clients have spent too much time on simply getting more and more visits to their sites. But getting the most visits doesn’t mean much if you can’t convert any of those visits into customers.
A good SEO “expert” will look beyond drawing high volumes of traffic to a client’s website and instead focus on gaining the right traffic and converting that traffic into customers.
A great SEO expert will go one step further.
It is one thing to gain a new customer. It is a wholly different thing to keep and maintain a relationship with that customer. And although a relationship can be nurtured with a well-developed website, it takes a much broader approach to properly maintain a relationship. A combination of online and offline tactics need to be utilized on a daily basis. And this takes a culture that is built around the idea of helping others.
A great SEO expert should behave like a real friend.
A friend praises you when you do something great, but a real friend will also let you know when you make a mistake. Truth hurts in the short run, but will make one feel much better in the long run.
With this in mind, a great SEO expert will not only work with a client on how to help improve their website in relationship building, but partner with them to help their entire organizational culture understand how they can build and improve relationships.
I would suggest that Google understands that relationships are the internet’s foundational blocks. How does one site relate to another? How does one author relate to a piece of content or a publisher? How does a person view a particular product on a site?
These are all relationships. If they are good relationships, they will end with actions that help your company succeed. For instance, you may end up with a link to your site or a great review of your product.
So what is the key to maintaining and building these relationships?
Your own employees will be building these relationships with your customers. Thus it is your own company’s culture and internal relationships that will be the key. Give your own employees credit, build them up, and they will return the favor by passing that on to your customers. Don’t just hire great people—allow them to be great.
So who makes for a great SEO?
Your own employees with great relationship-building skills can make great SEOs. Of course, there may be some technical, content-specific, or brainstorming areas that a company like Click Rain can help with, but when it comes down to it, your own company’s culture will make or break Search Engine Optimization.