Seriously! Stop throwing money at SEO
If your website or blog is not completely dreadful, then any money you spend on anything more than "good practice" SEO is wasted.
SEO, as an industry, is the result of poor website development in the formative stages of the Internet. If search engines couldn't index a blog or site properly, then that site was at a disadvantage. Since search was the only game in town, "SEO experts" popped up overnight to meet a demand.
The demand was created by businesses looking to attract... well, more business... from the Internet. SEO was a perfect way to feel like everything possible was being done to eek out an advantage over competitors.
In fact, SEO is only good for ensuring that you have the fundamentals right:
- a good web platform with well structured HTML documents
- well written content that people find useful
By all means hire a professional to look after this, if you feel your site is missing out. But, that's it!
Since most modern blog platforms are well designed, and Google provides SEO guidelines that even the most modest of writing talents can follow, there really is no longer any real call for SEO to exist in its current, grossly bloated and over-hyped form.
But industries have momentum, and the SEO march persists. Fortunately, there is now a far better way to do things, and it's already changing the way startups, entrepreneurs and businesses drive success online.
1. The Internet is changing fundamentally
We've all heard of social media and social networks. But in their current form, they are really only the precursor to what is about to come.
Social is going to completely overtake search as the primary means of finding information. Check out these articles for more information on why and how this is happening:
- 5 reasons why social is better than SEO
- Social catalyst: One blog post; ten thousand Twitter followers
- Die SEO, die!
2. Influence will replace web traffic
Currently a website or blog can measure its success in traffic. The more traffic, the more popular; the more popular, the more valuable; the more valuable, the more money can be made.
But traffic is becoming social. Instead of flowing from millions of small websites, its going to flow around a smaller group of large social networks. Within these networks, millions of people will compete for influence.
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The more influence, the more valuable you are, and the more money you can make.
Influence will be the metric we use to determine value online.
3. Influence has nothing to do with SEO
We're reaching a stage in the Internet's evolution where we can finally focus on our message, thoughts and ideas without being limited by technical issues such as web development and programming expertise.
A social influencer could be completely technically inept, but have ten million followers on the various social networks. With ten million followers, marketers and advertisers aren't going to care whether or not the influencer can write SEO optimized HTML.
Its the quality of your ideas and the way in which you interact with other people and with other groups of people that will determine success going forward.
4. SEO is an implicit result of building influence anyway
It's still important to have a web platform that can be used to convert visitors. Your blog or website will automatically enjoy huge SEO benefits from back-links and references generated by your social influence building activities.
In other words, SEO is a by-product of doing things right. The more you interact with people and engage with them, the more they will spread your message. The more people talk about you, the higher your visibility, and the trail ultimately leads back to your site or blog.
SEO should never be the focus by itself. Check out this article entitled "Content: Where's the return on investment?" for more information on how to modify your content marketing to leverage social interaction better.
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