SEO is important. But it’s not as important as you’ve been led to believe.

Should you ensure that your website and content is in a format that search engines can find, scan and properly index? Absolutely. Why? Because you want people to be able to find you and your information quickly and efficiently when they are looking for you and what you have to offer.

The key message is that it’s the value of the content that matters not the “finding” of it. If your content is worth finding search engine and people will find it. If your content does not add value… no amount of gaming Google will matter or make a real impact on your business or bottom line.

My advice on SEO is always the same. Invest your time in creating awesome content, format it and publish it in a search engine friendly way rather than spending your time worrying about SEO.

Here’s why…

It’s the message that matters

Shakespeare didn’t optimize for paper he wrote timeless prose and poetry. People will be reading Shakespeare long after both paper and Google exist. Why? Because his work is valuable not because it’s overloaded with keywords.

Search engines change

Ever heard of AltaVista? I loved it. It was my favourite search engine for years. Now I use Google. What will I be using in 5 years? Who knows? If you are building a business that you want to outlast the latest and greatest search engine, just focus on creating great content.

Algorithms change

If your entire business model is based on being the top search hit for a few keywords on Google you’re doomed. The Google giveth and the Google taketh away. If a change to the algorithm can materially impact your business than too much of your future is out of your control. That’s not a good thing. Good content will always rise to the top over time without having to be re-written and re-optimized for Penguin, Panther, Porpoise or whatever else Google decides to throw at you.

People’s opinions matter most

If you want to rank high for keywords be the thought leader for those topics. Get people talking about you and your work! Endorsements in the form of blog posts, media mentions and social media buzz are permanent, more highly rated by Google and safe bets.

Are you really going to outsmart Google at it’s own game?

Think about it. Do you really want to try to out-think the million or so PhD’s who develop and maintain Google? If you can solve one of these in your head:

x = {q + [q2 + (r-p2)3]1/2}1/3 + {q – [q2 + (r-p2)3]1/2}1/3 + p
Where p = -b/(3a), q = p3 + (bc-3ad)/(6a2), r = c/(3a)

Then by all means, have at the Google guys, otherwise leave the search engine optimization to the experts: Google. Focus on what you are an expert in instead.

Invest your budget in a good copywriter

Don’t spend your money on SEO strategies and tools. If you have a limited budget and want to make the biggest impact on your content marketing strategy for your dollar… hire a good copywriter.

Categories: Content Marketing /

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