It’s probably the most common question a Digital Marketing Professional gets from either their boss, co-workers, partners, CEO’s, Presidents, or clients.

“How come when I search for X I am nowhere to be found on google?”

The answer quite often has the digital marketer stumbling through an explanation of how SEO works, how nobody really knows or understands Google’s Algorithm completely because they aren’t completely transparent about it, and that they will do their best to fix it.

The honest answer that isn’t being communicated almost every time this question is asked? “Because you didn’t give a sh*t about your website 10 years ago as you thought the internet was just some weird trend and it would never be the backbone of all business a decade later”.

The reality is that efforts to get top spots on extremely popular keywords or phrases searched for are almost always a complete waste of resources and time.

Before I get into the meat of this post, I will state, SEO is important. All SEO.  Especially as google updates its algorithm on an ongoing basis. Things like location, logged in state, mobile vs desktop, etc are impacting where and when your website turns up. So it is always important to make sure you have a proper SEO model in place for your company’s website. Just because you don’t show up first when you search for your company’s most standard service or product does not mean that it won’t be seen on google. So always make sure you have the basic foundation of SEO in place on all of your content, and ensure that these products are services are a part of your content strategy.

However, if you look at the sites that are coming up in the top 1-5 spots (organic, not paid) on google serps (search engine results pages) you will notice a couple key similarities:
1. They most likely have been around for quite some time.
2. Their websites have probably existed longer than yours.
3. They most likely are a bigger brand who probably has been able to manage a SEO strategy and paid people to ensure it was top of the line for quite some time.

So that being said. Don’t get too disgruntled. Continue ensuring that the content that competes with those top spots is a part of your content plan and that you continue to promote it. Eventually as google’s algorithm changes you will most likely notice traffic here and there.

However, the best way too move forward with that content is organically is ironically through paid partnerships. What does that mean? Pay a company who has great SEO to talk about your products and services that compete with those seemingly impossible placements in organic search results. Still confused? Contact a well known blogger or magazine and pay them to review your products online.

Now to the fun part. The part I am passionate about. Where you SHOULD be spending most of your resources investing in and working on your brand’s Search Engine Optimization.

Get ready for it. Here it is. The big secret.

You need to focus 75% of your resources and SEO budget in the areas that solely separate you from your competitors, and in areas that you are innovating products or services. Basically, the future of your company.

I know… easier said than done. In almost all cases the innovators at your company are working on projects that might have smaller budgets and definitely are not at the forefront of this year’s budget because all they are currently doing is hurting your bottom line. But if your company truly believes in time you will own the space, you need to ensure that your content strategy believes that as well.

Go back a few paragraphs to where I talked about how those websites that are showing up on google’s top spots got there. It’s because they cared about their website years ago when their competitors weren’t. They ensure they met google’s algorithm rules, made sure the content was always relevant and now they are obtaining a bulk of the search traffic.

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As a Digital Marketer you need to ensure that you are working on a strategy that supports current sales, but also that is always forward thinking. It’s a risk you have to take if you want to be successful. That is the key thing that separates brands with amazing digital presence and brands who seem to be lackluster.

Do a SWAT analysis of your brand and make sure that you incorporate all of your strengths into your digital strategy, especially those that relate to the future.

until next time….