“BREAKING NEWS – All Search Engines Are Soon to Be Closed Down!”
I bet that got your attention, right? If you came online one day and came across a real headline that read something like that, I reckon that would get your attention too!
So just imagine the reaction from a marketing standpoint:
“But… but… I’ve spent all this time and money on SEO. What am I supposed to do now?”
“How will I get traffic to my site?”
“How will people hear about my offers?”
It would turn some Marketers’ worlds upside down for sure!
However, there would be some who wouldn’t be too worried? Wanna know who?
Marketers who have already been implementing strategies without giving much thought to SEO.
“A real man makes his own luck.”
– Billy Zane as Cal Hockley in the film, “Titanic”.
You may have heard me mention before the importance of not relying on SEO. Now, I’m not suggesting that you should totally ignore it and I’m not suggesting that it doesn’t have its place. But I believe that it’s a game that you will never win. The mighty Google will always command the playing field and, well, I won’t play that game.
My blog is my blog, not Google’s. I play by MY rules. Does that mean I will do silly things that I know will harm my chances to be seen by Google? No, of course not. I have SEO strategies in place and I would advise that you do too.
What I don’t do is allow my blog to be governed by Google’s every whim.
At this point you may say, “Well, that’s common sense. Isn’t that what we all do?”
Sadly, no. The way some people carry on you’d think that their worlds would fall apart if the umbilical cord between them and Google was cut. And yes, it could spell disaster for them.
There are, of course, certain websites that rely a lot heavier on Google rankings than others. In these cases it would make sense to have a good SEO strategy in place and focus a lot heavier on SEO than, say, bloggers might. I get that. But here’s the thing: some people seem to have no idea what to do if that was taken away from them. You just have to see the flurry of panic that sets in whenever there’s talk of some new Google animal to see how this is the case for some.
So, What WOULD You Do?
What would I do?
Probably nothing different to what I’m doing now, in all honesty.
As I started writing this post a line from the film, “Titanic”, came to mind that Billy Zane’s character says: “A real man makes his own luck”, except that I applied it to marketing and traffic: “A real Marketer gets his own traffic”.
You’ve possibly heard me use this phrase before: “Don’t drive traffic – BRING it!”
So if the search engines no longer existed (which is highly unlikely to ever happen, I hasten to add) I would carry on doing what I’m already doing – doing the legwork and actually getting out there and connecting with people on their blogs and social media, giving value and being helpful.
In other words, treating the whole idea of traffic as we all should:
Traffic = PEOPLE.
Basically, this means doing stuff that we should all be doing anyway. Again, just as there are those for whom it makes sense to give more attention to SEO than others, there are those for whom it’s not so much of an issue to be making those personal connections as it is for others.
Bloggers, for example, would do well to focus on getting out there, making themselves known and thus bringing ultra laser-targeted traffic back to their blog.
Whereas someone who sets up squeeze pages that get people to opt-in to a mailing list and go on to an offer would do well to focus on SEO.
But the thing is, SEO is always changing and, theoretically at least, it could disappear.
However, people will always be people and connections can always be made regardless of what Google or any other search engine says, does or ‘thinks’.
As I said earlier, I do have SEO strategies in place and I would advise that you do too. I believe, though, that SEO is of far, far, far less importance to bloggers it is to other types of site owners. However, connecting with people is an important factor of all businesses and although you may not have much opportunity to connect with your audience on an individual basis by means of a squeeze page, you should always be thinking about how you can build and maintain relationships with your visitors, subscribers, leads, buyers, etc.
How Can You Do It?
This means that you need to make sure that you are approachable and that you engage with your audience. If someone sends you an e-mail, reply. If they send you a message via social media, reply. If they leave a comment on your blog, reply. If they have a complaint, address it.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s also essential to get out there and get yourself known. Don’t just put up your blog and expect people to stumble across it. Visit other blogs and social media pages. Interact with people, give value and give people a reason to seek you out. That is how you end up bringing traffic back to your site rather than ‘driving’ it.
All those things are things that engagement-oriented people, like bloggers, do all the time. But they are not mutually exclusive to bloggers. These are the type of things that we should all be doing.
If you’re a blogger then make sure that you write for people, not for search engines. Aside from the fact that you’ll always be playing catchup with Google, if you are people-focused then your content will be of better quality which, it turn, is good for your audience and can have the added benefit of Google looking favourably upon your blog.
If you find that your business is growing to such an extent that you can’t deliver the personable experience that you would like to, then recruit, outsource, delegate. Do whatever you need to do, but don’t allow your relationships with your audience to suffer.
The thing is, if you’re already doing all this stuff then even if you’re someone who needs to focus a lot of attention on SEO you will always have a backup if the SEO side of things ever goes sour for some reason. I believe that if you are already putting people in first place then you will find it much easier to draw on that rather than learn the ropes if your SEO strategy goes belly up and you know nothing else.
So, in summary, what I am saying to you is do not rely soley on the search engines. Yes, they are very useful and yes, a good SEO strategy can work wonders, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. On the other hand, if your primary focus is always on the customer, subscriber or whomever then you will always automatically have your eggs in many baskets and, so long as you don’t drop them, your eggs should remain nice and intact!
In my post next week I’ll tell you about how a Hollywood film Director made my brother late for work and what you can learn from this.
Until next time!