October 9, 2013
I had a few interesting topics to write about this week, but none of them seemed meaty enough to spawn a full-fledged article on their own. So I decided to throw them all out there with a little bit of commentary to go with them. I hope some of them resonate with you!
1. Most people don't understand SEO because they're coming at it from the wrong perspective. Ironically, it's usually an SEO perspective that they're coming from. That is, they're solely focused on how they can make specific keyword phrases rank better in Google, when instead they should be focusing on how they can create a great website that Google will have to show highly because to omit it from their listings would be a great disservice to their searchers.
2. If it's not complicated, people won't pay attention. This goes for pretty much everything in life, but we see it big time in the SEO industry. Most of the SEO process is made up of a whole bunch of very simple things. When you do all the easy things the right way, in the right order and with some care, you will get results. Yet so many SEO bloggers and consultants make SEO out to be a complicated and scary endeavor that nobody could figure out without the use of special tools and knowing the secret SEO handshake.
I've successfully helped thousands of companies sort out their SEO process for more than 18 years and even I don't understand the meaning of about 80% of the SEO articles I see every day. They are mostly a hodge-podge of hot air and mumbo-jumbo. Sorry, but SEO isn't rocket science, and it's not hard. You don't have to be a genius to understand it or to do it properly. You just need to learn it little by little and piece together all the simple steps that eventually form the SEO process. (You also have to come at it from a different perspective...a la #1 above.)
3. If it seems too good to be true, then dammit, it really is too good to be true! I don't understand why this is so hard for people to grasp. Yet so many are constantly asking about the multitude of stupid, waste-of-time, low-cost SEO services and whether they should try them. No. No. No! There are lots of other ways to express this thought, such as There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Or the fact that "overnight successes" never actually happen overnight. You can keep looking for and trying out all the get-rich-quick schemes that you want, but you will be disappointed. Every. Single. Time.
4. Companies need to offer multiple ways to communicate with their customers. This thought occurred to me when I learned through 2 separate experiences that apparently the new way for big brands to respond to Twitter complaints is to call the complainer on the phone. Having a huge aversion to talking on the phone, this sounds totally weird to me. We're doing things and complaining about things online because that's how we like to communicate!
In my first experience with this phenomenon, I was mildly irritated with my bank because apparently I wasn't allowed to scan as many checks as I wanted to deposit. Instead there was some sort of limit to the total amounts you can deposit this way (even if you have a bunch of different accounts). When I tweeted my annoyance, I received a quick reply asking for the phone number on the account. I gave it to them, privately assuming they were going to look up my account. Instead, they called me! Well, they tried, but I didn't pick up. While many people would think that was amazing customer service (and perhaps it was), I was aghast. Why would you try to call a person who very well may prefer online communication? Sure, I might be over the top when it comes to talking on the phone, but why not just ask how I prefer to be communicated with?
Sadly, this wasn't an isolated incident. The very next week I had strange thing happen with an Amazon order that I mentioned on Twitter. Again I received a quick reply, and yet again a request for a phone number. And yep, you guessed it, they too tried to call. With Amazon, they had sent me to a short form to fill out, but it ONLY asked for a phone number. Why would they not ask how I would prefer to be contacted? In this case, they saw my next tweet complaining about customer service people wanting to call instead of emailing, so they did finally email me. And you know what? The solution I needed was very simple. A quick email should have been the first way to handle the situation, if you ask me. Which they didn't.
Looks like that's it for my random thoughts!
Jill Whalen has been an SEO Consultant and the CEO of High Rankings, a Boston area SEO Company since 1995. Follow her on Twitter @JillWhalen
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