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I had the privilege to go to an industry specific seminar about lead generation. The industry was the contractor industry and it was an opportunity to see where Internet Marketing and SEO fits and benefits the attendees. Half of those companies in attendance did not have a website. So, the opportunity is great, but the picture isn’t fully painted. What was worse was the speaker had outdated SEO techniques.
Well, he was just shy of mentioning hidden text, but camped on “small words on your site.” Thankfully, we spent a lot of time proving why you need a website and ran out of time for more “techniques.”
The main problem with Search Engine Optimization isn’t the competition from one marketing company against another, it’s the battle of overcoming wrong notions of what SEO is, what it does, how you do it and the results to expect. Add to all that, the confusion of what it is and it becomes hard to “sell” this service as a viable opportunity to increase business.
The Trickling Down of Technology
I have seen this time and time again with new technology. The latest and hippest technology will not be adopted by major parts of culture until it has time to “trickle down.” Twitter and Facebook have been around for years now, but now in the second half of 2009, my mother-in-law’s older retired cousin finally said “so what’s this Twitter thing?” It takes time. A LOT of time as far as Internet culture goes. I still see businesses using Windows XP with no service pack updates loaded with Microsoft Office 2000. Hopefully the trickle down won’t take 7 years each time for each new standard, but it still exists and when planning your Internet Marketing and SEO strategy, you have to wade through the bad advice.
So what are some the red flags of bad advice?
Tiny words on the website – This use to work for a very short period of time to fool the search bots into thinking that your site was chalked full of great content. Ugly tiny words all around the bottom of the page was the hallmark of the late 90′s, but this is the late 00′s, so ditch this idea now.
Repeated content on all your pages – This came from the expansion of the previous bad advice. Rather than repeated keywords, repeated constructed sentences pasted on each page was planned to, again, show the search engine that you had valuable content – which in reality you didn’t. A sample of this type of drivel would look like this if my keywords were about cat health.
Cat health is the most important topic where cats are concerned. Cat health is important as healthy cats bring great joy due to increased health from cat health products that bring the health that cats need to be healthy cats.
Wow. Let me bookmark that one there, Dr. Dolittle.
Submission to hundreds of search engines – For some reason, the allure of the more wins out over the allure of the mighty. There’s the idea that if my website is submitted to hundreds of search engines, then I can rule the world through all these search engines! Well, since Google has a massive market share and most news about search engines lies between Bing and Yahoo’s continued survival, an obscure search engine doesn’t matter because the majority of people don’t even know it exists.
The Keyword Meta tag is to be stuffed to overflowing – this is my favorite. I see this everywhere. Meta data! It sounds sneaky. It sounds edgy. It sounds hacker-ish. Let me tell you that this meta tag has been abused like a napkin at a KFC. So many websites have put every feasible phrase and usage of the same keyword – including stop words – into this poor part of the code that the bots no longer value it as important.
That’s just a few of the bad advice still being propagated in seminars around the country. So what do you do?
Learn from those who actually know what it’s about. Start here and then go here. Keep up with those who keep up with the SEO industry changes. It will take away a lot of marketing embarassment and wasted time and money.