In a recent post, I asked 20 Questions about business blogging. I got back many responses (mainly from Australians, which would be an strange topic for another post). Of the 20 questions, number 13 raised some interesting responses and prompted me to explore the topic further with this post. The question was…
Has your blog helped your business rise in the search rankings? How much? How do you track the rise?
Andy Abramson, of VoIPWatch blog, answered with this: “…I’m not playing the SEO/SEM game, nor do I buy keywords. My efforts have all been organic, and because I’m so tightly focused on a few categories I’ve always ranked high.”
Another blogger, Mairéad Kelly of Cute Honey, a blog for women entrepreneurs, said, “I don’t track this stuff at all.”
Both Abramson and Kelly are business bloggers who have found success and yet they are not playing the Search Engine Optimization game. Why is this? Should we bother with SEO? Perhaps we take a closer look at more players on both sides of the table.
SEO by Blogging
in Australia. He is an active player of the SEO game who plans his long tail keyword attacks, surveys the competition, studies search terms in Google’s webmaster tools, and tailors his articles for SEO. His company’s site, RealEstateSevenHillsNews.com.au, has risen atop the fold in Google’s search results in their local market. Often, his company is number one.
Considering his success in a crowded real estate market (the real estate market is always crowded), we cannot deny his SEO strategy is working.
Go for the low hanging fruit
Shae Baxter’s blog, SassyWebWords.com, attracts female entrepreneurs who want to generate more leads through SEO. Baxter also sells a “SEO crash course.” Using those exact keywords, her course ranks on page one of Google’s search results. That’s impressive and, furthermore, she mostly achieved these results by optimizing her on-page content.
This is what she calls, “…go for the lowest hanging fruit [i.e., long-tail keywords] and work on the things you have control of.”
SEO industry is competitive and Baxter was still able to find the keywords, “SEO crash course,” as a niche was overlooked. Depending on your marketing goals, you too can find some low hanging fruit.
But even she admits: “I am a big believer in having as many different sources of traffic to your website or business as possible and SEO is not the holy grail.”
It’s SEO or bust
Stella Gianotto is the founder and creative director of Stella Designs in Sydney, Australia. Even as an award-winning designer, she takes the time to play the SEO game. This comes after becoming discouraged by so-called “expert SEO” companies who were unable to fulfill their promises. She takes the hands-on approach to SEO.
When asked if SEO is worth the trouble, she said, “Any business wanting to leverage their SEO has to understand that there is not one component of SEO that works for ‘all business,’ it is not a ‘one model suits all,’ it is a combination of smaller actions over a frequency of time that first create and then build SEO overall.”
The SEO components she is speaking of are…
- Meta Tags and Descriptions
- Directory Submission
- Social Media
- Emerging Medias (i.e., video)
In regards to the content component, I asked Gianotto if having a blog is critical for businesses today. She had much to say. Her main points about blogging were…
- a blog forces businesses to communicate in the simplest and most authentic way
- a blog shows the author’s expertise and provides useful information
- a blog allows prospects and clients a chance to learn more about you (they love this)
- a blog can increase your SEO and generate leads for business
Continuing, she also said:
“An extra advantage to a blog is the content that you use in your articles can also be further broken down and used on your social media. Your social media can in turn be used to promote your blog and to encourage people to share and comment on each blog posts.”
So, through trial and error, being hands-on, and applying grit, Gianotto has become an expert SEO player. She also says she had no any other choice.
“What happens when we don’t work on our SEO?” said Gianotto. “Quite simply, our phones stop ringing.”
The hands-off approach
Finally, our last player is Anthony Curran, an Australian marketing and advertising expert, and founder, at Profiteers.com.au. His company specializes in mobile websites and getting businesses listed in Google’s MyBusiness. Curran suggests taking a hands-off approach to SEO,
He said, “You do not need a SEO agency to optimize your website when you have a search engine friendly website and mix that with genuine content strategy and genuine likes on Facebook and Google+. This is how search engines should work.”
Blind faith in Google
Let’s go back and meet Abramson and Kelly again. Remember, they were the two non-SEO bloggers who were having success without applying any SEO strategies. Abramson even said that he wasn’t playing the SEO game.
But, in my opinion, they are passively playing the SEO game. And that’s what you should do, too. Here’s why and how:
First, have some faith that Google will eventually visit your site if you have useful content for your visitors. Be concerned about…
- getting content on your blog
- making your content shine
- promoting your content on the social sites like Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn
- getting attuned with your customer’s needs
Also, check your site’s stats and see what your visitors are finding through Google. This is the content that’s working for you. Then give them more of it.
Have I made the right assumptions about playing the SEO game? Let me know in the comments. I am dying to know.