“Demystifying the black arts of SEO.” leather book cover with gold embossed title of article “The Secret Black Arts…” image

Demystifying the black arts of SEO.

You are a business owner. You may or may not know about websites and technology but you’ve heard, read, seen that you NEED your website to perform. You need to be #1 on Google or at least on the first page! You don’t care how or why — you just want it! You have to beat your competitors at the Google race!! You’ve had countless offers from local and offshore services including your <insert color here> Pages rep who sometimes even use scare tactics to get you to sign on, promising you increases in your website ranking and sales, even giving guarantees. You are convinced that they will perform sacred, ritualistic black majics to increase your business!

Let’s cut to the chase so you don’t have to read too much. THERE IS NO MAGIC TO SEO. Besides approaching your website and digital marketing using a strategic, well-thought out plan, there is technique and knowledge needed to help boost traffic and market your site the right way so you are seen by the right audience. More often than not it’s pretty easy to optimize a website that has never had any SEO attention. Not every web developer/designer or agency for that matter has this skill, so it gets left untouched which is the perfect opportunity for even a novice SEO “expert” to simply tweak your meta data; add alt tags, descriptions and keywords and submit your site to some search engine directories and then show you Analytic results illustrating boost in performance of your website.

So, was it worth it? Did you get any new business? Probably not. Because there are other variables involved. Like, your website design, your brand message, content, imagery, usability — all the stuff users see that make them want to interact with your business on-line; User Experience. Let’s go back even further; do you have a good quality product or service? Maybe this is a good opportunity to assess your business?

The misconception that business owners should be aware of is that SEO, if done right, simply drives traffic to your door. Once at the door it’s up to you to get your potential customers inside, and then sell them your product or service. It’s not up to the SEO to sell your product, so why would you blame them for your lack of website sales? This is a hard lesson to learn but the succesful entrepreneur knows to surround themselves with talented people who know a lot more than the entrepreneur themselves. This means creating a plan and budget that includes website, SEO and digital marketing. Get the right people in the right seats on the bus! It means taking a straight-forward, creative approach to your marketing and SEO and investing for long term results. Work with a trusted marketing firm or consultant who has the knowledge and skills or access to make it happen. We all know honesty wins out every time so why wouldn’t you apply this to your business and marketing strategy? Approach your website with core values in mind. Take the time to do it right — the are no shortcuts!*

Once you learn this and accept it, I guarantee your business will flourish. It’s amazing to see some businesses do underwhelming business and throw vendors and consultants to the curb because they are looking for a quick fix. Some will continue to repeat the same pattern and never thrive. But those who create authentic connections, make smart decisions, do their research and work to empower their team members and strategic partners will tell you that this is where the real magic is.

corporate + entertainment marketing | founder of INFUNKTIOUS music