What I’ve Learned in a Year of SEO

September 26th, 2013 by Search Influence Alumni

The year 2012 was a big milestone for me with many life changing events. I got married, moved across the country from Arizona to Louisiana, and I started a new job at Search Influence.

Over the past year I have learned many things about New Orleans, life, marriage and the workplace. New Orleans has taught me that a parade isn’t real unless there are “throws” and that almost everything is better with some hot sauce. I’ve learned to appreciate the good and smile through the difficult. In marriage, if you burn dinner, your husband will still love you, and you can always order a pizza.

In the digital marketing world, I learned that you can’t run a great social media campaign on memes alone, people actually do click on Google Ads, and they really do generate business. Not only have I learned to explain the technical jargon, but I’ve also learned that no matter how many times you explain it: To a business owner, it is the results that matter, and it is the results that will speak for your work.

Most importantly, I’ve learned SEO is a constantly changing landscape, and to be good, you must not only learn to roll with the punches but also be quick and think on your feet. As each update from Google continues to roll out, the ever pressing themes shine brightly.

1. You can’t cheat the system.

SEO is all about building natural online authority. The keyword is natural. And in real life, things move a little slower than creating 10,000 links in a month, or 100 reviews in a day, or 20 instances of an exact keyword phrase throughout one webpage. Take time and create real online partnerships and produce information your potential clients would appreciate.

2. SEO is not an exact science!

All sites are not created equal. Some SEO practices may work wonders on one site but may do nothing for another. Before you throw links at a site or slap some optimized content on a few pages, take a look at the online presence of a company and make educated decisions on what can best strengthen the site.

3. Successful SEO is a melting pot.

You can’t rely on just on-site versus off-site optimization strategies or specific aspects of either. Successful SEO campaigns take a holistic view on strengthening a whole site and online brand from start to finish. For keyword phrases, don’t just focus on one area of business and the terms with the highest search value. Fortify the brand from its core elements then branch out. While you edit the site, work with all elements to better improve it – not just optimize it. Finally, build up the online brand by utilizing signals from various places and types online.

SEO is an ever changing world, and this year I’ve learned to work for the results and appreciate the strategy behind every client. Finally, I’ve learned that what I do makes a difference. My favorite part of my job is when my clients let me know their phones are ringing off the hook or that they’ve had to hire additional help because of the increase in business.

Here is to a great year and looking forward to the next!