The Coming of Age of SEO
It was just 5 years ago that we begged and pleaded with our small to medium-sized B2B clients to spend money on SEO. Some of them needed us to define what the acronym stood for. Some of them asked us why we felt it was so important. Some of them just wanted us to help improve their websites (not understanding that the two were linked), and some of them got it.
For the clients that got it, we jumped on it. In many cases, we were ahead of the curve. Even many of their much larger competitors were not spending money in the SEO game, feeling that they could live off of their good name and let it go at that. We got great results for our clients. It wasn't that hard to move the needle. Using proven SEO techniques when nobody is playing defense makes it pretty easy to score.
But now, things have changed. I was just visiting with a company yesterday when the subject of SEO came up in the conversation. I asked him how important he feels solid SEO is to his success and he stated unequivocally, "To me, SEO is EVERYTHING!"
That's when I said to myself, "Larry, we are not in 2012 anymore."
Today clients get it. That's the good news. The bad news is that today, clients get it. That means everybody is on the bandwagon and competition for search position is fierce. Today, moving the needle takes a large wrench and a lot of might.
Many people believe the key is spending money with Google on AdWords and other Google money machines. They swear that spending money with Google equals improved organic search results. Google swears this is not true. I don't know the answer, but I will say that even the supposition that this could be true is putting more money in Google's coffers. Clearly, they don't mind that many believe this to be true.
The bottom line is this. SEO is a war but a war that must be waged. If you are in e-commerce, it is a war that must be won if you are to survive. But be forewarned. This battle is not won with guns, knives, bombs or even hand to hand combat. This battle is a battle of knowledge, expertise, technique and insight. Only the strong will survive.