How to Cure a Phobia of SEO
You probably know somebody who has an irrational fear, or hatred of Search Engine Optimisation – indeed that person may be you. As with any phobia, it can be cured fairly simply.
First of all, expose the SEOphobe to the benefits. Don’t hide behind buzz words and industry jargon, this will only give further credence to their concerns. You have to use real tangibles.
Search Engine Optimisation has a lot of fluff surrounding it. There is a lot of nonsense spoken for and against the practice, all of which can easily cause misunderstandings that can form unfounded opinions.
“You will ruin my site”
SEO isn’t just about dumping a tonne of keywords on a site, getting a couple of links and then spamming the world. There are many that believe that ‘optimisation’ is a by-word for a drop in standards. But it doesn’t have to be, in fact it should work to improve customer satisfaction – not diminish it.
A well optimised site should read well to the visitor and search engines. There are thousands of examples out there that you can use, although if you want to really hammer the point home send them off to Copyblogger, a copywriting blog that regularly discusses the benefits of content and the value it brings companies.
“Isn’t SEO just spam by another name”
Nope, spam is spam, SEO is…well, you know where I’m going with this. Ethical optimisation is about improving a site in accordance with search engine rules, not working against them. Some people might choose to spam the world, but these are the companies that you want to steer clear of. You can succeed without doing anything that may be construed as ‘dodgy’.
Even link building can be done in such a way that it doesn’t negatively impact the wider web. In every industry there is a right way and a wrong way to do things, unfortunately the difference within Search Engine Optimisation isn’t just stark, it is also widely reported. Unfortunately the positives are largely underplayed, whilst the negatives are highlighted in all their gory detail – as with the recent JC Penney fiasco.
“Who uses search engines anyway?”
If you get asked this, you’ve got every right to look a little surprised. Whilst Facebook may now be the most visited site in the world, it’s only just overtaken Google, who attract billions of searches each month – Bing aren’t exactly far behind either.
Search engines are the backbone of the entire Internet. If you’re not appearing here, then you’re immediately at a massive disadvantage.
“Why should I target keywords, won’t my company name do?”
Those who don’t like or understand SEO will often compromise by just trying to rank for their name. Of course this is no bad thing, but it is only the first step and shouldn’t be viewed as a complete solution.
You target keywords because, more often than not, this is what your potential customers are likely to be searching for. Obviously your company name will also be prominent, but if they don’t know who you are already, picking up new custom can be challenging.
The SEOphobe is scared of the unknown. And they’re well within their rights to feel that way. There are so many horror stories circulating that any sane minded person would have to think twice about handing over their site to an ‘optimiser’. But it’s the individuals you should be wary of, not the process they represent.
If you find an ethical SEO company or follow the principles yourself, you will benefit. Your site will rank better, more people will visit and you may well see a surge in conversions. You only need to look at how well other companies have done through search engine traffic (which is usually the largest source) to work out how anybody can benefit. Don’t let fear deprive you of online success. Forget the bad for a moment and focus on the good.