As I began my career building websites, one of my first clients paid me to build him a website, which took over a year to create. Not because it was difficult technically. The difficulty was logistical. Put simply, it was nearly impossible to motivate the client to provide the relevant content, let alone SEO and Digital Strategy Services, needed for the website.
Adding insult to injury, about another year went by before the DNS was switched to go live with the site. His reasoning was that even though his domain lay fallow with only the default ‘coming soon’ screen showing, he maintained he didn’t really need a website. Because most of his business was word of mouth.
I love telling that story because in today’s world it seems almost impossible that someone could disregard the importance of a bona fide web presence – no matter what type of business you are in. Granted, there may be some illegal activities that may be considered businesses. On the contrary, this client was in fact on the opposite side of the law; that is, he was a lawyer!
And, no, not the type of lawyer who is newly minted and running the ‘office’ out of his mother’s basement. This lawyer had a practice with other seasoned professionals like himself, a waterfront office and admin employees too!
I’m sure your instinct now is to paint the picture of the curmudgeonly soul pining for the days when getting in the telephone book was enough to be in business, maybe splurging for a few lines in the YellowPages. But again, no! The guy loved his toys, enjoyed IMing on his iPad, chatting on his iPhone, and tooling around in his Porsche with the top down. Luckily, I’ve accepted the fact that there are some things we may never know.
Fortunately, I knew enough, even then, to know that his position on the internet and need for a website were the exception, not the norm. I tried to explain to him that whether or not HE thinks it’s important is almost irrelevant because he only gets one vote. The value placed on a web presence is socially constructed. And, like it or not, assumptions about his business will be made merely by the fact that his domain displayed nothing more than “COMING SOON.”
It is this socially constructed value that drew me to work with Arrow Root Media. Search Engine Optimization is headed in the direction of the human appendix, guest bloggers, or the keyword. Well, perhaps not that far. But SEO is no longer a solution in and of itself. As search engines continue to devise smarter algorithms, SEO must be paired with content marketing, social media, and search engine marketing to establish relevance in the new semantic web. Just last week, Neil Patel published on his QuickSprout blog, that illustrates the environment we find ourselves in.
1. Web pages that rank on page one of Google typically have 2,032 to 2,494 words. By making sure your web pages are filled with detailed content that users find useful, you are more likely to rank higher.
2. Companies with blogs typically receive 97% more leads than companies without blogs. Search engines look for consistent, relevant production when determining authority and content rich sites tend to get more back links and social traffic, which helps them generate more traffic overall.
I’ll be writing about SEO and many other topics in future post and am curious. What are some things that have made launching a site challenging for you? What trends do you see as most important for a successful online presence?