In the pioneering days of search engine optimization, the best practices were regimented and methodical. For example, results could be achieved by adding specific keywords and phrases at specific intervals on a web page, and in specific qualities. You could say consistency, structure, and mechanical execution were the trademarks of SEO.
Due to this structure, it was a simple matter of implementing the same campaign tactics for every client, with no regard to the nature of the business or industry. And, to be frank, in those early days, companies did not have an “SEO history” because everything was new. This also meant that any results were inarguably positive.
These cookie-cutter, canned, prepackaged, SEO strategies are remnants from the formative years of search engine optimization. They are not effective anymore – so why are they still being offered?
- Companies that have not stayed current with developing trends in SEO think they still work.
- Unscrupulous SEOs capitalize on this misconception and offer package deals as a way to make easy money.
- Well-intentioned SEOs bundle services as an attempt to help a high volume of smaller clients — but the results are rarely up to snuff.
Why Packaged SEO Deals Fail
While some of our clients might think we are magic, in general, viewing SEO as a commodity, where techies who seem to speak another language push a few buttons, and your company website is magically catapulted to the top of page one. This is a fairytale, and there are several reasons why it persists. We’ve put together three of the most important:
Google’s organic search algorithm is far more complex today.
It detects formulaic SEO tactics used to manipulate its system. When these formulaic tactics are identified, the associated content is ignored, devalued, or in worse cases, penalized.
Relevant, Quality Content is Vital
Search engines place great emphasis on the quality of your content, and their algorithms are able to detect it. Thus, a company must put weight, uniqueness and relevance into its content — a task that can’t be commoditized.
Organic searches are not monolithic any more.
Google users sometimes look for general results, but also look for results in specific categories such as images, people, news, video, etc. Depending on a company’s business, content assets and other factors, particular types of content formatting will provide the best opportunities for optimization.
As we mentioned earlier, companies today have SEO history. Depending on a client’s current SEO strength and the strength of its competitors, an entirely different strategy is required to widen the gap where competitive advantages exist, and close it where the client is struggling. There is no magic spell to determine this; the SEO firm must conduct thorough research and analysis to develop the campaign strategy.
Certain subspecialties within SEO have become crucially important for many businesses. Consider:
- Companies in localized markets (e.g., dental practices, restaurants) must deploy local SEO campaigns rather than generalized SEO campaigns. Local SEO has a unique set of best practices that is quite extensive and unique.
- National or global companies seeking to expand SEO presence in various local markets must also employ local SEO campaigns.
- Mobile search optimization has become extremely important to most companies, especially those with a large volume of mobile traffic. As mobile devices continue to bypass desktops as the preferred method of Internet access, virtually every business will need a mobile SEO strategy fitted to its specific audience and keyword requirements.
Companies in a global market — with multiple websites and/or having multiple brands — need customized enterprise SEO campaigns to prevent their domains from competing against one another, cannibalizing the company’s business; implement multi-language optimization; and, prevent self-destructive duplicate content issues. Far too complex for any one-size-fits-all SEO solution!
In today’s SEO landscape, the first steps for every company include:
- Conducting thorough keyword and competitive research.
- Developing a custom-tailored SEO strategy based on those results.
Anything less guarantees mediocre results and wasted SEO investment. The good news is, with the right campaign, SEO continues to be a highly promising driver of qualified website traffic, sales leads and online revenue — making it well worth the investment.