One of the most famous Aesop myths is the one where a hare challenges a tortoise into a race. The race is on, and almost immediately the hare rushes into it, gaining substantial distance over the tortoise. However, having already covered half the distance to the finish line, the hare - clearly underestimating the tortoise- stops and decides to rest & take a nap. This proves to be a fatal mistake, because the tortoise eventually covers the distance and finishes first, commending that: "Plodding -not speed- wins the race". I find that the moral of the story is also very enlightening regarding SEO: speed will not make you a winner- SEO requires dedication and time, in order to achieve credible results.
In order to succeed in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you must have the following:
1. Vision: What you want to achieve be employing SEO. State your goal. 2. Target Segment: Must determine the audience type that you plan to appeal to. 3. Strategy: A list of steps that will lead you to your goal-a detailed plan in other words. 4. Create worthy content: Attract your audience’s attention: offer them hints & tips, advices, news they’re interested in, and provoke discussions. This is very important. If your content is worthless, then you just have condemned your SEO efforts to failure. All SEO professionals agree: "Content is King". 5. Long term commitment to SEO and Social Media activities: Get to know your audience/target group and try to best serve them. Establish your credibility by offering valuable advice and build a bond of trust with them. This takes A LOT OF TIME. 6. Promotion: Inform your audience about your company/products. At all costs, avoid a hard selling policy that will irritate your target group, resulting in your isolation and disrepute. 7. Learn to adapt or extinct: Monitor your competitors. Single-out the most prominent of them, and apply stealth tactics in order to study them closely.
Quite often these days, you come across some professionals (or companies) in the market who are very much interested in SEO, but they expect immediate results and take as granted that their participation in the whole project is limited only to the part of paying for the services rendered (for SEO). This not true, and I always take time explaining to them, that their participation in the SEO project is vital. Without their insights, support and knowledge any SEO effort is doomed. In addition, I always emphasize to them, that SEO requires considerable time in order to achieve results. Many clients have the erroneous perception that as soon as you set Meta title/keywords/descriptions and a Facebook / Twitter account, success will be waiting for them in the next corner. This is not true however, and I always find myself enjoying giving them a wake-up call and forcing them to embrace reality-especially their look of disappointment, that you can easily distinguish if you take a closer look to their eyes and face expressions. Man I just love it! :)
Speaking from experience –as an SEO professional- I can only say this: SEO requires that you invest heavily in time and in effort in order to achieve success: countless hours of Social Media engaging, writing Press Releases / valuable content and link building. It must be understood that entering the realm of SEO requires customers’ long term commitment, and is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. And that’s why companies engaging in SEO efforts must adopt the tortoise behavior (small steps at a time, good organization, and long term commitment) and not the hare’s (rushing for results from day 1).
Michael Orfanos is Marketing Manager and SEO Expert for naro (www.naro.gr)