What is SEO and Why Do I Need It?

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What is SEO and Why Do I Need It?

I am asked often “What is SEO and Why Do I Need It?” So Let me take a minute or two to explain.

SEO literally means “Search Engine Optimization”. The reality is that there are about 5 different “search engine algorithms” out there. Google is the dominator and the one that most SEO companies try to “outsmart”. Outsmarting a search engine lasts for a while, but at the core, SEO hasn’t changed from day one. All of the big changes are to try and filter out the websites that are attempting to outsmart them. That said, we are not really a SEO company, we are a digital agency. We call our packages SEO packages for simplicity.

Sticking to the Basics.

Since my uncle started the Custom Photocraft side of the business in 1970, the rules of marketing haven’t changed. Our Psyche changes very little. Since the dawn of time our little brain that runs our response system has had some basic needs. Food, Shelter, Water. From those we learned that groups are better for survival. We have a social instinct to belong. While a million followers of facebook doesn’t make you belong to anything real, it can satisfy that need for many. Especially younger people who have been raised in our new world of media fear.

Early man learned that going outside solo could lead to bad things. Our need to belong expanded to a fear of being alone coupled with a fear of being attacked. Since Time discovered in the early 70’s that negative headlines trigger this fear and sells more magazines, all media has migrated to the negative/fear end of the scale.

Ironically our brains are hard wired to live in the positive. The more positive you are the more likely you are to succeed, stay healthy and survive. In other words overcoming fear is a key to success. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs there is one that relates to comfort. It is higher up the pyramid. Cat videos connect our basic need of positive security to that comfort point. That’s why so many people can’t resist them. Our tiny lizard brain really hasn’t evolved much in several thousand years. What has changed is how marketers are learning to manipulate it.

Congruence Online

If you have a business, it is very likely that you need a digital footprint. This means a website, some social media accounts and maybe a podcast. No small business owner has time for all of this, so they either buy software as a service or hire others to do the work. When you use one of those free template website builders and build your own pretty website, you have used software as a service.

There is software that will take this blog post and rearrange the sentences and make five different posts. Some SEO companies use this to attempt to outsmart the search engine algorithms so they get a higher ranking. Thankfully most have figured this trick out and ignore it.

When you build a digital footprint for yourself and your business there is one thing to keep in mind. Congruence. If you own a cupcake shop and have a personal blog about Keto diets and the benefits of avoiding sugar you are not congruent. All of us have some internal conflicts and I get to see them a lot when I look over an owners personal digital footprint and the digital footprint of their business or businesses.

SEO Should Be the Result, Not the Fix

When you are congruent online in your personal and digital footprints, you are already one big leap ahead of the competition. If all of your digital marketing is congruent, it makes it much easier for potential customers to understand what you do for them. It also makes it easier for the search engines to know how to connect the right potential new customers to your business. After all that is the job of the search engine isn’t it?

Imagine if every time I typed “Best Tahoe Cupcake Shop” into Google I got “Stone’s Tire Shop” instead of “Cake Tahoe Cupcakes”? I would stop asking Google for information pretty quickly, wouldn’t you? Duck Duck Go, Bing, and Yahoo all want your eyeballs too.

If everything you post is congruent, clear and easy for customers to understand, then you have already done the job of an SEO company. We don’t right copy for our customers websites and then SEO it. We write the copy with the customer in mind and by default it is already set up for the search engines. The next time you ask someone “What is SEO”, hopefully the answer you are looking for is: SEO shouldn’t be an add on service, it should be a core skill of your copyrighters and content creators. If you don’t hear that from your current digital agency, call us.