So You Think You Don't Need SEO?
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You Don’t Need SEO

Posted in Digital Marketing — March 11, 2011

This just in from FINE’s Traverse City Digital Marketing mavens, the artists formerly known as Big Daylight. Turns out we didn’t need to add Big Daylight to the FINE fold, because SEO is as useless as a gallon of the finest snake oil. Or not…


I’m writing this post in response to a number of things.

1. One of the top referring keywords for Big Daylight is, hilariously, “You Don’t Need SEO”. This is because a previous post I wrote talked about how You Don’t Need SEO Domain Names, but it ended up also positioning for “You Don’t Need SEO”.

2. A lot of people are searching on this, so obviously there is a burning need out there for people to either prove or be reassured that They Don’t Need SEO.

3. The recently published “World’s Shortest (and Probably Most Controversial) Guide to SEO” which (attempts to) condense an effective SEO strategy down to 10 words: Create something that people will want to link to. Repeat.

There are so many things I love about the World’s Shortest SEO Guide. First of all – they created something I wanted to link to. See, I did, even in this post! That very sentiment – the importance of having quality content – is something that I’ve personally been harping on way before that guide was ever published.

That’s right: please refer to this blog post I wrote last year, Build Something Excellent. In this post, I tell you that unless you have high quality, highly linkable content, you are missing a critical component of your SEO stratgy. I tell you that the first thing you need to do is be original, be unique, have a voice, create something that people care about and talk about.

Unless you have done this, then you don’t need SEO – you need a redesign. You need serious branding and content strategy. You need to be able to convert the traffic you receive. Please get thee over to FINE Design Group for a facelift.

SO: why do you still need SEO for a site that’s already got gobs of incoming links and gorgeous content? It’s goes back to ye olde “holy trinity” of how search engines rank pages:

1. Incoming links (impossible to get w/o a quality site, and we don’t get fake paid links for people, sorry)
2. Search-friendly architecture
3. Keyword integration

None of these 3 factors exists in a vacuum. Therein lies the rub.

Yes, if you build a superb site, traffic will come naturally. This is totally true. This is what every site must begin with.

But that doesn’t mean you aren’t leaving money – serious $$$ money – on the table by ignoring other SEO factors . I see many sites all the time that have outstanding content, but are missing out additional traffic because they aren’t being smart about optimizing their content.

The ROI of SEO is quantifiable and undeniable. We can prove it with numbers. There’s nothing more rewarding than taking a high-authority site, helping them improve basic site architecture and keyword integration issues, and then watching their traffic rise. That’s why I love my job!

But (cue broken record) if you don’t start with high-quality, link-worthy content, you’re going nowhere.

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