Many site owners get discouraged with their SEO campaigns very quickly. Either they are expecting miraculous results inside of three months or they seem to focus on what their site isn’t doing as opposed to how it is improving. These attitudes are the quickest way to kill your SEO campaign and hurt your online presence in 2012.
Here are four things to keep in mind as you outline your 2012 SEO campaign:
Everyone Knows “Just Enough” SEO to be Competitive
For small businesses looking to optimize their own websites, there is a veritable treasure trove of free tips, tricks, guidelines, opinions, etc. available at the click of a mouse. Mid-sized companies (with the budget) can cherry pick from hundreds of SEO consultants/experts/gurus to come in and train their marketing staff, or just outsource their SEO campaigns entirely. Building an SEO campaign isn’t like advertising in the Super Bowl, something that only the biggest brands can afford to do – everyone has access to all the information they need to create a successful SEO campaign, which means that everyone knows just enough to make it that much harder for your website to stand out.
There are billions of websites, with more being created every day. We share billions upon billions of pieces of content each day, which means there is a lot of noise for your site to contend with. The search algorithm isn’t perfect (even though the search engines are constantly seeking to improve it) and there is no “magic formula” sites can follow to guarantee their success. A little SEO goes a long way, which is why it’s important that you always try to keep your SEO campaign going strong.
Strive to be Better, Not Just a Copy
If it always seems like you are two steps behind the competition, take a good look at your campaign and be honest with yourself. Did you create this campaign based on your unique needs, wants and goals as a company? Are you leveraging your online assets to their fullest? Are you determined to find new link opportunities and opportunities for online growth? It’s very tempting to look at a successful competitor and assume that if you just do what they are doing, soon you’ll be as successful as they are. Well, you know what they say about assuming… If you want to topple your top competitors, how are you going to do that if you just focus your SEO on repeating what they have done? Following in their footsteps pretty much guarantees you’ll always be two steps behind.
Also, just because certain SEO tactics are producing good results for your competition, that doesn’t automatically mean it will do the same for you. You might inadvertently hurt your SEO and online brand by copying the competition.
You Can’t Win the SEO Race if You Don’t Try
It’s easy to get discouraged and feel like your SEO campaign isn’t taking your brand anywhere, but that doesn’t mean progress isn’t happening! Depending on the industry you operate in (such as travel, auto or legal), the competition might be extra fierce. Your SEO might be at the tipping point of producing really great results, so don’t stop now! You can never know for sure exactly what the competition is doing, so don’t assume you’re miles behind. You might be gaining on them faster than you think and pulling the plug now will just unravel all your hard work done in 2011.
Don’t Focus Too Much on the Competition
If your top competitors are engaged in implementing and executing a strong, focused, white hat link building campaign then they have earned their success! But that doesn’t mean that you can’t carve out a competitive niche for your own brand and develop your own successful SEO campaign. Constantly comparing your online success to that of your competition can be very disheartening after a while, and it makes it that much easier to set your campaign up for failure. Think of it this way -let’s say you just started running and are working your way down from a 10 minute mile to a 7 minute mile. If you measure your progress against your neighbor who runs marathons for fun, you are only going to see yourself as a failure. The same concept holds true for SEO. Don’t create benchmarks based on what the
competition is doing (They get 10,000 visitors a month, so we need to get 10,000 too!), base them on what your own site is doing and how it is improving (growing from 1,500 visitors to 1,750 this month).
With 2012 just around the corner, now is the perfect time to outline your SEO strategy for the coming year. Just remember these four things and you’ll have a much more pleasant SEO experience.
Nick Stamoulis is a Boston SEO consultant and President of Brick Marketing a full service SEO and social media marketing company. With over 12 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting daily SEO tips to his blog, the Search Engine Optimization Journal, and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 150,000 opt-in subscribers. Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or email@example.com