Did you ignore the hype over the last 10 years about SEO? Are you tired of the emails, spam and phone calls with big claims "We can make you #1 on Google in 7 days"? The idea of a brick and mortar business relying on the invisible world of the Internet or SEO where terms about "keyword ranking" have been foreign.
It no longer matters. The tricks, strategies, tactics, white hat, gray hat and black hat for keyword ranking is being outsmarted by search engine software.
The new world media and technology, Internet marketing, social media, content marketing and the new hot "inbound marketing" has changed. Not everyone has caught up and "experts" will keep trying to sell the old.
If you doubt it, consider your own activity. Consider how you use your phone. How much time is spent talking on the phone vs. searching the Internet, shopping, checking email, connecting via social media, texting, finding your way on Google Maps, reading a book, listening to music, watching a movie, playing games, checking on stocks, and using the many other apps.
The phone is not a phone. A book is no longer a paperback, it is an ebook or Kindle book. SEO is no longer "SEO". You were right to wait and ignore the hype. While you missed out on opportunities in the past, you can leap forward and have a competitive advantage as those who are stuck with old SEO beliefs will keep doing work that does not matter.
To keep you in the know and help you adjust your marketing plan online, here is an infographic that shows how "That was then and this is now" when it comes to SEO:
Courtesy of: Quicksprout
... and now its decision time. Keep ignoring the potential or use the old methods that used to work or consider how to take advantage of the new world of media.
It used to work. It is easy to do tasks which have no meaning other than adding text, links and fluff on website pages. In fact, it is EASY to create free websites and add text links back to a website page. It is easy to add comments to forums and blog comments which have no meaning. It is easy to post a non-sensical press release on a free press release site. Adding a link and name to a cheap directory over and over can be done with very little expertise.
These ineffective activities do take time but there is no rejection and no human interaction required. It is still easy to hire someone on fiverr.com to do repetitive tasks.
The new way is tough. It is difficult to listen, understand what people want and need, the best timing, which titles to use, the message to inspire and it is very difficult to impress in a world where fantasies become a reality with video games, movies, Internet, reality TV, Mars landings and 3D printing. Difficult or not, it is effective.
People still search. It has been reported that 51% of web traffic happens via search. Every business has a reason to use the Internet and online marketing. SEO will continue to be part of the conversation but the meaning has changed. This is not unexpected as humans and cultures evolve. "SEO" is becoming synonymous with "content marketing" aka "inbound marketing".
Forget the old tricks and consider how your value will be reflected using the online tools as a mirror for the world to see your awesomeness.
If you ignore the opportunity, your competition will not. If you look at the graph above, you’ll notice that 88% of the companies that use SEO integrate content marketing into their strategy.
If you reflect our awesomeness online, it has more power than ever with so many still focused on ineffective fluff. Their marginalism is your competitive advantage.