What is that often quoted line from Hamlet? “To be or not to be… That is the question!”
I often think of that quote when a client starts talking about SEO. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is such a marketing buzz word that every business thinks they NEED it, and if they don’t have it they are missing out on life changing, truck-loads of business!
Here are a couple SEO myths/truths that you should consider before hiring a company to do SEO.
MYTH: SEO Gives a Quick ROI
TRUTH: SEO does NOT provide a fast way to get new clients and make more sales. SEO is a slow process that can take 3-6 months before seeing solid results.
MYTH: SEO is a Waste of Money
TRUTH: SEO is NOT a waste of money, but can feel that way because it may take a number of months before real progress is made. SEO is an important marketing tool, but should NOT be where you spend your first marketing dollar. You should spend the first part of your marketing budget on efforts that have more immediate return on investment. Grab the “low hanging fruit” first before getting every piece off the entire tree.
MYTH: SEO is for Every Company
TRUTH: SEO is NOT a good fit for every company. If you answer yes to any of these questions, I would consider spending your marketing dollars on other efforts.
- Is your marketing budget less than $3k – $5k per month?
- Is your product/service sold mostly to other businesses?
- Are your sales down and you need immediate new business?
- Is your product/service a niche product that many don’t know about?
What should I do?
I recommend speaking with a one of our marketing consultant who can assess your business and create a blueprint outlining where you should spend your marketing dollars. SEO is a great marketing tool, but should only be used as part of a full marketing plan. Don’t just buy SEO because you heard it was important.
Google just released a new algorithm update called “BERT” – which stands for “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers.”
In this update Google is using “transformers” or words before/after another word that will change the overall intent of the phrase. Or as Google put it:
“This breakthrough was the result of Google research on transformers: models that process words in relation to all the other words in a sentence, rather than one-by-one in order. BERT models can therefore consider the full context of a word by looking at the words that come before and after it—particularly useful for understanding the intent behind search queries.” – Google Blog
Here are a couple examples that Google provided with their explanation.
Here’s a search for “2019 brazil traveler to usa need a visa.” The word “to” and its relationship to the other words in the query are particularly important to understanding the meaning. It’s about a Brazilian traveling to the U.S., and not the other way around. Previously, our algorithms wouldn’t understand the importance of this connection, and we returned results about U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil. With BERT, Search is able to grasp this nuance and know that the very common word “to” actually matters a lot here, and we can provide a much more relevant result for this query.
Let’s look at another query: “do estheticians stand a lot at work.” Previously, our systems were taking an approach of matching keywords, matching the term “stand-alone” in the result with the word “stand” in the query. But that isn’t the right use of the word “stand” in context. Our BERT models, on the other hand, understand that “stand” is related to the concept of the physical demands of a job, and displays a more useful response.
What does this mean?
Now I know what you are thinking… What does this mean? How will this change my ranking?
First, you should always be monitoring your ranking to see if there is any change.
Second, this change is going to affect mostly “sentence” or “long-tail” type searches. This should make you happy, as this change should help potential clients who are looking to BUY your services find you.
In a nut shell, if you create long form content that conveys the “intent” that your targeted user should have when visiting your site – you should come out on top.