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There’s no doubting that SEO services get a lot of plaudits for getting websites noticed. In a recent Econsultancy article, SEO was compared to being a ‘goal hanger’, effectively being in the right place to benefit from other’s hard work and graft.
There’s probably more than a little bit of truth to this suggestion. However, keywords have shaped the way the Internet is used and ultimately the way in which both SEO professionals and casual search engine users interact. The language of the Internet is such that we don’t ask questions as much as we do make statements.
For example, if I was going to look for a grocery shop in Portsmouth, I’m unlikely to type in “where is the best place to buy groceries in Portsmouth?” If I do, this is all I can expect to see.
Conversely, type in “Tesco Portsmouth” or even less specifically “Supermarket Portsmouth” and you get exactly what you need almost straight away.
This kind of logic is now engrained in all Internet users, almost as an unwritten code. Defining, creating and distributing these keywords is therefore down to the SEO strategists, who simply bring in the people who already knew what they were looking for, just perhaps not where to find it.
The success and failure of any site can be determined by any number of factors though these days. You’ve got to have good strong links, a solid social media background and quality content. Only with all these things in place, plus your SEO language, will it all come together.
Of course, as a Search Marketing Company, we are likely to defend the SEO services we offer; but the simple truth is, that whilst it may be the domain of the goal-poaching ‘glory hunters’, the Ruud Van Nistlerooy’s, Luca Toni’s and Filippo Inzaghi’s if you like, it is ultimately an essential asset. If there’s nobody there to poach your goals, or in SEO’s case, boost your search ranking, then inevitably the whole team will suffer as a result.
So, returning to the original question, does SEO take too much credit? The answer is simple, no. Perhaps a more accurate question may have been: Do other elements of search marketing get too little credit? To which I’m sure the conclusion would be very different, but that’s an argument for another day.