When it comes to learning SEO (search engine optimization), internet marketing or social media marketing you can pick up a book and know exactly what you are doing within a couple of days…. right. You will automatically know what all of the terms of social media marketing are, because you use Facebook and Twitter occasionally. I mean with this type of first hand personal knowledge then you must be way ahead of the game. Here’s the problem with that, anyone can pick up an SEO for dummies book, but I can also pick up a raising kids for dummies book and trust me it’s not going to prepare me for what’s to come in the next year, let alone the next 18 years. Oh and you use Facebook, so how hard can it be to set up a company page and actually engage people? The quick answer is very hard.
First of all why is any of this even important? It’s important because people are on the Internet and you can feed them relevant information, if you know how to do it. It’s not about writing a few status updates and asking people to click your link. Sure that might work for a couple of people, but it’s not going to rank you any higher on Google or Bing. Let me tell you a quick story. A couple of years ago my friend asked me for a phone number, I stated, “I don’t know use the phone book”. He looked me dead in the eye and was 100% serious when he exclaimed “WHAT IS A PHONE BOOK?” The world is changing, and it’s the Internet they are moving to.
Let me start by telling you I have a Masters degree in Internet marketing and have been doing it for over 5 years and with all of the constant changes, new technology, and new ways of doing things I still do not know a magic bullet. I know that it takes a big team and a lot of hard work, just like old-fashioned media marketing. If you think a crash coarse or quick read of a book is going to get your website ranked then you are very mistaken. I am not trying to be harsh; I am just stating facts about SEO.
Consider this for a second, there are several different search engines, including Google, Bing, and Yahoo, each one has a different algorithm when it comes to rankings. All of these search engines send out crawlers to index your site. What is it looking for exactly; nobody except those companies is 100% sure. But let’s assume they are looking for good content, and when I say good content I mean good SEO content. I bet your book can teach you about that. Of course this content is going to need to be quality and it needs to be released on a regular basis.
Moving on to Social Media, which is a part of SEO, you are going to want to engage your users on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Last.fm, Digg, Reddit, flickr, Path, Instagram, Pinterest, shall I go on, probably not, because the list would take all day to complete. Going along with content and social media, you will need to blog on a regular basis, again using quality content. This is starting to sound like a daunting task for one person. Or for people who aren’t sure what they are doing.
Let’s not forget about things such as advertising, PPC campaigns, banner advertising on networks and many different websites such as Facebook or Google. You’re going to want to make sure that all of your information is up to date and always accurate. I will just throw this out there, you will need to create a massive buckling campaign in order to get your sites in order to start ranking. But, that book should teach you how to do that. Let’s not forget about mobile marketing and mobile websites, but I don’t even have time to get into that.
With all of that said you have to make sure your website is well structured and user friendly, this can take a professional weeks if not months depending on how big your website is. But, I think you could learn it from a book or maybe a seminar.
The point of this blog was to let everyone out there know that SEO and everything that goes along with it is a daunting task to simply get one keyword ranked and it does in fact require a team of people working hard. No, it’s not rocket science, but you will also not learn how to do it overnight, or even in a year. If you start getting into doing your own SEO, you will most likely hurt your rankings and end up in a worse position than before.
*Note, I didn’t even scratch the surface with everything that goes into an SEO campaign, this blog post was just an example of how ludicrous it is to expect to learn SEO from a seminar or a how-to book.*