Starting-out a relationship by playing hard to get is a risky strategy, one built upon deceit, denial and a hidden agenda - but wait. I'm not writing about dating, I'm writing about SEO. Read on, find out if your website's playing hard to get with Google.
There are customers out here across the Web that want you, I mean really want you. But your website's nowhere to be found on Google's search engine results pages so you're giving these potential customers no opportunity to show you love - your website's playing hard to get.
Building business is about building relationships and building a relationship, whether it's business or personal, is based upon trust, openness and honesty.
Playing hard to get is a risky strategy and it only works in certain conditions. On a personal level, playing hard to get works when your potential partner knows of you and is already attracted to you. In this climate, playing a little bit hard to get can increase their perception of your value as a lover and motivate them to chase you more.
In my SEO management strategy, The Art of Search, I've written to help readers understand how to learn SEO by comparing Google to an internet dating agency and, when you compare search engine optimisation to dating, it becomes easy to see how so many websites are getting SEO wrong by sending out the wrong signals.
You can only play hard to get when you're known by and attractive to the person you want to fall for you and eventually proposition. The problem with your website is that these customers who really want you, the ones out here using Google to search the Web (the ones you really want to proposition now), don't even know you exist. If they don't know you exist then they'll not search Google for your company or brand names; instead they'll write search queries using keywords that best describe the image of the perfect business partner that's in their head the very moment they choose to search.
Don't play hard to get - be easy to get! Organic SEO requires you to send out the right kind of signals. When you describe your business on your website, don't describe it using clever jargon, management clichés or corporate gobbledegook. Describe your business in plain business English. Better still, write less about your business and write more about what the Customer wants using the SEO keywords they'll search with.
Think about our internet dating analogy. When you create a profile on a dating website, writing about the kind of person you want to meet and the kind of life you want to lead will make you far more attractive than if you only wrote about your hobbies, job and kids
So how do you find out if your website's playing hard to get with Google?
Firstly, close your eyes and picture your ideal Customer. Now imagine them faced with an empty Google search box intent on buying. This dream Customer doesn't know you even exist (yet) so they won't search for your business by name but they will search for what they want from you. Decide what they type into that empty Google search box, open your eyes and make a note of the search query. Close your eyes once again and picture the same Customer in a different environment and decide how their search query in this new scenario changes. Open your eyes and write down the keywords of this new search query. Repeat until you've run out of Customers, environments and scenarios.
Now, pick any search query and type these SEO keywords into Google. If a link to your company website doesn't show on the first page of search engine results then you're risking your business by playing hard to get.
Simply can't believe you passed up the opportunity to talk about The Ultimate Answer being 42! However I liken thinking about what your customer would put into a search engine to find you as the Ultimate SEO Question.
It really is very simple when you think about it. Think about what your customer would search for if they wanted to find your product or service and ensure that you are found when they are typed. As usual, most profound simplicity from Steve Whiting.
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