• http://reelseo.com/about/grant Grant Crowell

    “No business can ignore SEO.” True, but there’s another equally important question: Can businesses and consumers trust SEO? With Google pushing out the free organic results, with spam still a huge problem, and the FTC cracking down on backlinking companies – there needs to be more of a push to doing helpful content and engaging with others person-to-person, rather than being so fixated on chasing algorithms named after some exotic animal each new quarter.

  • http://www.ferreemoney.com/blog/ Neil Ferree

    Nice post Trond. I didn’t coin the phrase but I have seen a spike in visits, mindmap downloads and slideshare views on various iterations I’ve produced for “social shares is the new seo”. Social Proof (ie) +1′s FB Likes, R/T’s etc. are a mild indicator of support for a digital asset, be it a slideshare ppt or a meister mind map or a simple blog post article. Social Shares while not the main metric for seo influence, is certainly picking up steam for growing an audience and being considered a thought leader in a niche market.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/sanket Sanket Patel

    Every business need SEO no one can ignore it it is true, SEO gives organic and free traffic so every one doing SEO for improving their SERP ranking of website. You said that it is a process of getting visitors and turning them into customers it is true but every business does not trust on SEO. So how we can increase effectiveness?

  • http://twitter.com/mpezet Martin Pezet

    Comments like: “Many are content with a 2% sales conversion – or less. This means 98% of their marketing is wasteful!” make me cringe, it’s just such a naive thing to say.  It’s not wasted as the same person may need to visit a website serval times before they convert depending on what point of their own buying cycle (e.g. the AIDA model) they are at.  You have to optimise for various points of the conversion funnel to maximise revenue and not just assume that someone that doesn’t convert immediately means you have “wasted” your spend.

  • http://twitter.com/duncan_heath Duncan Heath

    Have to agree Martin. Not to mention those that don’t buy, but do share your site/product, those that arrive accidently and would never have converted – but that you haven’t spent money getting, and those visiting your site for other reasons such as competitors, researchers, spammers etc. 

  • http://twitter.com/emarketingseo Pravin Kumar Gupta

    Used paid mediaum ! 

  • http://twitter.com/emarketingseo Pravin Kumar Gupta

    That great article ! Awesome ! Awesome 

  • https://plus.google.com/117516344939694258760/about Trond Lyngbø

    Grant, nice points. SEO needs to be consumer-friendly, for sure – and most forms of effective SEO do tend to be so. While striving to buy or fake back links may be a viable tactic in the short term, it is far better to receive geniune links that point to any content BECAUSE it adds value. The same applies to social signals, which can possibly be skewed through gaming in the short run, but that’s hardly a sustainable strategy over time. Maybe a nice corollary can be that “No business can avoid the style of SEO that’s consumer-centric!”

  • https://plus.google.com/117516344939694258760/about Trond Lyngbø

    Neil, I agree completely with you. Social signals are growing in importance. It isn’t quite as simple or straighforward as, say, back links from authority sites. But having a power-user of Twitter or Google Plus vote up your content will surely raise visibility – and be considered by a search engine to therefore indicate greater value to a target audience, leading it to be ranked higher on SERPs. I’ve written about it in another article too, called “Social Search: Dead On Arrival? Or On Life Support?”. Link: http://searchengineland.com/social-search-dead-on-arrival-or-on-life-support-112466

    Best wishes,
    Trond Lyngbø

  • https://plus.google.com/117516344939694258760/about Trond Lyngbø

    Sanket, you’re right about not every business trusting SEO. Converting visitors into customers is a process that begins with a deeper understanding of what they are seeking at the point when they search online for a business’ primary keywords, and then constructing a landing page that addresses those needs, in a manner that builds trust and encourages them to take the next step. It involves some good old detective work, in the beginning – but the effort pays off in great measure over time.

    Best wishes,
    Trond Lyngbø

  • https://plus.google.com/117516344939694258760/about Trond Lyngbø

    Martin and Duncan, thanks for your comments.

    The “2% sales conversion” is, in many cases, the net result of all repeat visits! And without trust being fostered right from the beginning, it becomes an uphill battle to boost conversion rates, even over time.
    Of couse, fixing this is not easy, and nothing is black and white, or cast in stone.
    Social sharing and other activities enhance brand recognition and extend the reach of your marketing message. This, in turn (and over time), increases sales (or other desired results).
    It certainly is important to optimize different points on the sales/marketing funnel. And this requires that you have a good handle over your Web analytics. Then it isn’t such a big problem. But if you don’t know your numbers, or the path visitors take through your site, or how they behave at various pages or from various entry points to your site, then you’re on a fishing expedition and making wild guesses as to why conversion is so poor. That isn’t quite an enjoyable situation to be in.
    Web analytics alone won’t reveal every secret. But there are other devices (like surveys, asking simple questions at the point of sale or checkout page), tracking clicks and other forms of measurement that will add to the visitor experience, gradually leading them down a path of growing engagement, increasing trust, and eventually a ‘sale’. Just throwing more traffic at a non-performing page by going after a Google #1 ranking by hook or crook isn’t a winning strategy, imho.

    Best wishes,
    Trond Lyngbø

  • Alan

    Google is fixing all this for us. Soon all we will have to worry about as SEO’s is how big is our clients adwords budget.

  • cbarr81

    see below (edited)

  • cbarr81

    Trond – the search engines need to level the playing field so that both small businesses and national chains have access to the same information and ranking potential. Theoretically, every small business starts with an inherent disadvantage that, in some cases, is impossible to overcome.

    Further, in many cases Google keeps business owners completely in the dark as to why certain sites are penalized, removed from SERPs, or performing poorly. There is absolutely no consistency when it comes to indexing or penalizing sites.

    There are no “defense” arguments, these issues are occurring right now.

  • Justin Kofron

    The detective work is the step that is often missed. Seo’s or marketing managers view the analytics and see that a customer leaves the funnel, count it as a loss and move on. The time is not taken to understand why that customer exited, and that there is a correlation between that customer and other customers. Many Google Analytics users can tell you where the pageviews and visits are, but can they tell where to track your conversions?