"Man oh man, Britney you're about to cause some trouble!" — I sure hope not.
I really felt the need to write this post because I am very passionate about the subject of branding, and I think the world of "ranking on Google" in the creative industry is getting a little more hype than it needs. Eeeeek (big eye emoji).
While I definitely believe getting ranked on Google is cool (and at times important—especially for local businesses like restaurants), I feel there's nothing that compares to an actual brand experience. Seriously. Nothing.
To be honest, I am not the girl who has researched every keyword, alt text, SEO strategy etc. to be added to the backend of my website (even though Wix has hella tools for that). But! I am the girl who wants to create an experience that'll get people talking, inquiring and of course booking services.
Please understand my heart—this post is not knocking SEO, and the gurus who are killing the game...it's more about giving you perspective so that you can understand that your business is not driven solely by having awesome SEO.
That said, here are my 6 reasons why your brand is more than SEO:
1. SEO WILL SEND YOU "RANDOMS"
Not that randoms aren't good, because maybe they are at times. But how likely are the folks finding you through a Google search your ideal client? Of course, it's awesome to get them to your webpage to make that decision for themselves, but you darn sure better have an amazing visual brand AND awesome content so they'll want to stay AND BOOK! I hate when people say, "I care more about being found on Google than having a pretty website!" Like what the heck does that even mean? People want to be wowed during their online experience.
Say you're a makeup artist and an individual simply types in "MUA Atlanta, Georgia" and your name comes up #1 on Google (yay right)! While it's very cool that you came up in their search, let's think about this for a moment. This person does not know your work from a can of paint, has not been referred to you and may need some convincing to choose you over your competitor; or they'll be on to number 2-3-4 on the list. So, have you considered the steps it takes to book that "random" AFTER they've landed on your website? Or are you solely concerned with getting found?
2. TODAY, SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE SEARCH TOOL
When I got married in 2009, I definitely went to Google and typed in "Central Florida Wedding Photographer". See, these were the days before searching on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest were popular! You didn't type in some cool hashtag and boom! These days, people are finding the services they need simply by doing the one thumb scroll. Really, it's all about social networking and asking your friends to share the profiles of creative professionals with whom they've had an amazing experience. Living in a microwave society, we want it FAST, and social media helps us to cut all the extra stuff, ask for input and see the proof immediately.
3. GOOGLE IS GETTING SMART
It's always cool to be #1 on search engines, but what happens when the popular search engines we love so much start getting smarter and begin weeding out those SEO tactics we've been incorporating? Getting found is more than some cool keywords, obsessive linking and alt text, it's about creating powerful content that is loved by a search engine AND an actual HUMAN BEING! Stop writing for the computer, and start putting out engaging content that attracts real people and potentially your ideal client! Leading me to my next point!
4. SEO IS MAKING SOME OF US LAZY
I can't tell you the amount of people I've chatted with who solely rely on SEO to bring them new business. They've spent all their dollars building this portion of their business, and have totally neglected building their brand experience, incorporating memorable design, determining marketing strategies and adding a seamless workflow that increases word of mouth (WOM). If you are reading this, SEO is not the only solution to get you all booked! It takes work in several areas—business is NEVER one-sided.
5. SEO DOESN't FOSTER COMMUNITY
When people talk about having used your services there is a sense of community that is being built, crazy right?! They begin to talk amongst one another because they share something is common...you! My clients are known for having "bangin' brands", and amongst our mini community they all chat about how their brand is bangin' and why they love their designer so much (I love you guys too hehe). SEO doesn't do this... SEO doesn't automatically integrate folks into the conversation.
6. THE SEO WORLD IS HIGHLY SATURATED
In the beginning it was super cool to work on and maintain an SEO strategy because everyone wasn't doing it. But nowadays, everyone is jumping in the ring to compete, which then means we all at once are working to snatch that #1 spot....guess what though? We can't all have it! More people competing, means more money needed to compete and wouldn't you like to put your dollars somewhere else?
Ok! So now that I got that post out of the way lol, what would you like to hear about next?!