Branding, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and Santa Claus

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The original version of this article appeared on a site I used to run over a decade ago called “HowsYourBlog”. While the site and clever domain are no longer in my posession, it’s somehow being kept alive on a weird ghost server.

So here we are with a “evergreen” piece of content with that pop culture sprinkle as the content marketing and search engine optimisation people so desperately love to reference.

Article originally published on November 10, 2009 by David Yarde (thumbnail from pixelposition and kevindooley via Flickr)

Just imagine Santa Claus just starting out with his great idea of wanting to deliver presents.

So he throws up a website, gets a fancy logo, then shouts out his brand statement “Good kids are rewarded while the “bad” get coal in their sock or nothing.”

Eerily translated into a “Ho Ho Ho!”

He goes out and posts an article, then spams every message board, social media group, and post under the hashtags the experts have so graciously guided him to do.

Bam instant success. Wrong.

The same concept applies to us all with SEO or Search Engine Optimization for those who hate abbreviations.

So how does one achieve results in the SEO world?

Well if you truly want to know.. I have compiled a list of ways that over the years have proven invaluable and hopefully will help you avoid some of the common pitfalls and get results.

  • Never underestimate your work. – Plain and simple. Optimizing your site and maintaining it is hard work. Everyone who has a successful site didn’t just say “Hey everyone, my site is here for you to visit”. They put in the time and dedication to reach where they are now. Just ask Santa Claus.. he’ll tell you just how much overtime he puts in.

    Take time to understand your audience. Meaning, why should they show up and why should they stick around?
  • Take what you see with a grain of salt. – Not everything that glitters is gold. Traffic and earning stats can be created with an image editing program and now they even have generators online that people can use to make you believe that their method of doing things is the greatest.

    Do your research and make sure to do it well.
  • Do not put all your eggs in one basket. – One method is working really well.. and your super confident that you have found the golden egg so why not cancel all the other methods you may be working on.. Don’t… just because one method may be working really well doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use other methods also.

    You may realize that somewhere down the road your current “Golden Egg” method may stop working and now you have to go back to square one. Avoid this falling victim to this mind frame at all costs.
  • Don’t whore out the same techniques. – So you’ve found the working SEO cocktail. Congratulations. But now you think that you can use the same method for every project you may work on.. uh uh. Imagine if Santa Claus used the same techniques that he started out with today. There would be so much fail.
  • Don’t take shortcuts. – Imagine a young jolly Saint Nick handing out IOU’s to children or handing out cheap presents.. not only would it hurt his reputation but eventually it would just run him out of business. Same thing applies to SEO, don’t take shortcuts.. because as they say “what goes around, comes around.”
  • Keep it relevant. – If your brand and writing focus is on eco friendly toys don’t go off and start writing about essential oils. By keeping things relevant you’re building a better reputation for yourself, keeping your readers interested and creating relevant keyword relationships that help keep you in the SEO marathon.
  • Keep it clean. – The most important thing of all… Stay away from Black Hat SEO. By doing this you setting yourself up for future failure and regret. In the end all you’ll end up with is short-term results and long-term penalties.

Think about this for a moment, if Santa Claus used bait and switch methods for getting established, where would he be today?

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