Part 1 - Yellow Pages Are Dead. SEO Rises from the Ashes.
Obituary: the once beloved yellow pages have passed away in 2010. Cause of death: Internet search engines. Gone the way of the buggy whip, the big yellow book has found nirvana in the afterlife as doorstops and recycled paper. Oh they may still print a few of the big books, but they’re really just for Internet holdouts and people at phone booths in remote areas. In a related story, print advertising, also close to giving up the ghost is in the throes of death gurgles, although it may resuscitate with CPR and a niche role in the advertising world.
Given the untimely demise of the big book, people now find products and services through Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Using search engines is faster than clumsily flipping through those cumbersome yellow pages and getting black ink all over your fingertips. Search engines are also more effective in terms of finding gobs of useful information. And there’s no junk mail to pile up and throw away.
And so enters the golden age of SEO, search engine optimization(http://www.hollywood-seo.com/), the Holy Grail, the darling of the Internet marketing community! Like the mythical Phoenix of ancient Greek lore, SEO is rising from the ashes of the yellow pages and print advertising.
However SEO is not quite a household word yet. We did an informal survey and asked people if they knew what SEO is. Then we asked them if they know what Paris Hilton is. Guess who came out on top. 10-4, copy that. Even in 2010 I find myself frequently explaining what SEO is to people, but not what Paris Hilton is.
Oh yeah, they usually get the basic concept (of SEO that is, not Paris Hilton) when I explain it to them. “It gets your website to the top page of Google.” Ok, that’s great, but the real issue is when business owners still don’t understand why it is important for their business. Google, schmoogle, why should I care?
I was recently was speaking with a startup business owner client about his advertising campaign. I had written the content for his website and was aware that he considered the website to be very important to his business because wisely he wanted his URL on all his print advertising. Now bear in mind that this business has no physical location.
He said that he wanted to mail out postcards and distribute flyers. I knew that he had a healthy advertising budget, and being a marketing guy, well naturally I recommended that we also start a search engine optimization campaign for his website. He understood what SEO is: “yeah, it makes people find your website”. But online advertising (SEO) just wasn’t important to him. It wasn’t that he didn’t have the budget, or didn’t want to give the work to me. His mind was fixed on postcards and flyers. That’s where his priority was.
Fine, no skin off of my back but let me get this out there right now. Putting up a website, but then not promoting it online is like opening a store, but then not hanging out a sign! No one will find your store or your website! Whew, I feel better! This is especially true for a virtual business that has no physical location like his.
Now this is an intelligent dude who owns other extremely successful businesses, all old-school. What boggled my mind is that he knew it was important to have a website, and he knew that you need to work to get people to go to your site, but he couldn’t see the value of Internet marketing. I had seen this condition before in my SEO practice at Hollywood-Seo.com:(http://www.hollywood-seo.com/) a debilitating malady that I call SEO mental block! After much perplexing I determined in myself to make it my life’s mission to discover a cure for SEO mental block. I searched high and low, on search engines of course. Finally my quest proved fortuitous as I stumbled upon a discovery.
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