The Ugly Truth About SEO

1 July 2021

SEO is an essential tool for promoting any website and raising the profile of a brand online. It’s all about showing search engines that the website’s content is relevant for certain keywords and phrases so that it can serve up the most relevant, quality content that users are searching for. You may know a little about SEO or even a lot, but do you really understand the reality of search engine optimization? What does it really take to get your website recognized by the right audience? Is SEO really that important or can you just run your website with your audience in mind and hope that it matches what search engines are looking for?

If you want SEO to work out for you, which you should if you want your website to be noticed by the right people, you need to know some hard truths about how it all works.

We Don’t Know Exactly What Google’s Algorithm Wants

The truth is, we don’t know all of the details about Google’s algorithm and how it works. We have a fairly good idea about the sorts of things it’s looking for and the ranking factors that it takes into account, but Google doesn’t tell us exactly how it operates. That’s because Google doesn’t want people to manipulate the algorithm outright. It would make it too easy for people to simply check off a list of tasks to rank your website higher. Only Google knows the complete ins and outs of the algorithm, and they continue to update it to make sure it’s not too easy to get around it or cheat the system.

However, even though we can’t know everything, we do still have a good idea of what to do to improve website rankings. Google might not tell us everything but they do provide a lot of information, including guidelines and what changes when they make major updates. We also know a lot about what Google doesn’t want us to do and how they might penalize websites that break their rules.

SEO Isn’t Free or Easy

SEO helps to improve your organic traffic, which people often contrast with paid traffic, coming from sources such as pay-per-click ads. Appearing in organic search results delivers benefits to your website, as many people will trust an organic link over a paid ad. 

However, just because improving your position in organic search results can help you long-term in a way that paid advertising might not be able to, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy or even free. SEO can take a lot of time and you know what they say – time is money. While working on SEO is technically a free way to promote your site, you’ll still be spending money either by using your own time (or that of your employees) or by paying someone else to do it for you. SEO takes work and you need to be willing to invest time and money into it if you want to see results and a return on your investment.

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No One Can Guarantee You Top Position

You’ve probably seen SEO companies promising to get you to number one in search engine results. Maybe they’ve even come straight into your email inbox, trying to get you to bite. The idea of being in the top position for your preferred search teams sounds pretty appealing, doesn’t it? You could be the first result that people see when they search for the product or service you’re offering. But the reality is that this is a pretty difficult thing to do, especially for some types of keywords, and no one can guarantee that they’re going to get you to the top spot.

A lot of SEO companies will make promises about helping you to improve your rankings and promote your site through SEO, which is much more realistic. Just stay away from anyone promising to get you to a certain position.

Everyone Else Is Playing the Game, So You Need to Too

SEO is one of those things that you need to join in with if you don’t want to be left behind. While you could technically just try to publish the best content for your audience without giving any thought to SEO, there’s no guarantee it would work out. Everyone else is doing their best to give search engines what they want, while also paying attention to their users, so you need to do it too if you want to keep up with your competition.

SEO isn’t all easy-breezy. It can be hard work to get it right, but it pays off if you’re willing to invest in it.  Upfire SEO is committed to understanding your goals and aspirations for your website.  Contact us for a free Audit and proposal for your business.

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