Often times I get phone calls from potential clients that start off telling me how they are looking for search engine optimization services and begin to ask for certain requirements on the strategy side of things. There is nothing wrong with that except that some of the requests look more like a recipe for a science project than actually online marketing efforts to help grow a business.
Since when did building a business online go from a traditional marketing mind set to a formula? Yes the search engines run on a mathematical algorithm but approaching the process of building an online business through quantitative efforts is not exactly the best approach. What if you hire a search engine optimization expert and they make the strategy look like a giant science project with no actual marketing elements? Sure you might get some keyword rankings but if your website has not one conversion marketing aspect on it corrected all the rankings in the world will not get your site to convert well or even at all. Major announcements have come out recently regarding significant changes in the ways that search results pull information and I can bet that this type of science project approach to search engine optimization is going to go away very soon. Since the day the search engines where introduced to the public the engineers have been working hard to clean up search results and get rid of websites that take scientific approaches like this. Long term search engine optimization is about creating in bound marketing efforts with quality content. Having well campaigned viral marketing efforts sweep through an industry like a giant wave or have well written articles, so well written that every online magazine and blog just has to write about it. This is what search marketing is all about, not how many PR3 links you can get in one month.
The definition of SEO is partially the fault of the search engines. Certain changes are consistently being made making everyone shift their focuses in other directions. It fundamentally starts at the search engine so if they allow it what else can you really do but follow the path that has been paved. This is the reason why so many businesses are just worried about rankings which is a horrible way to approach your online business. If your search engine marketing strategy for your company looks like something out of a chemistry class I think it might be time to rethink your plan a little bit. Some of the best SEO approaches have a strong emphasis and marketing and branding. Those three elements combined can go much farther than just rankings.