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SEO Can Be A Bear

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We often take the mainstream press to task for not understanding the value of search engine marketing and search engine optimization. So it's a welcome change when a national columnist gets it right.

Today Steven Strauss in TheStreet.com wrote a column titled, "Get on Google's Good Side with SEO." With Matt Cutts' recent endorsement of "white hat" SEO, it's great to see small business embrace search engine optimization.

Strauss writes, "One of the questions I hear most often these days goes something like, 'How the heck am I supposed to keep my small business going in this economy? I don't have a lot of money for advertising.'"

He states - or perhaps overstates:

The good news is that there is in fact a great way to market your business that is not expensive and is very effective. However, it is quite time-consuming.

It's called search engine optimization. SEO gets you noticed, is practically free marketing and increases sales. SEO is the magic bullet.

Anyone who's done SEO knows it's not a magic bullet. Calling SEO a magic bullet beats "snake oil" any day of the week.

Since he's writing for beginners, Strauss compares fear of SEO to an Alec Baldwin-Anthony Hopkins movie written by David Mamet, "The Edge."

I am reminded of the 1997 movie The Edge with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin. In it, the two men are stranded in the Alaska Outback after their small plane crashes.

Soon they are being stalked by a bear. Eventually Hopkins' character convinces himself and Baldwin's character, Bob, that they can slay the bear.

"I'm going to kill the bear," Hopkins' character says, "Say it! Say I'm going to kill the bear!"

Bob says it, halfheartedly.

Charles (Hopkins) then yells at Bob: "Say it! Say I'm going to kill the bear!" Bob says it.

"Say it again," says Charles. Bob, starting to feel it, says it more loudly. "I'm going to kill the bear." "Again!" Charles bellows. Finally, Bob yells, convincingly, " I Am Going To Kill The Bear!"

Finally, they kill the bear.

You must believe in SEO and your ability to achieve online marketing goals to succeed.

Steven D. Strauss is a lawyer, author and USA TODAY columnist. His latest book is the Small Business Bible. He's spoken around the world about entrepreneurship, including at the UN, and has been seen on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, The O'Reilly Factor, and many other television and radio shows. He maintains a Web site at www.MrAllBiz.com.


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