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OPINION: The truth about web marketing and SEO II

OPINION: The truth about web marketing and SEO II

By Braden Walker
TXAD Internet Web Director

If you’ve been keeping up with these articles in the last couple of months, you will have most likely seen the “battle of opinions” in regards to SEO and web marketing. I’ve been talking about the importance and what to look out for in the realm of SEO and web marketing while others have been trying to downplay the importance of it.

We’ve gone back and forth with our varying opinions, but that doesn’t change the fact that SEO and web marketing are incredibly important and are not just a one shot deal or a “one size fits all” solution

There are many web companies out there that say they incorporate your site’s SEO into the initial web build and they do. They go in and do the keyword research and optimize the site before it launches so that it will hopefully rank high in the search engines. If your competition level is low, you might take the top spots in Google and not have to do anything for awhile. This is an ideal situation, but not the norm.

Many web companies build web sites that are beautiful but have absolutely no optimization to them. They are missing title tags, alt tags, heading tags, and the content on the site is either lacking and/or unoptimized. Like I said before in my previous article, it’s like having a Ferrari without an engine, it looks great but doesn’t do what it was built to do.

I believe that a customer should have as much information about something as they want. If a customer wants to know for a fact that the site that was just built for them is properly optimized, I want them to know that. This is why we have standards set in place with software and educated personnel who know what to look for in a website. If a customer wants to be able to update their site using a content management system like WordPress (which as of early 2015, 23 percent of all websites are powered by WordPress and it is the most popular CMS used worldwide), they deserve to have that freedom while having a site that is built well and optimized properly no matter what.

Whether your website is built in WordPress or hand coded in HTML5, if it’s missing elements that matter and/or is being optimized for the wrong keywords, your site is not going to do what it is meant to do and that is to sell.

I want to address an article that was recently written by one of my peers stating that SEO is nothing to brag about. I have to whole heartedly disagree with him. I agree that the old ways of doing SEO with all the black-hat tactics and “games” that are played are completely wrong and people shouldn’t participate in those things, but to say that legitimate SEO is a one time thing and doesn’t require any additional help, is misleading.

I think you know as well as I do that things in the Internet realm never stay the same and that is especially true with Google and how it ranks sites. I applaud website companies that build legitimate SEO into their sites and do the keyword research for their clients so that they have a leg up on the competition. It’s what should be expected by all web designers, but unfortunately isn’t always delivered. But, depending on how difficult a particular keyword or keyword phrase is, it may not be enough and continued work may be needed.

Let me close by saying that Google and so many other respectable companies out there are constantly talking about SEO and web search and the changes that are happening. They wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t important and constantly changing. If you are in a competitive market, you need someone who is paying attention and applying what is being taught and that is why I am proud to say that I can brag about SEO.

Braden Walker is the senior web developer for TXAD Internet, an SEO consultant to the campground industry. They specialize in SEO, web design, and all things online marketing related. For more information or to get in contact with TXAD Internet, visit txadinternet.com or call 817.426.9395.

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5 comments

  1. Excellent article and spot on. To add to the discussion SEO used to be about getting to the top of search results ONLY. Today it is about getting good search results while also being RELEVANT to users. Ongoing SEO is a must but let’s be real the majority of campground/ RV park owners don’t care and don’t get it; that leaves them open to unscrupulous “marketing firms”.

    • Hey Mark, thanks for the compliment. I completely agree that SEO in today’s world is and should be about the end user. More and more people are seeing that ranking #1 doesn’t mean much if your website isn’t delivering what your site visitor is needing. This is why we have been trying as hard as possible to put more info out to the campground industry about the importance of SEO done well, so that everyone can see the importance and know what to look for and also watch out for. Thanks again for your input, it is needed in this topic for sure.

  2. Appreciate the compliments on our beautiful sites Bradon. Look, I’ve audited your sites on a code level as I’m sure you have mine in order to write these attempts at one-upmanship.

    If we’re both being honest we both know our SEO is roughly comparable. Unless you’re making claims like you can guarantee first place Google placement (which I don’t think you are), you’re not doing anything much different than we are. Apparently I hand code my SEO and you use a plugin, the results are very similar. We don’t lay out the details of our SEO packages that you have to pay for, two reasons: 1) you don’t have to pay extra for it, and 2) I update my SEO practices constantly and take pointers from our team. Yes many campground owners will understand some of the technical terms you tossed in up there, but they won’t have the technical know-how to verify whether or not the claims are indeed true.

    Since we’ve met and you seemed like a nice guy I’d rather our companies be on a level where if you do happen to spot a mistake in our code, you let us know, and vice versa. As you know, if we can’t take a client for some reason, we’ve referred them to you in the past. That might change in the future but there’s no reason for it. If you want to call yourself the SEO expert of the campground industry, say it’s a bragging point, that’s your call if that’s how you want to market your business. We deliver the total package without compromise so we’ll stick to that.

    RV Daily Report and the campground industry deserve better than this back and forth low ball. Our companies both have enormous experience that could be put to better use in this type of forum. That’s my suggestion; I’ve got a lot of work to do.

    • Josh, I completely agree that we both have way more to do than go back and forth. You guys do a fine job at web design and my main issue hasn’t been so much with you all in regards to the work that you do as it has been with other “web firms” that build sites very badly.

      This is where SEO has been needed quite a bit. This is why we talk so much about SEO and its importance because there are tons of parks and business owners that have a new site built for them by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing and the business owner is left out in the cold with a site that isn’t doing anything for them. So SEO for us is a way to help business owners get found and hopefully increase their business through web marketing and I know that is the main goal of both you all and us.

      I agree that most web clients aren’t going to fully understand all of what is needed in a site, which is why we try to interpret as much as we can on the services we offer in a way that is easily understood. The additional SEO services are listed clearly on our website for all to see (they involve a whole lot more than just a plugin) and we encourage our clients to ask questions so that they are getting a clear picture of what is being done for them. I think this is also incredibly important in today’s marketplace, since there are so many “SEO firms” and “Web Firms” that are either knowingly or unknowingly taking advantage of people.

      Hopefully we can collaborate on some projects at some point in the future and if you all are going to be at ARVC this year then we hopefully can get together then and talk more.

      • I appreciate that Braden. You folks seem to be stepping it up lately as well. I’ll take competent competition that keeps us on our toes over the alternative any day. It’s good for the industry as well. We’ve always considered TX-AD “the other good guys”, and I can appreciate what you’re saying. Our business is full of both wolves and the under-qualified, but it’s a good thing campground owners have at least a couple solid choices dedicated to their industry.

        We will be at ARVC, looking forward to it. I imagine we will have opportunities to collaborate down the road. Cheers.

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