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How to get the benefit of doing SEO - without doing SEO

Apr 04, 2024

"The last thing you need is SEO” said the SEO expert to the business owner.

It sounds like a joke - but in fact this is something that I’ve said to prospects many times over the years.

Today I would probably add “Do SEI first” - BUT the core message is the same - DON’T spend money on ANY form of marketing until you've done your brand identity and marketing strategy.

Without a good understanding of your target audience and a clear strategy for engaging them - there is NO meaningful digital marketing action that you can take.

Why? Nothing will be “the right thing to do” if you can’t:

  • Put your brand purpose, values and mission into words.
  • identify who your customers are and where they hang out online.
  • Explain the problems you solve for your customers.

Once you have this “who and what” THEN you can develop your marketing hypothesis on how and where you will engage with prospects. 

Once you have that hypothesis in place, THEN you can start testing it. Otherwise you’re playing “ready/fire/aim” - and that’s stupidly expensive. Every marketing action is the wrong action when you can’t explain why you’re in business, who you help and how you help them.


Start with SEI, not SEO
Traditionally, SEO has been “the thing you do to get found by Google”. It was something that you had to get done by experts, because it was
a) complicated
b) needed lots of technical research
c) involved messing with scary technical stuff at the back end of your website.

But to do good SEO, first you need to understand Search Engine Influence (SEI). Today, you can pay an SEO expert to do that - or now you can use our SEI Tool to build digital marketing understanding into your business.


What IS SEI?

After 20 years in SEO marketing, it became increasingly obvious to me that digital marketing was becoming over-complicated - there was too much technology and not enough marketing intelligence.

It was becoming a global online game where specialist digital agencies played against each other in a quest to master Google’s algorithms - scored by the performance of their customers’ websites.

A necessary evolutionary step (perhaps) but not greatly helpful (or cost-effective) for the SMEs that make up most of the global economy.

Most SMEs need to know what to do more of, what to stop doing, and where they have problems. Without a whole lot of tech jargon.

But nothing existed in the market to fill this gap - which is pretty ridiculous when you think about just how much the science of marketing has advanced in the last 20 years.


A tool to build SEO understanding and influence

5 years ago, I set out to do something about this very real gap . I got together a crack team and started building a tool set that would enable busy business operators to understand the key factors that influence two audiences:

  1. The Search Engines that bring visitors to their site
  2. The human visitors seeking solutions to their problems.

So now, businesses that want to “get found by Google” can use the SEI tool to build and test their marketing strategies - and build an understanding of digital marketing into their business.


How does SEI help your marketing strategy?
SEI can’t create a brand identity or marketing strategy - YOU still need to take the time to slow down and figure out what your focus is - your brand, your strategy, your target market.

Out of your brand identity and strategy you will undoubtedly identify 3-5 things that will really move the needle on your online marketing.

Then SEI can make a real difference - because as you review your results, it will help you:

  1. Understand why you’re doing what we’re doing.
  2. Understand what your role in the strategy is - what YOU needs to do to make a difference.
  3. Explain your plan and strategy to your team - because SEI gives you your results in business, not in geek speak.

So instead of complex SEO reports that leave you scratching your head and wondering what to do, you get useful knowledge that helps you understand what to change and why to change it - so you can improve your digital marketing results.

If you’ve already got your marketing strategy sorted, and are wondering “what next?” then talk to us at Terminology about developing some Search Engine Influence.