Believe it or not, this is the question Google is asking about your website. Could it be that Google really wants to provide its users with quality choices for every search request?

Here’s the hard truth about SEO. For every keyword phrase you want to gain high organic rank, you must be prepared to create the kind of content for your website that will set you apart from other sites also targeting that keyword, and make your site “authoritative” on these subjects.

Because of the enormous amount of competition for coveted search terms, your site will not have a chance to outrank competitors unless you are committed to doing these two things. The way you approach authoritative and organized content will make all the difference in your organic rankings.

The naïve (Elmer Fudd) approach to SEO – Assumes prospects think like you do, and find your site using the terms and buzzwords you want them to use, so you:

  • Prepare content and web pages on important search terms
  • Put the keyword in the title, meta tags and all the other places on the page that make sense
  • Use the search term in the website, but keep those pages from the main navigation of the site because they do not promote the brand name, positioning statement or exactly what you want to be known for
  • Do lots and lots of link building

The informed (Bugs Bunny) approach to SEO – Puts you in your prospects’ shoes by asking:

  1. Why would someone use this search term (rather than a different one)?
  2. How can we address the real intent of this person on our website?
  3. Which media communicates best with this individual: video, articles, music, images, interactive tools or a combination?
  4. What’s the best way to encourage this individual to learn more and discover that we are a credible organization in the process?
  5. How can we organize the content of our site so that users and search engines can quickly find (within one click) what they are looking for – even if it doesn’t match our brand name initiatives perfectly?

The informed approach knows that, in a new medium, it takes time and effort to learn the new rules and earn respect from your prospective audiences. The Internet is one such medium. Would you begin an advertising campaign targeting New York Giants’ fans before learning what motivates them to listen up and take action? Of course not, and the same is true of the Internet community. Don’t be naïve; be informed.

You might be naïve like Elmer Fudd about SEO if you:

  • Are willing to take, scrape or buy pre-developed content to use on your site
  • Think SEO is simply making keyword changes to the website and building links
  • Think your web visitors buy for the same reasons you would, and set up the selling processes on your site accordingly
  • Focus on pushing your brand name messages and industry buzz words
  • Fear collaborating with online competitors

You might be informed like Bugs Bunny about SEO if you:

  • Are willing to create your own, unique web content that addresses the intent of your online audience
  • Think SEO is about engaging your online audience so that they deliver wanted responses and link back to your site from their site, blog, Facebook page, etc.
  • Research your online customers to find out what motivates them to buy, and then prepare pathways that fit their decision processes
  • Explore new ways of engaging and educating online prospects even if they are naïve about your industry or brand
  • Are open to share, collaborate and build relationships online – even with competitors – to creatively engage your online audience

Don’t be naïve; be informed and take your Internet marketing and SEO to the next level.

Author: Tom Shivers is an SEO consultant and president of Capture Commerce, founded in 2000 to provide tailored Internet marketing plans – valuable traffic from multiple sources, optimized conversion rates and loyal customers. Use our SEO process tutorial to get started with the basics of SEO.