Are We Doing It Backwards?
As a boy, I'd often have toothaches. A gentle soreness overnight would turn into a full-fledged throbbing in my mouth. I knew when this happened that my mother would give me a pill and for the evening it would feel a little less painful. Yet the deeper root pain was just beneath the surface. In the morning, all the pain, frustration, and anxiety came back stronger than ever.
If it was up to me, I'd rather take another pill and call it a day. Yet my mother, loving as she is, would take me to a place I didn't want to go, yet desperately needed to…. The dentist.
He would open me up, look at the tooth in question, and promptly suggest that I get a cavity filled immediately.
It was hard to admit, but at heart… I knew it.
That was a deeper problem that I was hoping for. In the back of my mind I eagerly wished he had a magic paste or liquid that I could swirl in my mouth to rebuild my lost enamel. The moment I felt the drill touch my tooth I knew there were no quick fixes.
There was no surface level band-aid I could wrap around my issue to make it go away.
There was one solution… to eliminate it at its root.
The same misbelief I had about my tooth is what so many business owners have about their business.
How many SEO "quick fixes" have you implemented? How many hours have you spent fixing on-page SEO elements, finding that perfect keyword to target, and building quality backlinks? Yes, those are all wonderful things, and there's nothing wrong with implementing them…
…but sometimes it's like using a toothbrush where a drill is needed.
The initial spike in traffic may seem fantastic as you see visions of dollar signs in your head.
However, the sudden drop off three days later leaves you in a state of confusion, desperation, and a desire for clarity.
In some situations, the "quick fix" can make the root problem deeper. More than that, trying to solve your surface level problem instead of your root problem will actually make your root problem more expensive to fix.
So what is my problem, anyways?
At the core, the problem most websites have is the lack of a consistent message that's tailored to a specific audience.
"Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." – Google.com
If you don't have a consistent message tailored to a specific audience, how can your content be "accessible and useful"? Who would it be accessible and useful to? Before "fixing" SEO, we as business owners and marketers need to figure out:
- What problems are we passionate about solving?
- What tangible values do our customers experience and how do they feel about those experiences?
- What “specific” problems do we solve for each tangible value?
- Who are we “specifically” solving each problem for?
- How to discover the business we are “really” in…
If we're not passionate about solving a problem, knowing the audience it effects (and how they feel about the problem), and knowing how the problem effects their lives- how can we create content that resonates with them and ranks in Google?
Google wants to provide the best information to their users. For our information to be good, it must be relevant to our audience. To create content that is relevant to our audience, we must know them and their problems.
This is where we need to start.
You might be overwhelmed right now by your root problem… I was too. I sat up in that chair until the dentist was finished and could look down on his work and say "I am pleased with this." And though the process was uncomfortable, two days later I felt better than I ever had before.
And it didn't just stop at my smile. I felt the social validation that comes with good teeth. I had more energy knowing I overcame a major hurdle- the kind that made me feel unstoppable. My pain and frustration was gone, and that brought me joy.
The process of experiencing the pain and addressing it at the core lead to growth!
By addressing our deep, root level problems we can open our businesses and ourselves up to massive growth and expansion.
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