I saw this very humorous and quite insightful comic this morning. Many of you will already be familiar with Dilbert, the daily comic strip that shares uncanny insight into modern corporate life. This morning's edition introduces a new character to the Dilbert, Dogbert, Catbert et al universe; Pantless Weasel, the SEO expert. It is his job to corrupt the integrity of the internet in favor of the evil corporate dinosaur Dilbert works for. This really struck a chord with me, working in the internet marketing industry, I see a lot of unscrupulous SEO companies using dirty tricks and unrealistic promises to win business at rates far below the market average and surely a poor reflection of the investment they make into each project. This has led to SEO becoming something of a dirty word in some circles - a bit of a necessary evil but not something people are happy to talk about openly. This needn't be the case. SEO can be a legitimate activity when done correctly. Any notion that it is corrupting the integrity of the internet is bitter cynicism as the only reliable way to get truly good and bankable search rankings is through relevant content and a properly designed website.  The folks at Google are no fools and they constantly refine their algorithms to ensure that their prime asset, web-searchers, get the best possible results. I would advise, as I always have, companies give budget SEO setups a wide berth but rather engage with a reputable company that can meet you face to face, talk to you about how they are going to get you better rankings and work out projected ROI to set reasonable budgets for the activity. If SEO really was a silver bullet for sales domination at just £150 per month, everyone would be doing it and they would all be #1 on Google. Clearly that is not the case. If however, you have a product that you want to sell and people are looking for it online (they almost certainly are) you can use SEO to get their attention and make a strong case for your services. Good SEO is a really worthwhile activity, especially when it is performed as a part of a holistic approach to internet marketing. That is when it will be most effective but it is worth bearing in mind that traffic is worthless without a website that converts them effectively. ( Image Credit: http://dilbert.com/strip/2012-02-17 More workplace humour can be found at http://dilbert.com/ )  

Insights by Matthew Jensen

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