I have a love/hate relationship with ORGANIC SEARCH (often more of the latter than the former). My biggest gripe is it shouldn’t feel complicated and I’m learning more each day that it isn’t when you start building fundamentals from the ground up.

As I previously did with biddable media/programmatic, I decided what I don’t understand, I should invest in, with money, time and people. Five years ago I knew very little beyond the basics about programmatic and what I did know, I didn’t like. It felt like crappy, unsold inventory repackaged … and that’s because much of it was. Today, I have a sizable investment in YouConnex, a multi-million dollar data-targeted platform that helps brands use trackable, premium inventory biddable media to make their data actionable.

While one of our other companies has been involved in various SEO campaigns in the past, this year we made the leap to follow the same pattern and invest in a standalone company, Sparx – Search and Social. I’ve put my heaviest emphasis on trying to cut through the industry speak to personally understand the fundamentals and build from there.

Here are three of the most basic pieces I’ve learned (and maybe not correctly).

  1. Page optimization is the foundation of long term successful organic rank. This one sucks the most because it’s typically the largest up front investment and the least measurable. Honestly it’s the worst and feels to me (and probably most other CEO’s) like a total waste of money with little to see that feels worth the cost.  NOTE: This part has gotten easier over the years but it still feels like the crawlers should be able to do this part without a lot of work on the back-end. If this was a car, I’d say it’s the alternator…. I don’t entirely know what it does, I’d prefer never to have to pay for one, but I’m told it’s necessary?! (Here is a great article that helped me to better understand this necessity).
  2.  Content, Content, Content. I’d say I’ve probably come the farthest with understanding the importance of good content. This article being a perfect example, along with my LinkedIn profile, company social platforms, teams blogging and on-staff content developers, etc. I get it and have consumed the Kool-Aid. If this were a car – this is definitely the gas. You can put “regular” in the tank but somehow “premium” is supposed to make it run better.
  3.  Link Building. This is where I have the farthest to go in really cracking this organic SEO code. It still feels like the shadiest part of the process and I still have a lot to learn about the measurable impact and difference various link types can provide. If this were a car, this currently feels like undercoating protection from a used car salesman in a leisure suit. By summer’s end, I’m hoping this feels more like a mechanic just added a fuel injection system.

Finally, I’m also better understanding that each of the above may require different skill sets and relationships. Ultimately each of our companies has grown by learning every step of the funnel and then actively sharing that with our clients. Complete transparency has always been a growth driver.

Excited to close that loop here!