SEO is a lot like Rush Hour Traffic

By on 12/22/2014

If you live in a city like Atlanta, then you know all about rush hour. All you can see stretching out in front of you is an endless parade of brake lights and frustrated drivers, knowing they’re going nowhere fast. So what can we learn from rush hour traffic and how can we apply that to search engine optimization?

Merging onto the information highway

A signal system was recently installed at the on-ramp in Atlanta. Why? To make it easier to merge onto the interstate without everyone getting jammed up together at the bottleneck. So now, instead of playing Russian Roulette with your vehicle, you pull up to a red light at the base of the ramp, and wait for the magic green light to proceed onto the interstate. Two lanes alternate back and forth on the ramp, making the merge easy and fluid.

Unfortunately, merging your website onto the information highway is not so simple. There are hundreds of websites being developed daily, and flooding the World Wide Web with an onslaught of new information.

To build a solid SEO strategy:

  • merge one blog post on your website weekly
  • find a topic that is either top of mind or in the news
  • write about the blog topic in your own words using your own expert opinions
  • optimize your blog post well for one key search phrase
  • keep your topic centered around that focus

Rush Hour Traffic AtlantaTrying to get directly into the fast lane

This is where frustration occurs with search engine optimization. You finally get onto the highway and you want to go directly to the fast lane. It’s never so simple; too many people are crowding the lanes. Here we find the strategic dance of merging across multiple lanes.

You have those people in the slow lane, not caring about going fast. These are generally the people who don’t believe websites can generate leads. They might have a website, but it’s likely out of date and only exists because someone told them they needed one. Maybe it’s true. Maybe they exists in one of those unique industries where no one uses the internet for research or purchasing, like a gas station.

In that next lane over, you have the 18-wheelers, those big guys that have a lot of space and drive right down the center lane. They’re always on the road, know the roads, and have the size to dominate, but all they really want to do is coast down that center lane. It’s hard to get around them, but you might just find that if you plan correctly, they always leave extra space in front of so you can bolt through at just the right time.

You’re nearly to the fast lane, but you have one more obstacle. Now you have those high-performance, high-energy, high-speed cars whizzing past. This is where you have to really pick up your game.

Moving into the fast lane

The fast lane is where you want to be. You want to be a high-performance, high-speed company that keeps up with trends and stays on the leading-edge of the information highway. So how do you get over there?

This lane is dangerous and a lot of work. You can gain a lot of momentum, but you can also crash and burn. To drive in this lane successfully, you have to have a solid plan, GPS and a support team. You need to be both proactive and reactive, driving offensively and defensively.

When you’re in this lane, you better have a mix of marketing efforts planned out, including email marketing, pay-per-click marketing, social media, content creation, retargeting, e-books, white papers, automated marketing and a toolbox full of additional parts for several months. If you don’t, you will be distracted and it will slow you down, or even get you hit in the rear!

Whether you’re just merging onto the highway, in the slow lane or making your move to the fast lane, SEO can be frustrating. But if you’re patient, plan accordingly and make your move at the right time, you can be incredibly successful.

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