Search engine optimization has grown into a 500 pound gorilla driving a runaway train. The industry started relatively not that long ago compared to other forms of communication but has quickly evolved into a billion dollar industry that does not show any signs of slowing down. Years ago everything was all about quantity and the number of links you could get was the course of action for most SEO professionals. Unfortunately when all that stopped the website owners left behind that did not keep up with the industry kept going with that mind set.

If you don’t believe me put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Better yet, stay in your shoes and think about the actions you take when you look for something online you would either like to buy or someone you need to hire. You search, you might visit their social profile, you see what they have to say on Twitter and then search for their name to see what comes up in the search results. These are the same steps that people are taking to find you as well. If you still have the mindset that your business is going to grow online by submitting your website info into 1,000 directories you are making a mistake. You are much better off just taking that effort and finding the top 15 or 20 quality free directories and submit the information there yourself. The remaining directories are not going to do anything for you. Link building has changed over the years. Don’t you think everyone could just drop their info into these directories and all of a sudden they would appear in the search results?

Marketing a business online is much more than just trying to manipulate search results. People do not just purchase on search rankings like they once did. Don’t get me wrong, search rankings are still a very important part of search engine marketing and as long as search engines are around they will continue to be an important part of search marketing. What I am trying to tell you is that there is more to growing a website online than just search engine rankings. It takes many different wheels spinning at the same time in order to really get things moving. The branding element for anything now is very important and people need a reason to really remember who you are as a business or a person depending on how you sell yourself.

Take the time and really market your business properly to get the right type of attention. Clean up your website, maybe give your logo a makeover and clean up your image if you haven’t in a long time and start building a community online that will follow you. Over time you will turn yourself into an actual business and people will start to look at you in a whole different light.