As Chad and I debate how to best grow Semify, we are often wondering what SEO services really means to people. We obviously have our definition, but we often stare at the Google Analytics reports we wonder what those visitors are really thinking when they search on the term SEO services. Sure, some of them take the time to comment on our blogs or contact us, but many don't. This is one of the great frustrations of an online business. You can't stop and ask the visitor what's up?

It seems to me there is an entire camp of folks who think SEO services means directory submission. I think this because we hear this all the time. "Do you guys do directory submissions?" "What are the best directories to be in?" Etc. Etc. And to be sure, we have completed plenty of directory submission projects for clients. Although it's not our favorite activity as we don't think it brings great value to a website. See that link for a full explanation of why.

There seems to be an entirely different group of people who think SEO services is a one-time, drive-by project where you "fix" a website for better performance in the search engines. These folks are inevitably unhappy when several months later they are not achieving the desired results. To be sure, on site SEO is a powerful thing and should be done. But the problem here is the expectation that it can just be "fixed" quickly, with great results to follow. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

I guess we want to define SEO services as something bigger. We want to help clients realize that search engine marketing is a serious discipline. When applied correctly, it can be a very critical channel for any business. Like other sales and marketing channels, it will probably have a place within a larger strategy, but that's fine. SEO services is not the be-all-end-all, but more and more, it's something that any serious business just can't do without. To us this means consistent application of well-known SEO principles. This means a relentless focus on the end-user and providing customer value. This means transparency, honesty, and also cleverness. But that's a far cry from linking-building isn't it?