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4 Things Most Leaders Don’t Understand About SEO

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is not a “quick fix,” and columnist Trond Lyngbo outlines ways in which this mindset can hurt organizations.

Lyngbo published 4 facts about SEO most leaders don’t get in an article published on Search Engine Land. Based on my own observations over more than a decade of working with SEO clients and our team of SEO professionals, I agree whole-heartedly with him.

So, what are the 4 things most leaders don’t understand about SEO?

Here’s the list with my perspective on each of them…

1) SEO Is Not An Add-On, But A Build-In

Three big factors that will affect a website’s search rankings are on-page optimization, content marketing and social media. To do these well, it’s important to build features into your website to support them right from the start, including:

  • The capability to customize the URL of each page
  • The capability to customize the title and meta tags of each page
  • An easy to use blogging platform
  • Social media sharing integrated into pages and blog posts

2) SEO Is No Replacement For A Good Product/Service/Ministry

Sometimes a business or ministry leader will contact us wanting us to do SEO for them because their website isn’t getting many visitors, and when I look at their website my first thought is, “Why would anyone want to come to this website?”

Sometimes the website is poorly designed. Sometimes it’s not clear what the organization does. Sometimes the organization offers something people can get from more established organizations. Sometimes its hard to see the va

SEO can get people to a website, but they can’t make them buy or subscribe.

3) Plug-Ins Can’t Replace An SEO Expert

This misunderstanding is aided by software and developers who claim to produce “search engine friendly” websites.  “Search engine friendly” is not the same as a website that is actually optimized for well-researched, targeted keywords. “Search engine friendly” is potential. It’s like an athlete who is big and strong but has no skill or experience. He needs to be trained or “optimized” for a sport if he is going to perform well.

4) Good SEO Is Data-Driven

When we first start with a new SEO client, the first thing we do is ask them for some phrases that are relevant to their business or ministry. From there we research thousands of related phrases to find the ones that will bring the most, relevant visitors. Often our research reveals that only 1 or 2 of the phrases suggested by the client turn out to be good ones to target. Had we selected targeted keywords based solely on the client’s intuition, the results would have been poor. But the data point us in the right direction.

Later, after a website is optimized and content is being produced, data reveals which keywords are actually producing the most visitors, best leads and most new customers/students/church visitors, so it can be further optimized and focused on what’s working.

For Trond Lyngbo’s perspective on these 4 items, you can read his article here.


  • Which of these misunderstandings resonate with you?
  • As a business or ministry leader are there any other aspects of SEO you struggle to understand?

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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.

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