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Had Enough with Google Keywords

Keywords, keywords, and more keywords!

If you are familiar with (or interested in) digital marketing, you know the importance of keywords. You can embed search keywords in your website and/or buy those keywords to draw a larger audience and boost your SEO. I don’t have to explain how keywords work here—you can google it easily and there are many experts who can teach you. I do know how to search trendy keywords, how to utilize them, and how to run ads. 

Recently, I found myself really frustrated while running a keyword search. Obviously, out of necessity, business owners/marketers are advised to buy Adwords and run ads if they are serious about their online presence, especially when their competitors are heavily investing in digital marketing. In theory, it makes sense. But I’m starting to feel that nobody is winning here but Google.

Let’s say you create a budget to fund Adwords/run ads for your marketing campaigns. You have “eyeballs” aka clicks because people engaged with your ad links and you finally captured their super short attention.

Now what? Do they convert? Is your site attractive? Does it have the helpful/resourceful information the users thought they would find? Are you the ‘one’ they have been looking for through all their clicking span? If not, they will just bounce/leave within a minute or much less. I know I do. 

Going back to the frustration part here. When I click links after I type the related keywords, I am FRUSTRATED because I feel tricked and deceived by these super high ranking SEO pages. Many times, there are like 2 paragraphs of ‘paraphrased’ info. (**If you steal and copy & paste the exact contents word for word, your google ranking/SEO will be punished.) Often, the whole site is covered with Advertisements!!! Oh pop-up ads and autoplaying ads are the worst. By this point, I catch myself cussing in 2 languages with colorful words. 

Being too stubborn to give up what I’m looking for, I must keep going because I am destined at this point—I can’t turn back:

  • tweaking and changing search keywords
  • switching to image searches
  • switching to video tutorial / reviews
  • searching/joining related FB community pages/forums
  • starting a brand-new search in Korean search engines and repeating the process

Eventually, I land on quality content. I appreciate and learn from them. Ironically, the most relevant results have been deeply hidden from my original search and it takes a while for me to train the algorithms. Also, these sites are not ‘packed’ with keywords and don’t seem aware of what keywords/SEO marketing even is.

Of course, I treat these results like treasure: I bookmark pages, sites, take notes, and keep going back to see if there are any updates. To me, whoever spent time to share their knowledge, carefully designed the layouts, wrote posts, and pushed the “publish” button are definitely contributing to making the digital world a better place. Cue the cliche tech startup slogans.

I guess I am just really frustrated by people ‘littering’ in cyberspace to get clicks. I am not even talking about the ‘fake news’ nonsense. If so many are just using keywords, running ads and working the system for clicks, the users who really need the right kinds of resources and information will be hindered from reaching them.

Also, be aware. If you are new to this game, some vicious competitors can run a software that performs a ‘click attack’’ to drain your ad budget and charge you a lot of money with no results. 

Perhaps I am pleading . If you are a site owner, a digital business owner or a marketer who is serious about targeting and reaching the ‘right’ kind of audience, please think about the words below before you plug in expensive/overused keywords and play SEO games:

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prepare your online site to be ready for the users/audience.

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thoughtfully curate helpful and considerate information

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If a visitor walks into your store to browse, would you hide the items you promised to share somewhere in the corner cabinets and expect your prospect to find it themselves?

share your insights and expertise

maybe add some pleasant images or videos that visitors will enjoy watching and learn something from

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organize your pages

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tell us about who you are and what your business is all about. Not a boring, dry, salesy paragraph. Please.

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If a visitor walks into your store to browse, would you hide the items you promised to share somewhere in the corner cabinets and expect your prospect to find it themselves?

If the customer asks a question, would you repeat like a robot and answer with phrases copied exactly from your competitors? Even worse, would you chant a string of google keywords at them that only make sense to you?

It feels exhausting and almost impossible to find exactly what I am looking for online because I get bombarded with links and fall into rabbit holes by accident. I am guilty as well. With many excuses, I barely update anything and simply comply with clients’ requests to run ads and follow a ‘proven’ formula. I decided that I don’t want to continue to do so.

I am here to share what I have found valuable over the years and ‘storigate’ my experiences and others, whether it’s business or personal. No BS.

Am I sure if this is the right way to go as a business for marketing/branding? My heart beats faster and my breath becomes short. However, what Seth Godin says encourages me: “I got something I can contribute.” That something should be my true and consistent branding and my position. I want to help find that ‘something’ for other businesses and people who are willing to go with me. I would love that.

My humble opinion and conclusion: it is a truly red ocean for those who want to create “another look alike and sound alike” trend-following brand. However, I DO believe that it is a very blue ocean for those who want to sincerely contribute something unique and strive to find an authentic identity if they are willing to serve the prospects/users/customers.

With this approach, I might not have clients to work with right away and I am okay with that. It will be worth it when I get to finally connect with companies who are willing to choose the hard way in approaching and serving their customers.

Guess what. Time for me to clean up my own site and do the things I am pleading for here myself.

I will always share curated images that make me happy visually. They may have nothing to do with the posts sometimes, but who cares? I will also share links so that you can use them if you want.

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