The title of this post is a question I’d really like some answers to. I’ve read so much top 5 this or easy steps to do that, that I’ve held my vomit in a few too many times. Call this post what you will, but I honestly feel that there are some in the field of internet marketing, be it SEO, SMM or any aspect of SEM, that might not be able to answer this. The reason I feel this way is there are those who got into this field purely for the money, and let’s be honest, if you’re good at it you can make a nice living from it. But for me and a few others I know the money was just a side benefit. There was something more. A few months ago I had the honor of going to my first ever search marketing conference. I got to go because I won a contest by simply writing how I got into SEO. It was called ‘Your Story’ Contest. You can read the story here. But, there is more to it.
If you didn’t bother to read the story I’ll sum it up real quick. I worked for a non-profit (safety-net/birthcenter/international medical mission organization) that hired me as their ‘Director of Development’ to raise funds and control with PR/marketing. I wrote several successful grants, initiated a yearly golf tournament and got them on the front pages of the search results. When they got to the first pages of the search results a member of the board and staff, well ate a little crow. But that wasn’t completely it for me. That was more like, HA! I TOLD YOU!!! It really hit home for me a few weeks later.
I was walking down from my office and heading to an exam room to unclog a toilet. You may be wondering, “Wait you said you were the Director of Development?” Well, when you work for a non-profit your job description is not limited by what you sign on the dotted line. Back to the walking, I rounded the corner and overheard our Birth Center Director and RN talking. “Did you read the section about how they found us?” to which the RN responded, “Yeah, I never would’ve guessed.” As the one that was ‘technically’ in charge of the marketing I had to ask them how they heard of us. I read the following:
“Had we not searched for a kansas birth center on google we wouldn’t have found Mercy & Truth! It was a blessing to find!”
It didn’t matter to me what awaited me in the exam room toilet anymore, that comment made my day. Heck, that made my year. The family didn’t know it was I that built the webpage they saw, they didn’t need to. But for me, it was the moment I actually got to physically see the end results. Here they were, the ones who searched a few yards from me holding their new child. It really put it into perspective for me. People have a need/question=>People search for a term to fulfill/answer said need/question=> they find the site=> read what’s on the site and make a decision based on the initial need/question. For the parents it was, “Where do we want our child born at?” But for other consumers it is different. And that’s when I knew I wanted to do this. Being able to influence the end result of an individual’s query intrigued me.
Now, I want to hear from you the reader. What was the defining moment you thought, “Hey I really like doing this.” Forget all the stuff you’re dealing with now, all the drama (if any), and think back to the very first time you ranked a site and saw the impact it had. How did you feel? Whether you’re in the Internet marketing industry or not I’d still like to hear from you, no matter the career field most likely you’re there because you chose it.