I admit it: search engine optimisation (SEO) is a mystery to me. Google has created a strange new economy, where words are currency, and the glittering prizes are the top few rankings on a search. I’m not sure that many people Google ‘speaker coach’ – but if they do, I want to be up there.
This isn’t helped by the article I read on a train to a coaching session (or was it on a coach to a training session?) that claimed SEO was old news anyway. I couched this to a client who counselled that I train my recommended professional development towards peak performing speakers, that is, speakers performing at their pre-coaching peak, with post-performance coaching having the intended positive developmental effect on their professional peak speaking performance going forward post-coaching, so that when they speak in public their performance peaks in public too. And if that ugly paragraph doesn’t catapult me onto the front page of Google, I don’t know what will.
At least permutations of speaker, coach, training, performance and professional development are all easy to spell; classic SEO requires you to consider optimising for typos, which, if you’re in the business, say, of treating diarrhoea or teaching manoeuvres or some other easily misspelled enterprise, means you have to fill your pages with clumsy versions of your product (‘diarrhoea’ took several goes to get right: ‘Were you looking for Dior earrings?’ asked Google plaintively, just now. If you are suffering from it and a google search has brought you here, sincere apologies. I’m a good speaker coach, recommended by the FT in fact, but even I can’t help you talk your way out of this one). Then there is no accounting for auto-correct, which if typed too fast transforms the common word ‘might’ into ‘MIT’, habits which mean I usually type ‘think’ when I mean ‘thing’ and old-fashioned blunders, like missing out letters or spaces, especially in such everyday words as ‘speaker’, ‘coach’, ‘training’, ‘performance’ and ‘professional development’. I blame the iPad keyboard.
And so – sorry, are you still here? – though I have done my best to avoid writing public articles that clunkily repeat my FT-recommended speaker coaching and performance training within the context of professional development, I may have inadvertently damaged my performance with Google by doing so. What harm will it do for me to continue, coach after coach, sorry, I mean post after post, to speak of coaching, to publicise the training that I professionally develop my clients in their public speaking until they attain peak performance with public speaker coaching as recommended by the FT? Probably none.
The only problem is this: who in their right mind would want to read such a load of old guff?