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With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still affecting our lives, auctioneers and related folks are utilizing electronic content to communicate with sellers, bidders, buyers, other auctioneers, and the general public. We’ll discuss today how these various mediums work.

As well, what is “SEO?” SEO stands for “Search engine optimization.” We’ll also talk here about why auctioneers (or anyone) should be interested in optimizing search results for their particular content.

First, here are the basic types of content being created online:

    Webinars (also known as webcasts and web conferences) are typically audio and video scheduled seminars where participants can interact live — by posting comments, chat and otherwise communicate verbally with the other participants and seminar providers. Webinars are sometimes recorded for future viewing, essentially turning them into an audio/video podcast.

    Podcasts (also known as on-demand webinars) are recorded audio (and sometimes video) where there is no interaction from others during the creation. Then, the podcast can be listened to on computers and other portable electronic devices at the consumers’ convenience.

    Videos are recorded video (with audio) where there is no interaction from others during the creation. Then, the video can be watched (and listened to) on computers and other portable electronic devices at the consumers’ convenience.

    Blogs are typically written text including stories, treatises, opinions and the like that are published for online viewing. Some blogs incorporate videos, podcasts, and other media. Then, interested people can access the blog at the consumers’ convenience.

As can be seen here, currently we trade convenience for interactiveness. The more interactive, the less convenient. The more convenient, the less interactive. Yet, all these platforms provide a way to consume quality content.

Then, there’s the issue of content being distributed — and more importantly “able to be found.” Content is of no value if nobody watches, listens nor reads it. It is the responsibility of the content creator(s) to either distribute the content appropriately and/or make it easily discovered.

Distribution of content requires that the creator(s) know their audience — and put that content in places where those people will be. Search engine optimization requires that the content is “Google-friendly.” How can one do that? Google says the most important thing is: “Provide high-quality content.”

What’s high-quality content? Google consistently holds that content that is information-rich, helpful and answers searchers’ questions is best. A good self-test after creating content is to simply ask yourself … does this content have information, is it helpful and what questions does it answer?

By the way, high-quality content is important even if distributing such to your prior-known audience. Poor content doesn’t get read, watched nor viewed (at least again) no matter the method of delivery.

You’re reading this story — and probably anything else online — because you found it on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, or the like, found it in your email inbox because you asked to be on our list … and/or searched via some search engine (probably Google) and clicked on it.

Are there other search engines? At this moment Google accounts for over 90% of web searches, versus any other search product. Traffic on this blog comes from Google over 98% of the time contrasted with any other search engine. It’s prudent you create content mindful of Google’s criteria.

Some content is free and other content is behind some sort of paywall. If you have an engaged audience, you can charge a fee or subscription to see your content, and if rather, you are trying to secure more fans (fanatics) of your content, at minimum give them (as my dear friend Stephanie McCurdy says) a “taste-test” or just provide it all for no charge.

What are the key issues here? Poor content is a waste of everyone’s time. Great content is wonderful, but it is only as good as it is consumed. What is your goal as an auctioneer (or anyone else) in this regard? As you’ve hopefully been doing for years, create high-quality, engaging and helpful content and ensure people can see it and/or find it.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.