SEO is currently one of the most talked about website marketing tools, along with social media and traditional paid advertising. Sometimes it looks like it’s the magic wand of success that will make your company earn millions and expand globally. But is that
The harsh reality is that SEO for the sake of SEO isn’t going to help you get your users to fulfill the goals you have set for your site. Yes, a keyword stuffed article with a fancy web address will surely draw visitors to your site… who will leave promptly and probably never visit again since your site didn’t do anything for them. And, at the end of the day, conversions are more important than quick visits, since conversions is where the money is.
That said, SEO isn’t at all negative for your site, but it can distract you from the main focus which is providing your visitors with whatever they are looking for, making your website full of useful and engaging content and relevant calls to action that will make them recommend you, come back frequently and purchase from you.
Search engine optimization relies heavily on building link relationships with other sites that are, in the best case, related to your site content and will send good quality traffic. Does that mean that you should get your site linked from everywhere just to increase your page rank? Not at all. You need to invest your efforts on building links wisely, on places that will send the right kind of traffic to your site, and make sure that your site makes people want to link to your content.
Another important thing to take into account is accessibility. Your site mark-up (HTML) should follow the standards, and using CSS to signal how it should be displayed will allow users with visual difficulties to reach the content through their specialized browsers (be it a text-to-voice one or just different style sheets adapted to some visual defects).
Take for example user friendly URLs. They are in the form www.mysite.com/meaningful-keywords instead of www.mysite.com?index.php?sec=1 and the search engines use them to give a value to your page for the keywords found in them. As a side effect, they are much easier to remember for the average user, and look better on links and search results since they give the user a clue as to what the page is about. Same goes for well written title tags and a good and logical site structure. But don’t let SEO make you create user friendly URLs that are stuffed with keywords that have little to do with the content or that make all your pages sound the same.
Your content should be relevant, easy to understand and useful. Sometimes writing for SEO makes the content sound artificial, the text doesn’t flow naturally and in general is not pleasant to read. Constant repetition of keywords or the use of artificial sentences that coincide with what you think would be possible Google queries will make your content look uninteresting, even if it could be a slight improvement on your SEO. So if you have to choose, make sure you do it right and your site says what you want it to say, and not what you think people would search for in Google to find it.
And finally, the most important factor on why SEO might not be the solution to all your visibility problems is… your target audience. If your visitors use other sources apart from Google to find your services (specialized directories, newsletters, advertising on relevant sites), you might find that bending your site to please Google will increase the number of visitors you get… but will decrease the quality of said visitors to a point you might be losing time and money.
Remember that SEO is secondary to your visitors’ needs, and your goal is making your website as informative and accessible as possible. That will also make the search engines happy and increase your organic search results which in turn will drive extra visitors to your site, so it’s a win-win situation.
Article by Irene Lizarraga. Looking for ways of saving money in business? Check out http://goingonline.hubpages.com/hub/5-Ways-to-Save-Money-in-Business for some easy to implement changes that will help your bottom line.