A lot of business owners tend to get the wrong idea about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and how it can help their websites. Years ago, when every web page in your site was built by hand, your web developer had a dramatic impact on the search engine performance of your website. But today, the complete opposite is generally true – Content Management Systems (CMS) tend to have fantastic optimization for search engines BUILT-IN. This puts more of the burdon and responsibility of search engine performance on the website owner/author, and less on people actually coding up your website.
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Can more be done beyond writing good content to help your site’s traffic? Aren’t there little secret tweaks that can be done to your site’s code to make it come up higher in Google and other search engines? Well, sure. But it doesn’t work like it did in the past. Years ago, you could focus on a dozen or so key strategies to optimize a website for search engines. But those key elements (i.e. page titles, heading tags, link titling, sitemaps, etc) are now just considered best practices, and are generally built-into the CMS that your site runs on. So it then becomes a garbage-in = garbage-out type of thing in regards to your content’s quality, uniqueness, and frequency of updates. Choosing the right mix of keywords, using analytics, and managing content in a more proactive way are crucial to your website’s performance, yet most companies are too lazy to do this work.
There ARE other things that can be done to help SEO, but they are tedious, take a lot of work, and may still not make your website come up higher. Why? Because instead of a dozen main things that Google and other engines look at, they are now looking at HUNDREDS of aspects of your pages, including traffic, age, inbound links, page speed, and off-page SEO factors that a small business owner can’t easily change. What is the easiest way to hit all of those attributes at once? Write good content. There is a lot more to it, but it isn’t just keywords any more. We tell our customers all of the secrets to help with this.
But business owners don’t want to hear that there isn’t some magical SEO trick. In their mind, there MUST be a magic silver bullet that will make their website come up high in Google results. All they need to do is find the right developer to make that happen. This myth is the reason why there are countless search engine optimization, search engine marketing, campaign management, and other firms out there that will take your money, promise the world, and they won’t back their services up with guarantees of any kind. It is simple supply and demand. And from time to time, these firms call us to work on their client’s websites, and in 5 minutes we can tell that they don’t know much at all about SEO. They are simply selling hype. And people are buying it, so they churn through their dissatisfied customers with no end in sight.
Mark my words, as we move from the Information Age (relying on geeks) to the Participation Age (creating your own voice online with content), search engines will continue to show “live” results for websites that have a pulse. So your website beterr be “alive”. Also, just because you might get some traffic with a higher search engine result, that doesn’t MAKE PEOPLE BUY. You still need a well-designed website that has the necessary design features and applications that help people to use your website. It takes time, management of the site, analytics, and a strategy.
We are great at SEO. It is built into all of our applications. But instead of looking for a keyword strategy that might get you a few more hits, we would rather help you to design an online marketing plant that will get you more SALES. Sales beats HITS any day of the week.