While SEO considerations are important for a business website, it is very easy to go off completely in the wrong direction. If search engine optimization is done right, it can bring in more customers and leads than you thought were possible. If it’s done wrong, it can actually drive them away.
Especially for small businesses and startups, it is absolutely essential to understand what will help you and what could hurt you. When you don’t have the money or the time to make a second go of it, you have to be sure that everything is done right from the beginning.
Is it possible that your site is actually turning away more customers than it’s bringing in? If during the design of your website you’ve ever heard someone say something like, “It’s not important, it’s just for the search engines”, you could be making critical mistakes that are actually hurting your online presence.
Genuine information, written for real people, and not search engine robots, will always bring the best results for your company. There are several reasons for this. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
People share real information – If you present engaging content that gives something of real value to your readers, they will share it with others. People like to share things they find useful, interesting or amusing. If someone finds something that they think is really good, they can’t wait to share it because they get that bonus feeling of being the one who found that new thing that everyone is talking about. In contrast, nobody shares a keyword stuffed page of incoherent paragraphs just because it came up on the first page of Google results.
Google cares what people share – One of the most important determiners Google uses to decide if a web page is important or not is the outside links it finds pointing back to that page. When people share your site or your blog post on their site, or their social media account, Google eventually finds those links and looks at the words being used to describe the page. This has a lot to do with how they determine what keywords are relevant and how important other people think your site is. More links, more important, it’s that simple. Your target keyword only has to appear on your page a few times. What other people say about you has a lot more to do with your search ranking that what you say yourself. Creating content that people will want to share will naturally improve your results with search engines, permanently.
“Natural” results are more permanent – Pages that are designed “for the search engines” will not give you any kind of permanent results. It is possible to climb a few notches on search results by manipulating words on the page, but the results simply won’t last. This happens because when a page is new the search engines don’t know anything about it. They give the new page the benefit of the doubt and put it out there to see what others think of it. When they can’t find any other recommendations (in the form of links and sharing), the page is deemed irrelevant and it starts to fall down, or completely off, the search results. Worse, once a page has become irrelevant, it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to make corrections and get that page ranking higher again.
Clients who feel misled will never return – A potential customer that feels misled will never come back to your site again. Have you ever searched for something and clicked on one of the first results only to be taken to a page full of bad English wrapped around clumps of keywords and seemingly randomly labeled links? Would you trust information on that site? Would you buy something from that site? Pages like this not only make your potential customers feel misled and insulted, they can get your entire site permanently removed from search indexes. Trying to trick people into entering a website is a surefire way to anger them, kill their trust, and make sure they never come back again. Worst of all, it can have the same effect on the search engines.
In the end, it’s not the search engines that bring people to your site, it’s what other people are saying about you because you’ve put something out there that is useful or valuable. For real and long term success online, the key is to focus on giving people what they want, not what you think the search engines want. The people are the ones who are going to buy your product or your service, not the search engines. Don’t ever lose sight of that fact.