Bear with us here if you will. This is an important question. Is your website going to be your primary sales lead generation tool? Do you need to be found first when someone jumps on their computer to look up ‘windproof umbrellas’, for example? If the answer to this is yes, then you need to put SEO first when building your new website and in that case, this article has your name written all over it.
You might think everyone wants this same thing from their website: good online rankings. Well, that’s a common misconception. Not everyone needs a site optimised for search engines. What every website owner does need however, is a website that’s going to sell for you. And how your website sells on your behalf will vary, depending on your market.
There are many specialist companies around who have good networks and are well established within their industry already. Online searchers aren’t their sales target as those individuals aren’t looking for this company or its services – because it’s so specialised – so there is absolutely nothing to gain by spending the extra revenue to have their site optimised.
There are other companies around who are offering a new service or product, which is as yet, unheard of. Remember when iPads weren’t yet a thing? What would be the point in optimising a website for this unheard of product? Educating your market to do an online search for “iPad” at this time would be a real waste of time and resources. Far better to invest your marketing efforts in some other, more profitable avenue.
In these latter cases, the website’s primary purpose is to make the company look reputable, trusted and to inform its audience. And here is the key difference between these scenarios and the example of the windproof umbrella: the use of language and how the information is organised and displayed on the website is key in meeting these different objectives, i.e. the structure and layout of the websites will be distinctly different.
If the purpose of your website is sales generation and getting found online, then welcome back.
Don’t overlook your human visitors in favour of search engines. It will show. It’s an important balancing act but your website needs to appeal to both.
Search engines, like your human visitors, do not like too much duplicate content or keyword stuffing. The site won’t read well. Other black hat tactics like paid links, cloaking and invisible text will have your site penalised by Google and drop your site in the rankings.
Our previous SEO blogs provide some good tips for white hat tactics but by far the most helpful tip we can give you is to build your new website around real data generated from real search queries. Using this data as your foundation for structuring your site, your pages and your content, you can’t go wrong. You will avoid having to spend big money later, trying to fix up your site in retrospect.