Writing for Search Engines
Writing for search engines includes
- Keyword Research - Discover what your customers are searching for.
- Search Results - understanding how users interact with search results, including page titles and meta descriptions.
- On-Page Optimization - Create pages that rank well and convert well.
- Site Architecture - Focus link equity on key pages and design your site so it is easy for search engines to index it.
- Robots Control - control how robots crawl and index your site.
“Presumably man’s spirit should be elevated if he can better review his shady past and analyze more completely and objectively his present problems.” - from As We May Think by Vannevar Bush
Every website and every idea start off incomplete and needs refined. The more you learn about the web, the more you will learn how ideas overlap. Good usability is usually good search engine optimization.
Each and every page is a chance to capture or lose customers. On the web, when you lose a customer, it is usually forever. The last thing you want to do is draw prospective customers into a minefield they are sure to regret.
Some people stress mechanical search engine optimization so much that they forget about their visitors’ needs. SEO is just one part of the site-building puzzle. Ultimately, it is your social impact or cash in the bank that is a measure of success, not where you rank for some random search query.
Creating brand awareness and a large organic traffic stream OUTSIDE of search makes your income more stable. Higher conversion rates allow you to pay more for customers.
In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell shows how small changes can bear amazing results. If you can learn to include some of those little extras that make your site better than your competition’s site, you will find that others will do your marketing for you. That is why I think it is more important to understand the concepts of the web and the goals of search engines versus just learning the flavor-of-the-moment optimization. If everything else is good, then you do not need to worry as much about optimization.
Focusing a Site vs Combining Site Ideas
One time, a person contacted me asking for help submitting their site to directories. When I looked at their site I saw it sold handmade hemp jewelry and SEO services. In the real world, you would never see people do something like this, but many people think it is fine on the web. On the web there are even more alternatives to your business than in the real world. Because of this, you need to focus on the consumer that much more.
It is fine to have many unique ideas and revenue streams, but each site should cover its own specific niche. If you cross industries within your site, you weaken your brand and may offend many people. What are the odds that someone is looking for SEO services while shopping for hemp?
Even within the specific niche of SEO, I can have a site for linking, one for keyword research, one for pay-per-click…the list goes on. Most websites fail because they fail to properly focus, not because they are too focused.