You've got a great site. The design is perfect. The purpose behind it is even better. But if there's one thing that can ruin a good site, it's stressing over SEO. Sometimes, it's not all about anchor text and the URL structure. Have you stopped to think about how that content is going to perform for your site once it starts ranking well?
Good rankings are just once piece of a successful site's puzzle. Thanks to SEO best practices, achieving those rankings can actually happen, but once you get a visitor to your site, you have to do something! Encourage a conversion. Offer advice. Give out free samples! Don't put content out there just for the sake of rankings. Sometimes, it's not so important to be on page one (and yes, I'm saying this on an SEO blog).
SEO isn't the same way we thought of it years ago. Today, it's a rich and flavorful blend of creative content, information architecture, compelling design, and marketing, with a dash of social media and public relations. Ok, maybe more than a dash, but you get the picture. SEO is comprised of much more than we give it credit for.
As professionals in the SEO world, it's our duty to take the time to stop, taste, and test different SEO strategies, but the goal remains the same: drive traffic. But once that traffic arrives, you have to be able to deliver, and that's where more integrated SEO strategies come into play.
Once the visitor arrives at the site, you have to keep them there. Ranking number one on Google alone isn't going to make any visitor want to hang out. Make it a priority to invest time, attention, and care into your user experience. Take notice of navigation issues and make things easy to access. Does the design speak? Do the words engage? Is the call to action even present? A good site doesn't result out of good SEO.
You wouldn't host a dinner party with just yourself, right? Think of your SEO strategy the same way. Sure, you can make a delicious pot roast and include all of the best sides and desserts, but no one who comes to your party can actually enjoy it unless it's on the table. You have to serve it up. Show off your skills as a host or hostess. Make your visitors feel like they're part of the party!
When crafting an SEO strategy, blog post, or even a tweet, take the time and think about how it affects more than just rankings.
- Once the visitor gets to my site, how can I offer value?
- Am I making information available that's useful?
- Does the visitor feel safe on my site?
- Does he or she feel considered?
- Is the information I'm putting out there interesting enough to be shared?
Ask yourself the questions above and with any luck, you'll be well on your way to having a site that everyone will want to invite over for dinner.
Mandy Boyle is the SEO Team Lead at Net Driven. She is also a published freelance writer and co-founder of NEPA BlogCon. She enjoys theater, not taking herself seriously, and adventurous eating.