1 – It’s what search engines want and they will reward you for it
There is a good reason why search engine optimisation (SEO) has been on everyone’s lips for years. According to reports, 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine and 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
For marketers, this meant doing everything they could to place their clients’ products and services at the top of search engine result pages so that they could direct as much traffic as possible to their clients product and services pages. They came up with tricks, such as writing keywords throughout the company website copy (known as keyword stuffing) or paying other websites to list the client’s website link (buying backlinks), all in the hope to bring an incredible amount of traffic to their client’s pages and increase sales.
In other words, by using these tricks, they could bring visitors to web pages that weren’t necessarily the most relevant by feeding the search engines’ algorithms what they were looking for – which at the time were keywords linked to a client’s website.
This however has all changed and such tricks are no longer possible. Search engines are constantly improving their algorithm to avoid being ‘tricked’ so that they can provide visitors with the most relevant information for a particular search.
Therefore when applying SEO to a website – instead of trying to beat the system by chasing keywords and placing a website link where it shouldn’t be – you should be asking yourself who your audience is and what useful information would your audience like to receive.
By analysing these two points, not only will it help build valuable trust with your visitors, but tailored and specific information is what search engines look for and they will reward such content by ranking your platforms more highly.
2 – Increased traffic does not improve conversions but a good user experience does
When speaking to developers about SEO, you quickly understand how challenging it is to build and update online solutions with SEO in mind given search engines are evolving at such a fast pace. Luckily though search engines understand this challenge as today a website’s ranking is no longer rated solely on its content, but also the user experience visitors receive when landing on a website.
Google wants to provide visitors with the best possible search experience. When ranking your website pages, Google is now also looking at the speed at which your pages load and the compatibility of your website on mobile devices. With the rise of mobile device usage, responsive designs and mobile applications are taking over the online world. What this means for your website is that if you aren’t providing your users with the best online experience possible across multiple devices, your conversion rate will more likely be below average.
So why put so much time and energy into increasing traffic if you aren’t ready to convert efficiently with a good user experience? Not only are you are missing out on sales, but even worse, you could be building a bad online reputation – something you should be avoiding.
3 – Bringing the wrong traffic will cost you
Businesses are obsessed with increasing traffic but they often seem to forget that bringing the wrong traffic to their site can cost them money or leave the visitor frustrated.
Instead, business should rather think of SEO as online public relations, rather than something that pushes website traffic. SEO is about producing valuable content by telling your business’ story, providing your visitors with useful information about the company’s products / services or the industry it operates in. By doing this, you will increase your online presence and reputation without having to spend money on paid advertising, which is the point of SEO at the end of the day.
Listening to you audience, understanding their needs and targeting your communication around these needs are the ingredients to a successful online business.