Online businesses place a lot of effort into executing the perfect SEO strategy. I can certainly understand the appeal of a well optimized website. However, we need to be careful not to lose track of our priorities while we develop online businesses.
Advantages of SEO
Search engines provide a number of benefits for online entrepreneurs:
- They are the largest single traffic source and can account for at least 20% of the traffic of any one site.
- People who find your website through a search engine are more likely to be interested in your product or service. They are probably 5 times more likely to convert than someone who stumbled onto your page by accident.
- After you’ve worked hard on your SEO, it usually doesn’t take nearly as much effort to maintain. My old blog is still on the first page for two of my primary keywords and I haven’t touched it in a couple of months. I still get good traffic from Google.
- Hitting the front page for a competitive keyword is a badge of honor, especially for online businesses. Anyone who sees you there knows that you are serious and probably know what you are doing.
When SEO can be taken too far
You can’t dismiss SEO from your marketing strategy. It is one of the best ways to create awareness for your product or service. But can optimizing your website too much hurt you? Here are some ways that focusing too much effort on SEO can be counterproductive to your overall business strategy:
- You forget that humans actually see your links. When you are busy linkbuilding, it is easy to start to think that your links are invisible to everyone that wasn’t programmed by Google. I hope that you don’t create spam when you build links, but you may be hurting yourself in other ways. It is possible that you are offending people or coming across as incompetent when you participate in blogs or forums.
- You create content that doesn’t read well. Keyword stuffing is the best way to drive people from your blog, even when it helped them get there in the first place.
- You forget your priorities. Many bloggers talk about building their pagerank as if it was their goal in life. They limit the number of outgoing links on their blog because they are paranoid that the little green bar in the upper right hand of their browser is going to be smaller. They forget that they should be focusing on keeping their visitors happy. Visitors want to see that you are supporting your claims with other resources and providing them with additional information.
- SEO does not equal sales. Don’t focus on SEO and then forget how to get your customers to actually buy your products and services. Your squeeze pages and relationships with your visitors is far more important. Maybe redesigning these pages will have a negative impact on your rankings, but it is worth it in the long run. Always be a good blogger and provide the absolute best services. You aren’t in business to appeal to Google.
Know Where Your SEO strategy fits with your blog
In many ways, SEO has ruined the Internet, despite everything it has to offer. Too many website owners have built spammy or unprofessional links in the hopes of boosting their rankings. They have also filled their pages with nonsensical content that they believe search engines want to read. As great as search engines are, they should not dictate how you manage your online business. Focus on building strong results with great content and good relationships with your viewers.