Why is SEO important? The answer is because it really matters. Why does it matter so much? Well, simply because good SEO can boost a website’s rankings, but bad SEO can kill it stone dead.
But what exactly is good SEO? Well, it’s difficult to say really. The rules around search are constantly changing as Google and the other search engines chop and change their page ranking parameters in a quest to determine whether a page is relevant or not. Because of this a great deal of mysticism has grown up around SEO. It has come to be regarded as a complicated subject that only those with expertise can truly get to grips with.
But is this really the case? Can you only succeed if you’re good at SEO? Well, no, in our opinion. If you truly want success online then what matters is avoiding bad SEO practices. You don’t need to be an expert to succeed: all you need to do is steer clear of dubious SEO strategies like keyword stuffing, optimising for robots, not people, and sacrificing content for the sake of impact. Without great content you’ll never get the search results you’d like.
Overloading a page with an unnatural proportion of short or long-tail keywords, phone numbers, and other information, in an attempt to manipulate the system to get a better search engine ranking isn’t just counterproductive: it’s suicidal. It may have worked at one time, but times have changed. Now it will get you nowhere. In fact since April Google has said that it will demote sites that use such strategies, because keyword stuffing doesn’t sit well with responsive web design, and mobile user experience. Google has gone on record saying that from now on content relevancy and user experience are key when calculating a website page ranking.
Optimising for spiders, not people
If you create a page whose primary focus is to grab a search engine’s attention, rather than appeal to and resonate with a reader, then Google, Bing, Yahoo won’t look on that page favourably. This misguided approach to SEO is often referred to as “feeding the robots first.” Adopting this type of SEO strategy will inevitably lead you nowhere. The purpose of a webpage in today’s search climate is to create something that provides valuable information to readers and potential customers: not to grab the attention of a search spider so that you can get a higher page ranking.
What you should be doing instead is focusing on developing a design and sitemap that has a definite purpose, and then further supporting that with engaging and meaningful content that is geared towards serving the needs of the people you’re trying to reach. Only after you’ve done that should you start thinking about optimising your content for SEO value. You might be able to attract visitors to your site, but if you don’t give them what they want they won’t stay long.
Sacrificing content for the sake of impact
For a truly successful optimised webpage you need certain key element, including URL, focus keyword, SEO title and meta description. Over and above that you also need great content. If you focus on the former at the expense of the latter, you won’t be successful, no matter how great your meta description might be. If you’ve written great content but paid scant attention to the basic SEO elements you’ll also fail. True success relies on the synergistic relationship between SEO keyword strategy and content, particularly since Google has started to give greater weight to the relevancy of on-site page content.