I’ve received some calls lately for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services. When someone calls they typically want a price on how much I charge for this service. Most people, because of this question I assume think that SEO is just a plug-in type of product. Build a website, plug in the SEO and Whammo; #1 on the search engines. Unfortunately there are those that would lead you to believe that. These are mostly the seedy underbelly of the SEO business. But how do you separate the legitimate from the slimy SEO companies? Here are some basic tips from Google. Continue reading
“Build it and they will come”
I meet with so many clients that truely believe if they build a website the money, customers, etc. is just going to come pouring in. They are soon to find out that this is not the case. This is the “Field of Dreams” client. They are often bitter clients and believe one of 2 things; none of their customers use the web to search for their goods and services, or the web company they had build their site ripped them off. Neither are usually true.
“None of my customers use the web to search for what we do.”
Sounds silly doesn’t it? I still hear this. It’s usually because the person had or has a website and has got 0 traffic from it. What’s their conclusion? Nobody is looking. The correct conclusion however is NOBODY IS FINDING!
“My web designer ripped me off!”
Maybe…maybe not. If the clients expectations aren’t handled correctly this is what happens. Did the designer say “We’ll get you number 1 on Google”, or is the client just thinking he should be? It’s important that clients have realistic search engine expectations to stop confusion and misconceptions in their tracks. Both sides need to ask the right questions and understand what can and can’t be done.
If client SEO expectations are controlled, understod, and met they’ll ask, “Is this Heaven?” and you can say “No, this is good web design.”
Mention search engines and they will come.
The last two letters in our C.A.U.S.E. website design methodology get the most interest when I give a web workshop. This is always what people hang around afterwards to discuss and rightly so, it’s pretty important to your success on the web.
Don’t Build It For The Search Engines
I’ve seen the mistake of websites built with the search engines as their main focus. This may get you traffic, but what about the people, the human eyes. People spend money, Google isn’t going to send you a check for doing well in their directory. There is a way to strike a good balance of search engine performance and delivering usercentric content in a usable format. Is it easy, no. So how do we optimize search engine performance and people performance?
It All Comes Together In The End.
What I’ve discovered over the years and can back it up with documentation is that if we develop with the other parts of C.A.U.S.E. in mind the search engine performance will happen naturally. I’ve taken a website and using the same exact content, restructured it using C.A.U.S.E along with valid W3C xHTML 1.0 strict semantic coding and CSS and have had completely different results. The most drastic difference I’ve seen is a website going from the 4th page of Google to the #1 spot. Pretty drastic jump and I’m sure one that any client would be happy with. The funny thing is that I’ve found is that if it makes sense to people, it makes sense to the search engines. A website like anything else is dependent on it fuel, content, food, etc. Garbage in, garbage out.
In a coming piece I’ll discuss the search engine advantages of C.A.U.S.E. in greater detail.