Is SEO Getting In Your Way?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Keyword research. Check. On-site optimization. Check. Link building. Check. Increased search engine ranking. Check. Increased sales, leads, or conversions…not so much. What’s going on? It could be a classic case of getting so caught up in SEO that the needs of the target audience gets lost in the shuffle.

Search engine optimization is important, however it should never overshadow your primary marketing goals and objectives. A big part of SEO is creating content that is well optimized, not creating optimized content. What is the difference, you ask? Content that is well optimized is content that is first created with the needs of the target audience (the prospective clients, customers, and other stakeholders) in mind. Only after it has been created is SEO even considered. Relevant keywords are incorporated naturally and don’t disrupt the “flow”. Optimized content is first created with the needs of the search engine spiders in mind. The thought process disregards the needs of the target audience and focuses on keywords with high search volume.

Creating content for the search engine spiders is the wrong approach because the search engine spiders will never purchase a product or fill out a lead form. The search engine spiders might assist in generating an increase in traffic, but what good is that traffic if the content is lousy or doesn’t meet visitor needs? There is lots of competition on the web and if your content is at all a turn off, it’s on to the next site.

This certainly doesn’t mean that you should cut back on your SEO. It just means that you need to have your online marketing priorities in order, and understand that the target audience is always number one. A good rule of thumb when initiating any online marketing strategy is to first think about the target audience. What are their needs? What are their online behaviors? What are their expectations of your brand? What kind of content would be valuable and helpful to them? Address all of these questions when creating your content first, and then think about SEO. This should be the case for every online marketing and SEO initiative that takes place whether it is website content, video content, blog content, article content, press release content, or social media profile content.

The best SEO strategy is one that remains true to the target audience. Don’t try and change who you are online by using non related or unnecessary keywords to see an increase in search ranking or traffic. This strategy will fail because it will deliver the wrong traffic to your site, which is just as bad as no traffic at all.

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