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Is SEO Dead? I guess it depends what you mean by the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  There are two basic types of SEO – on-page and off-page. We’ll be discussing on-page SEO in more detail here, leaving the topic of off-page SEO for another article – part 2.

on-page SEOIf you have a website for your business I have no doubt you’ve been approached numerous times – emails, phone calls, etc. – about “getting your website on page #1.” Normally these SEO hucksters try to sell you an overpriced package of what is known as “linkbuilding.”  Without getting into the gory details, I’ve learned through my own SEO practice that the “traditional” method of building backlinks to a website no longer works.

Building backlinks (classic off-page SEO) used to work quite well until the technique was abused by massive automation that resulted in poor visitor experience for search engine users. A poor experience for Google users = lost revenue for Google, so they are in the process of completely revising what is commonly known as SEO as witnessed by the Panda, Penguin and other Google changes over the past several years.

What does this mean to you, the business owner?

It means that you need to provide a great visitor experience for your website visitors and concentrate on that by employing on-page SEO.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – here’s how Wikipedia.com describes it:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search,[1] news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.”

It’s worth mentioning that there are two distinct types of SEO – on-page and off-page. In this article we’ll be discussing on-page SEO.

On-page SEO is the art of optimizing website content and other pages to be more Google-friendly in the hopes of gaining traction in the search engines and attracting more visitors and, ultimately, helping to return a profit for the website owner.

The on-Page SEO strategy really should be divided into two sub strategies;

  1. To help promote visibility in the search engines.
  2. To connect with and to satisfy the needs and wants of your target audience. In other words – provide a great visitor experience with relevant and timely information that your visitors need. If you can solve a problem or two – that’s just another feather in your cap!

Honestly, on-page SEO strategy #2 is much easier to provide – and it’s much more likely to result in a successful on-page SEO strategy #1. The more relevant and satisfying your content is to your core audience, the more readers you will get, traffic will increase and your web page will rank higher in the search engines.

Unfortunately most website owners – and most professional SEO consultants – are fixated on on-page SEO strategy #1. They’re infatuated with weaving the exact number of the researched keywords into whatever content seems appropriate without ever considering the needs and desires of their target visitors. That is, if they have ever targeted visitors they think make up their market.

Recently I evaluated a website of an e-commerce business owner who came to me to try and determine why his business was in the midst of a 4-year decline.

He was very well positioned in his industry for a few of his major keywords – solid, number one on page number one Google rankings. But still, his traffic (and sales) were in a steady decline, and he wasn’t sure what was causing the problem, and what the options were for reversing this decline.

After some research I reported back to him with a few key observations. Most of my thoughts revolved around his website’s failure to provide a great visitor experience.  Difficulty in searching for products, very few (and very small) images on display in an industry that sold on great images – and a lack of good content that would appeal and attract his targeted customers. I noted that he was also missing out on sales in a few key sub-niches, as compared to his most direct competitors.

My report detailing these issues was well received. Unfortunately the business owner was infatuated with minor details such as keyword stuffing, adding redundant content that revolved around using a specific keyword “X” number of times, and several “old-timey” SEO strategies of years past, rather than providing a great visitor experience.

I did show him how his direct competition was providing a better online experience, how their on-page SEO was superior to his and how they were doing that, but that message seemed lost in the noise of the “shiny object”of the day.

On-page SEO should not be artificial, solely based on researched keywords without any thought to providing a great visitor experience. Instead, you should combine a strategy for providing a great visitor experience (essentially solving a problem for your visitors) with great on-page SEO providing the specific words that help to illustrate the topic of the page. Of course, relevancy is key – you wouldn’t include a series of horse training articles on a website about goldfish just because you learned that more “hot” keywords were available for horse training. That would provide a poor visitor experience for your target visitors.

So, get out there and provide a great online experience for your visitors. Solve a problem for them. Teach them something they didn’t know. Let them know that there’s a real person behind the words and you’ll do just fine.

Need a little help getting visitors to your website – the right way? Give us a call at (719) 761-4862 or click HERE to contact us for SEO help now.

By Dan Morton

(719) 761-4862 dan@fairlanewebconsulting.com