Boosting Rank is Not Boosting Sales
It’s no mystery that Search Engine Optimization is good for business. It just is. It is amazing, though, how many business owners think SEO is just making the first page on a Google search or have gotten it into their heads that ranking #1 on Google automatically means online business success. What counts isn’t making the first page, or even making it to the #1 slot. What counts is the bottom line. If you go from #300 to #1 for a certain term and don’t see any increase in business, then what has really been optimized? Not much.
Let’s talk about what making the first page of search results for any given term CAN’T do for your business.
First, disabuse yourself of the delusion that ranking #1 for a term equates to success. If you are a supplier of desiccated bovine and ovine spleens, then you can probably top the Google results for “desiccated cow spleen” and “desiccated pig spleen” pretty easily. And, sure, you’ll probably get the business of all 3 people on earth specifically looking for that. That’s not going to help your business succeed though.
SEO is not magic. It can’t make people search for your terms. Our spleen vendor above would do much better to focus on broader keywords. Even ranking lower for terms like “natural spleen health” or “natural antipathogenics” gives a better chance of bringing in a wider range of internet users who want the benefits of ingesting dehydrated cow spleen powder, but are unaware of the existence of such a product.
Secondly, getting to the first page of results for a popular keywords can’t help you if your title tag is a wreck. You can cram a lot of keywords into a tag. You really can. But, if your title tag reads like shopping list for Keywords “R” Us your rank isn’t going to matter. At best, it looks tacky and unprofessional. At worst, it looks a bit scammy. Most internet users have learned to skip over links with rubbish tags without a second thought.
The same applies for unreadable description tags. Again, if your keyword appears in the description tag but the context is unintelligible, then users are going to pass you by, regardless of how high up you appear on the first page. If you have to sacrifice a few slots in the rankings to make your description read like a site a user would actually want to visit, then you are better off.
The point here is: SEO is a lot more than just ranking highly for searches for some arbitrary keywords. It includes deeper aspect like researching strong keywords and phrases, tailoring the site to be more appealing to customers (and not just search engines) and a wide range of other seemingly minor details that all add up to making a site more visible and increasing its traffic (and sales). If you are a business owner looking to optimize your website and you approach the issue as just nabbing that #1 slot or making the top 10, you may get what you’re after, but you are not going to be happy with your results.
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