Working in fast-paced search engine marketing industry, I have often been faced with question: “Where exactly does SEO fit into web site development?”
The relevance of SEO cannot be overestimated. Increasingly, webmasters and site owners alike are beginning to realize importance of optimizing a site to increase rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). However, they are not always sure how to go about this.
The Growing Importance of SEO:
A few years ago, web sites were created with goal in mind of bringing companies closer to their clients, i.e. their target market. As popularity of search engines grew, number of web sites being created increased alongside. During this process, webmasters and site owners began to realize how important it was to get that all-important competitive edge by reaching ideal top 20 positions on SERPs. Thus battle for top 10 positions ensued.
With this was born need for people to find and understand a method of constantly reaching those positions. In case of SEO, techniques which evolved can be divided into “good guys” and “bad guys” (the proverbial “white hat” SEO and “black hat SEO”, respectively.) Of course, some SEOs evolved into more shades of black than others, finding techniques to “outsmart” spiders, while others remained true to developing content-relevant sites aimed at users rather than spiders, while still attaining those sought-after top positions. (But that is a topic for another day.)
Although black-hats may differ from my opinion here, SEO is no quick fix to propel a site into high-ranking top positions. SEO and usability go hand in hand. Target search engines and searchers at same time by writing good, relevant, converting content. Map your site well with internal links to related sections. In so doing, you will provide your browsers with easy-to-follow navigation and simultaneously help spiders to index your site. Achieving a well-balanced site is a tedious journey, but when implemented correctly, may produce long-term stable results that will drive your site to top positions and increase your conversions.
Know your territory.
If you want to experience something fully, you have to be prepared for it. You have to research what you need, from most basic needs through to finest details. I have been privileged enough to experience wonders of an African safari. Before journey, one knows to pack comfortable bush clothes. One also knows that you’re not going to need high heels or suits in bush. It’s basics that count: jeans, sneakers and t-shirts.
When you go out on a game drive, what keeps you at ease amongst lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo is fact that firstly, you know you’re in a Land Rover, driven by an experienced safari guide, and secondly, that if it comes to it, there’s a trusty rifle in back seat.
The lessons illustrated by this analogy are: research your territory, be prepared, dispense with what is unnecessary and remember that basics count most of all.
To take analogy further, launching a web site is not unlike going on safari. Before sending it on its journey to World Wide Web, you need to pack it full of things you know it’s going to need. Start with basics.