It is thought a properly designed website will attract search engine traffic that is virtually free. If that traffic converts on popular terms then you could easily have a successful business website with little marketing costs. This is what SEO promises, but how important is SEO really?
Mike Moran of the Search Engine Guide wonders if SEO is no longer important, and I'm starting to agree.
First, I will disclose that I do SEO and SEM for clients. However, my approach is a bit different than what you might see in Internet marketing circles so I'm sure it influences my opinion here.
It isn't that SEO is less important, it's that SEO has changed from gimmicks and short term tactics to a marketing strategy. Instead of black or white hat strategies a set of core fundamentals are developing.
SEO is becoming more buyer focused, less about short term statistical trends. If site design and content is around your buyers interests, in their language, and what they want to read, then search engines will pick you up.
My clients get better results from SEO when they capture visitors into a newsletter, or special offer. Then use that offer to get the visitor to return. The more repeat visits, the better the ranking for the keywords that brought them originally.
This may have nothing to do with the lead capture and more to do with a reduction in bounce rate, or the visitor not returning to the search engine for another search. My client gets a lead all the same, which is the first step to converting traffic into buyers.
Instead of SEO just being about search engines practitioners are understanding the benefit of marketing combination. The optimization part is increasing the number of leads, reducing visitor bounce rate, and repeat visitors through valuable content resources.
You'll still need to use relevant keywords, build context, use human readable URLs, and have clean navigation — not so much for the search engines but for your human visitors. If you can keep more of the visitors you are getting, from any source, you won't need to worry about problems with ever changing search engine algorithms.
SEO is changing for the better, back to serving visitors who can become buyers. If you have a properly balanced marketing program then SEO is just as important as any other marketing you are doing, all together attracting the right buyers to your business website.
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Justin Hitt and Hitt Publishing Direct provides clients with Internet marketing, SEO, and SEM services designed to help them create sales with their business websites. For details visit https://www.jwhco.com/