SEO: Tech vs Content E-mail

SEO: Tech vs Content

We like to organize SEO optimization techniques into two main categories:

  • Technical, behind the scenes adjustments to the code
  • Content, the actual words on the page

When all the mystery is stripped away, search engines are just algorithms that try (and sometimes fail) to match key words with relevant online content. The rank of your website in a search engine result depends on a great many things, and each search engine uses different algorithms. These algorithms are among the most closely guarded secrets in the industry, and is one reason companies cannot guarantee first position results.

At TBG, we remove any technical barriers that stand between your site and search engines. This includes properly configured robot.txt, dynamic sitemaps, search engine friendly URLs and navigation, proper site code, correctly organized tags, cross linking, meta data, site submission and Google Webmaster and Analytics setup. But the tech side of SEO is just that; it allows search engines to find and index your content more easily. What's really important is your content.

SEO optimized content is an ongoing effort and requires research, marketing and writing -- lots and lots of writing.
The best way to explain this by way of example:

There is no magic "SEO" solution. Great content, good design, and marketing are all essential to build rankings.

Let's say you're starting a new business that sells customized and insulated lunch bags for kids. You bought some blank lunch bags and a computerized embroidery machine that will put a child's name on the lunch carrier. You need a website that people can find and order their customized lunch bag. Naturally, you write an article titled "Customized Lunch Bags" and describe how great your particular bags are. And, since that computerized embroidery machine costs so much money, you write several articles on how great it is. You even have a shopping cart on your site, and it's all optimized for search engines. Now, just sit back and watch the money come in right?

But something is wrong. No one is visiting. While your site may be optimized for search engines your content may not be "optimized" for people. This is where research and development of your content needs to happen. After doing a little research, you discover that the highest related search term for you product is "insulated lunch totes." You don't have that particular search engine string anywhere on your site.

You decide to write another article called "Insulated Lunch Totes," but you already described everything about your product in the other article. Remember, old-school marketing practices sill apply on the Internet. Basically, you need to expand the amount of useful information on your site. It's time to do even more research, only this time, you research why it's important for consumers to send nutritious lunches with their children instead of using school lunches. (Selling benefits of your product is always better than trying to sell features of your product.) While doing your research, you discover all kinds of nutritional information and the value of a low-sugar diet for better learning. Instead of one article, you write ten.

Soon, your website is full of information about the benefits of sending home-made lunches to school. And it just so happens that your product is a great way to do that.

You have just created (after a lot of hard work) an informative and useful website that targets parents looking for more information on nutritional lunches. Keep in mind, this is just one traffic source. There are others: what about adult workers who want to take personalized totes to work with humorous sayings on them? They won't be looking for childhood learning and nutrition information. They might want to see examples of the product and how they will be the "envy of all their coworkers." Their keyword search might be "humorous work lunch totes." Better write another article or two.

There are several things to remember:

  1. A website is never "done." As the market changes, your website needs to change.
  2. Marketing rules and techniques still apply to websites.
  3. SEO in and of itself will do nothing for you. Without good content, SEO can't really work.
 
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