J. A. Russell
Villa Maria Estate
Canoe Racing NZ
Scenic Hotel Group
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Author - Labyrinth Solutions
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Mistake No 1 – Not doing it!
If you do the minimum level of SEO, you might, with luck, stay where you are in terms of your market position. Do nothing at all and it’s practically guaranteed that you’ll move backwards and lose business opportunities, because your competitors will be doing. SEO is not difficult and it will pay dividends.
Mistake No 2 – Not defining what the SEO project should achieve
It is important to determine who you want to visit your site, what your visitors might use as search terms in Google etc., and what you want your visitors to do once there.
Mistake No 3 – Failing to coordinate SEO efforts with good content as well as with your sales and PR departments
Getting visitors to the site is one thing, engaging them and converting them into qualified prospects or customers is another. Content on the site must be structured to achieve this. Good SEO without good content and effective visual design will be counter productive as once a bad first impression has been made, why would they ever come back? In addition, new content added by your marketing or PR department must be incorporated into the ongoing SEO strategy so that it is consistent.
Mistake No 4 – Narrow focus
Too much of the SEO focus is on the search listing position. However, if the structure of the listing is poor and searchers fail to click through, what is its value? Also too much SEO priority is placed on getting visitors to land on particular pages. EVERY page should be considered a potential landing page. The wider the net is cast, the better the chance of landing the fish.
Mistake No 5 - Failure to monitor and act upon results
SEO work often brings up unusual surprises. Search terms that would be expected to work may not in fact perform, whilst others expected to be minimally effective, bring in the best qualified, most likely to act visitors. Without constant testing and tuning SEO will never be truly optimised.
Mistake No 6 – Ignoring Behavioural Analysis
Some visitors will enter the website and leave immediately. This is called bouncing. It means that the visitor either was not in the required target market or much worse, they were, but didn’t find what they were looking for, or weren’t convinced your site was what they were looking for. You need to examine the entry page and identify what might be causing bounces and address these issues.
Mistake No 7 – Poor Content Management Systems (CMS)
Points 4, 5 and 6 above highlight the need to have flexibility in managing the site content. A poor CMS will inhibit this and make effective SEO difficult to achieve. If you have no CMS and the website is controlled by the IT department the problem is probably exacerbated - a techie’s interest is in delivering a technical solution, not so much in ensuring the content is SEO friendly. Using a good CMS system will enhance your SEO.
Mistake No 8 – Creating a site with confusing navigation
If the key search term used by a person to find your website is “Baseball cap”, ensure that one of the first things that person sees on entry to your site is either the words baseball cap or a picture of one. Once on the site, wherever they have come in, make sure they can quickly and easily navigate around the rest of the site. Structure the site to encourage them to explore. Link related products to make navigation easier. A generic term for this type of effective navigation is Persuasion architecture, and a good website should have been built with this incorporated. When managing your own site, be sure to keep to the persuasion architecture put in place – do not deviate too far from it.
Mistake No 9 – Designing an ineffective homepage
Too many companies only focus on creating a visual impact with their home page. This often comes at the expense of SEO and visitors may not find the information they need on landing so that they can decide that they’ve come to the right place. You can lose customers from the start.
Mistake No 10 – Over emphasis on the home page
Conversely, some companies put all their efforts into their home page and neglect the other pages of their site. These pages should also be optimised and serve as landing/entry pages.
A point to remember at this stage is that although driving traffic to your site is important, it's vital that once a visitor does arrive there, they are given a good experience.
Terry - Wellington,
4:01 p.m. Thursday, 1 September 2011
11:51 a.m. Friday, 2 September 2011
Terry, Linda Thanks for your feed back.
Terry, you are right - if you are in a non competitive industry you don't need to bother too much about SEO. It's a totally different story though if you are and you expect people to find you through a standard Google search.
Linda - you are spot on about the bounce rate. If you get people into the site, but it doesn't meet their needs you have not given them the experience they expected. We have 2 other articles talking about the importance of user experience. One is the one talking about Gordon Ramsay's approach to strufggling restaurants and the other is about making the website the journey and not the destination
4:21 p.m. Friday, 2 September 2011
2:50 p.m. Friday, 1 June 2012
Hi, thanks. Oftentimes I am getting either info that is too specific - or that is too general to be applied in my own context. With your article I was able to get something out of it, so.... Thanks;-)
11:49 a.m. Tuesday, 5 June 2012
Hi William from Melbourne,
Thanks for your comment - much appreciated
2:49 p.m. Saturday, 30 June 2012
A few good SEO tips here, thanks!
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