I admit that I've spent a lot of time and money researching, learning and employing search engine optimization for my business. I've also optimized many webpages for other businesses. For a lot of businesses, SEO does not work.
I Want To Be On the First Page of Search Engines!
Some businesses have the impression that being on the first page of search engines is like being on the first page of the Yellow Pages. Their phone will start to ring because they are top of the list. The problem is that the phone book is used with a telephone to make a call and the Internet is not.
Today buyers only talk to a real salesperson as a last resort, not as a first step. Buyers have the knowledge of the world at their fingertips and use the Internet to search for information online instead of calling a salesperson. The Internet has empowered buyers with the ability to bypass sales people and find what they’re looking for themselves. They expect to find any answer they need online. Don't know the answer, Google it! This gives businesses that know this fact a great opportunity to be a truly helpful resource to potential buyers.
A Stream of Web Visitors That Never Call
It's a known fact that on average only 3% of online visitors will contact a business. The other 97% are looking for information. The day of the Yellow Pages are gone. We live in an era of self-service information. What are the other 97% of people who visit a site looking for?
If a visitor clicks a webpage using a search engine, the webpage should help the visitor find the solution to their keyword search. Searchers don’t want to talk to salespeople but they do want to find solutions to their problems. In order for a webpage to be valuable and worthwhile it must help visitors connect the dots. A visitor may view more than 30 pages before filling out a lead form. Why so many pages of information?
Well, Google had 1,873,910,000,000 searches in 2012. Yes, that number is one trillion, eight hundred seventy three billion, nine hundred ten million searches in 2012. That averages out to 5,134,000,000 searches per day just for Google and 7 out of 10 Google users make more than one query per day. Searchers need more information before making a purchase because they have more information easily available online.
Optimize Your Site for People
The problem with optimizing to be first on search engines without regard for useful content is that search engines don’t buy, people do. A top of page search won't keep a visitor on a site for more than a few seconds if the visitor can't find what they’re looking for. The solution to visitors staying on the site is to optimize the page for people first and the search engine second. The page should be written simply and clearly to give the visitor the answers they seek. The page is a great opportunity for the business to demonstrate their expertise by providing deeper knowledge and be truly useful to the visitor.
Remember, a visitor that arrives because of a keyword search is looking for helpful content that provides a solution to their problem. They are not on the page specifically to do business or make an immediate purchase. The page visit is an opportunity to build valuable mindshare with the visitor by providing helpful targeted information.
- Webpages should be optimized for people first by providing truly helpful content.
- Webpages should be optimized for search engines second after optimizing for people.
- People require more information today to purchase because they have more information available at their fingertips.
- People use information to figure it out themselves instead of calling a sales person.
- A good webpage should provide them the content they seek.
- Are visitors getting the information they seek from you, or your competition?
Search engines have become a core resource for individuals looking for a business, product, or service. This transition to online search has, over the years, reduced the need for traditional search methods, such as yellow pages and newspapers. Get your free Ebook: Learning SEO from the Experts.