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Winning At Search Engine Optimization

Do you want better search engine placement? Do you want to attract more new customers? Do you want to keep your existing customers coming back? These all require a web site that is informative and useful. But is that enough?


You may be hearing a lot about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) lately, but there is a lot more to this than simply submitting a web site to a bunch of search engines.

The real problem is the same for any advertising medium - standing out above the noise. If every company is suddenly investing in SEO for their web site then nobody stands out. Consider all of the advertising aimed at you every day. What works and what is easy to ignore? Advertising that stands out is always new, different, informative and most likely changing on a regular basis.

Do you ever wonder why retail stores regularly shift their inventory around to different places? This goes back to a Harvard Business School study from the 1980s that showed almost a 33% increase in sales just by making the store appear fresh each month.

In search engine terms this means constantly improving the words (because search engines can't read pictures or active content line video and Flash) about your product, service and company. In customer terms it means giving value before the sale by telling them more useful things about the product or service than your competition.

I personally never buy from any company that just lists a part number with a buy button even if they have a better price. Think about your own buying practices. Is there a connection between your choice to buy from a web site and their ability to clearly describe the product or service you want? Write those words about your product or service on your web site.

The Long View

Visible growth over time means your web site (and by reference your company) is still alive.

Almost anyone can build a web site with all of the right words, keywords, descriptions and optimizations required to get listed in a search engine. But if that web site is static for any period of time it will sink below active web sites that may not do everything perfectly right.

Whatever you choose to do with your own web site, make sure you have a plan for regular changes, growth by adding new text and improvements by correcting and updating text over time. This is arguably many times more valuable than any single SEO event. Very few companies appear willing or able to invest in long term commitments to generate and maintian text content like this which is one reason why simple visible growth makes it possible for you stand out from the noise.

First published 2009-12-17. The last major review or update of this information was on 2011-01-10. Your feedback using the form below helps us correct errors and omissions on this page.