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Getting to #1 in Google, at What Cost?

Posted by Paul Regensburg on May 12, 2011 4:27:00 PM

On many occasions our clients say, "We want to be #1 in Google."This is a worthy goal, but too general to result in success. It does however, lead to interesting follow-up questions, like "For which search terms do you wish to rank?"

Our next question would be, "If you do get to #1, have you made an equal or greater effort to ensure that the visitor will get what they want and be converted into an interested prospect/buyer etc.?"

In other words, making your website a strong lead generation vehicle requires a more holistic view than bulking up the page count and embedding tons of key words and links to optimize it for search engines, although many companies go down that well-worn path. That approach may appeal to a MACHINE (Google and other search engines), but may yield a confusing or muddled user experience.

The next task is to make your site of interest to the HUMAN BEINGS who are visitors to the site. How does the content of the pages and overall site fulfill the needs of your visitors? Is it engaging and written in an understandable style? Does it contain information relevant to the visitor? Are there clear "paths of action" for the visitor to take the "next step"? What is that "next step"? How can you make it easy for visitor to walk through that "door"?

As an experiment, take a look at page you click on as a result of a search and ask yourself if "voice" of the page "speaks" to you with this kind of clarity. If not, then the site may have won the battle, but lost the business.

Tags: SEO / user experience / Google