Warning: SEO at work!

This post is by Hazel Walker

 

You’re no doubt familiar with SEO, search engine optimisation. If you’re a widget maker in Essex and you’ve had your site optimised, people who put “widget maker in Essex” into Google have a much better chance of finding you than if you didn’t have your site optimised.

Fine and dandy, if all you’re looking for is a high ranking in Google. If you’re looking for customers, however, you might want to bear in mind the cautionary tale of my client, I’ll call her Freda.

Freda’s site had been functioning for about two years, drip-feeding customers at the rate of about four a month. Could do better, thought Freda, and went off to find an SEO guru to pump up her ranking.

Duly optimised, her new all-singing, all-dancing site went live and within three weeks gained the number two slot in a Google search. Fantastic.

But the steady drip-drip of clients didn’t turn into a Niagara. Just the opposite, in fact. After two anxious months with not a single client from the website, Freda asked me to take a peek to see if I could figure out what had gone wrong.

Now, I’m not an SEO specialist. I know what it is, and I know how to find the keywords that can magically shift a site from number 2 million of 2 million results to number 2 of 2 million results. But it’s not my speciality.

Communication is my speciality and when I looked at Freda’s site it was clear why it wasn’t garnering clients for her. Her considerable investment in SEO had done the rankings trick. But her keyword-rich home-page read like something out of a gizmo manual for aliens. There was none of Freda’s warmth. There was no personality. There were no calls to action.

The whole site was probably heaven-sent for the little bots Google sends out to do its ranking research, but for real, live, warm-blooded humans, it was a cool, miscalculated turn-off.

I rejig ged the bland keyword soup into a much tastier tempter that gave website visitors something to get their teeth into and, more importantly, made them want to find out more about Freda and what she had to offer.

Of course it’s worth asking yourself if SEO could improve your rankings. Just don’t forget to ask yourself if it’s going to get you more clients too.

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Written by Hazel Walker

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