Search Engine Optimization vs End User Optimization
For years, the focus has been on optimization of web sites for search engines (discoverability), but optimization of content for humans has made a comeback (usability). Because of changes and improvements in search algorithms, we’re now at a juncture where a balance of the two approaches is necessary. After all, what good is discoverable content that no one wants to use or consume?
I recently wrote about search engine optimization, providing a single search engine optimization tip in my Gamma Notes Blog. For SmallBizClub readers, here are some objectives to keep in mind when trying to achieve the perfect balance between web sites that are friendly to search engines and humans:
Determine Site Structure Early and Plan for Future Growth
Changing pages and site structure can cause headaches and unintended consequences later. Take a moment to consider future changes in your business and products when establishing a web site or performing an overhaul.
Logically Structured Content Is Good For Everybody
For example, if a main area of your site is “Services,” it should have sub-directories with logical names and words divided by hyphens, such as “custom-birthday-cakes” or “catering.”
Plan Areas That Are Specifically For Fresh Content
For most, this means having a blog. And, the presence of a blog can impact your search engine optimization efforts positively. Even if you aren’t ready to take that leap, plan for it now. At the very least, consider areas of your site that can feature content populated by social media or even your customers directly.
Maximize Social Media Ties and “Shareability” In All Content
Social media interaction is increasingly playing a role in search engine optimization and ranking. It seems obvious, but if you look around your site, you’re likely to find missed opportunities to encourage readers to share content.
Find a Way to Automate and Manage Your Sitemap Updates
Sitemaps are important in telling search engines what content is available on your site. Updating sitemaps, however, is a pain. There are tools out there to help you automate the process. If you are using WordPress for your web site, it can be quite painless.
You can do thorough keyword analysis using various tools. But, for many, a good first step is to ask your customers what important keywords are for them. All too often, small businesses have tunnel vision. It blocks the ability to differentiate between search phrases that are important to the staff and the search phrases that customers care about. These terminologies are often different.
Don’t Forget Calls To Action
Good content should encourage users to act – something a search engine doesn’t necessarily understand. An example? If you have questions or comments on the above, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach out at www.gamelanllc.com or on Twitter @GamelanLLC.
Author: With fifteen years of active, hands on startup and marketing experience, Matthew White enjoys helping solve business and marketing problems as a founder of Gamelan. He is also CEO and President of Whitepoint, a social mapping and smart tour technology provider.