Search Engine Optimization (SEO) might be a new term for you, but webmasters have practiced some form of optimization since the mid-1990s , when, as Wikipedia notes, “the first search engines were cataloging the early Web.” Since then, of course, the Internet has dramatically changed society, escorting all of us into a Brave New World of mind-blowing inventiveness and social transformation. Website optimization has evolved, too, to help online businesses deal with the byzantine challenge of marketing to a global audience.
And yet, the reason website optimization remains relevant is because it relies on the timeless marketing strategies. Marketing is simply about communication, and from the beginning of commerce the art of attracting customers has remained the same: it’s about what you say and how you say it.
Below we will discuss the first part of the basic marketing ethic—what you say—as it applies to website optimization. Next week we will discuss the second part of this marketing ethic: how you say it. If you have any questions about any of the topics discussed on this blog or any The Organic SEO Blogs, please leave a note in the comment section below!
In terms of website optimization, “what you say” has to do with the specific words, phrases, and design elements you use to express your online business. If you can identify your potential visitors, or if you want to build your website for a specific visitor, you must include in your text specific language and details that will appeal to your audience. Well-written content and the thoughtful use of keywords can dramatically increase your search engine exposure. On the other hand, beginning at your title page, details such as the font, color, and graphics can greatly influence your visitor.
If you want to create stellar, fully-optimized content, read the tips below.
Accessibility is Essential!
You must be sure that your customer understands every sentence and detail that you present on your website. Remember, not everyone in this world understands your product like you do. You are the expert. Your challenge is to convey your expertise in a way that inspires confidence in your website visitors. When you use jargon words or phrases that may not be familiar to your customer, he or she may lose interest—and just like that, you’ve lost a potential sale! If you truly understand your customer, you can adapt your text and design elements to suit his or her understanding and needs.
If you’re searching for a website optimization specialist, make sure you ask this very important question: "Who will create the content?" A high-quality specialist will hire a professional writer to work with you to make sure that "what you say" is accessible to your customer. On the other hand, a high-quality SEO specialist should be able to create design elements that appeal to the specific aesthetic sensibility of your customer.
Clarity is Crucial!
All SEO specialists understand this basic rule: to create a truly effective website, you must present your business with crystal-clear clarity. The more concise you are the easier it will be for your customer to understand the value of your offering. “What you say” comes from your brain—your intellect—and the job of your brain is to get your basic message across, plain and simple. (Next week we will speak about the emotional content of your message). And remember, do not beat around the bush; state your message quickly! Your website represents your business online. Careful attention to details will make your website attractive to visitors, and your product or service will be viewed with absolute clarity.
Keep it Interesting!
Interesting and informative content will attract potential customers, but a website that has been thoughtfully optimized for text and design elements should not merely attract potential customers—it should maintain the customer’s interest. The point, of course, is to cultivate informed and involved potential customers who will become actual customers. You must do more than merely describe your product! You should teach your customer something new—and possibly include him/her include him or her in the learning process.
In this respect, “what you say” takes into account that usually the customer cannot actually see your product in-person for himself, especially if your product is an idea or concept. A consulting business, for example, falls into this category. In this case, your product is purely theoretical, so it is up to you to engage your customer with text and imagery that he or she is sure to understand. For example, you may focus on the benefits of your service for prior customers—how your company has worked in the past, and with whom. Thoughtful and honest testimonials and reviews can be helpful.
If your product is more tangible with definitive characteristics—nuts and bolts for example—then your explanation should include how it works and how and why this product would be beneficial, useful, and profitable for your customer. If you can accomplish this with clear language and colorful and evocative design elements, your customer will become interested and more likely to buy your product.
In order to help your customer form an appealing picture of your product, include in your text common comparisons that your customer can relate too. The better picture that you build in your customer’s mind, the better chance he or she will have of understanding your product’s use and value, and the better chance you will have for making the sale!
Website optimization will significantly improve your website’s visibility, attracting a great deal of new traffic to your website. Your website will be seen by more people, improving your company’s success and exposure. But remember, "what you say" must be accessible, crystal-clear, and truly informative!
Check back next week when we discuss the emotional content of your message in how you say it.