Without SEO optimization, you better don’t have a site
Based on my passion for communication, I always had a clear picture of what effect an internet site should have on the user. Very attractive with a catchy story. Fast, well-arranged and to-the-point. We could spend days together with the designers and copywriters to create the concept that would make every site visitor more than charmed. If only we had known better then....
What never received the attention it deserved was SEO. That was something for the geeks and not for the high intellectual creatives like us. We couldn't be more arrogant, but you can't use the knowledge that you don't have either.
The result was invariably a site that the customer was happy with and that gave the visitor with a good feeling. But it also ended there. The problem was that in addition to a lost soul, it usually remained with that one visitor. Because the site was not set up for SEO and did not contain any SEO content, it could not be found by anyone if you did not enter exactly the correct URL.
Google had no reason to rank the site as relevant because the site was 1 large banner. Even though the site consisted of several pages, the content was not worthy of paying attention to for a search engine.
Without SEO optimization you should not have a site
What good is a site without visitors? That is like having a flyer made that you put on your desk without showing it to anyone. A waste of money and effort. With today's knowledge, I would, therefore, take a completely different approach. First, look at the SEO value of a company site and then adjust the concept accordingly. Without becoming technically substantive, this is actually very simple.
To develop an SEO-worthy site, only 1 thing is actually needed. Content. Google has very complex algorithms to determine if your site is relevant to display in the search results, but everything starts with unique content: To know:
- Images and photos
- Movies and animations
Note: Articles are the most important thing. Movies and animations are fun, but above all ensure that a visitor stays on the site for longer and that a search engine appreciates very much. Google also finds it important, for example, that a text is readable and therefore appreciates that the text is alternated with (relevant) images, bullets, subheadings, etc.
SEO is about content and more content
Nobody likes it if the Internet becomes a repository of promotional flyers telling how good you are. You can debate whether this is already the case, but the fact remains that this is not good for anyone. Google, therefore, has the objective to prevent this and gives priority to content that it believes is relevant to an Internet user. To ensure that your content becomes relevant to a search engine, 2 basic conditions are crucial:
- The content must be unique - Texts should therefore preferably be self-written and with images or photos made by yourself.
- There must be substantial content - 1 photo on a site or 3 sentences of text can have almost no relevance for a visitor so the Search Engine skips this information. One of the rules of the game is that a text must contain at least 300 words.
Creating SEO optimized site is an art
If you think you are done with 100 well-written content articles and 50 nice and self-made photos, you are wrong. Search engines find this important and appreciate it very much, but unfortunately more is needed to be really relevant and to score high in the rankings. If a million people write something about diets, how can a search engine know that you have more and better information to offer than another?
This starts with presenting the content on your site in such a way that a search engine understands your content. This has to do with 3 things.
- The use of words in articles and the description of image or audio content
- The technical layout of your site, the (HTML) code, and your sitemap
- The internal and external links
Note: The highest rating (in the eyes of Google) is a link from another relevant website to your content. The page that gets the most appreciation will be at the top.
SEO is never finished
Suppose you do everything just right with the help of an SEO and conversion specialist and ultimately get a high ranking in the search engines, the work is not done yet. Even stronger, then it starts. The word relevance also includes the word new for a Search Engine. If you never do maintenance on your physical store, it will automatically become an old mess. If you don't do maintenance at your site, search engines will value your site in the same way as your store without maintenance. And where a store only becomes an old mess after a while, a search engine sometimes rates your site like that after a few days. That is why you also should take into account factors such as:
- Frequency of updates on the site with new content
- Visitor numbers and their behavior (do they stay on the site for a long time or not)
- Appreciation of visitors and other sites (for example by recommending content)
- And much more than even the most experienced SEO specialists sometimes disagree on under what circumstances this may or may not be relevant to a search engine.
SEO optimization is a profession.
There is no training for it, and the laws that applied yesterday may have changed today, with the result that you are unconsciously violating a law and suddenly losing your ranking. That is why SEO specialists are busy enriching their knowledge every day and that is much more important than those graphic designers, copywriters, and strategists, such as me, who made worthless sites without this knowledge.