Search Engine Optimization,Web Design

Why SEO Needs Your Web Content

24 Oct , 2008  

A client recently approached me to discuss redesigning their website, optimizing it to rank well in Google, and contracting me for some basic marketing and promotion.  Now, this has happened to me a few times, so I don’t want to single out any one client (and I wouldn’t mention them by name even if you asked me).  But their thought process was, well, we’ve got about 100 or so pages indexed right now, but we want to get rid of them and pare that down to just a half dozen or so really sales-driven content pages.

My question, of course, was WhyWhy would you ever want to throw away valuable content (let’s assume for now that it was valuable content about their product and/or service offerings)?  The answer is always the same – we want to drive customers directly to the sale, so let’s push them there with a short, concise marketing message.  What’s wrong with that?

The failure, or disconnect, or whatever you want to call it, is always in the misunderstanding of the purpose and viability of the business website as a sales medium.

Marketing on the web is not like marketing in person, or on a phone call, or via any other medium.  If you were making outside sales calls I would say yes, you’ve got the right idea.  Make your pitch fast and focused and close the sale before they hang up.  So let me make this analogy – do you think customers will call you to listen to your outside sales call spiel?  No?  Then why in the world do you think they would take time out of their day to find your website to read it?

This particular business website, like so many others, suffers from a particular shortcoming I like to refer to as the “sales brochure” website.  They want just 5 pages on the site – one that talks about them, one that says where they’re located, maybe even has a spiffy little mapquest map, one page with their product listings, a contact form, etc. – you get the idea.  And again I make the comparison – what do you do when someone you don’t know hands you a sales brochure full of pitch?  That’s right – you put it in a scrapbook and save it for posterity to peruse later.  No, you don’t?  Really?  Then I guess you’re not surprised that your visitors aren’t going to bookmark your site and come back later to reminisce about your amazing sales pitch.

There’s a very easy solution, both from a marketing perspective and from an SEO standpoint.  Add actual valuable content to your website!  Not pitchy crap, but actually useful information.  You may find that your potential human customers will really think that it’s worthwhile, thereby giving your site the reputation as an authority in your market.  You may find that they return to the site to read more or begin emailing their friends about your great resource.  But more importantly for the promotion of your site, you will definitely find that Google and Yahoo love it.  And nothing assists in the promotion and marketing of a site like ranking in organic search results.

With more web content updated on a regular basis comes increasingly more attention from the search engine crawlers.  Pretty soon your site will be indexed faster (usually within minutes of publishing new content) and will begin ranking for all kinds of organic search terms you didn’t even know would attract customers (that’s what we call the long tail keyword effect).

Then you won’t even need to hire a NJ SEO like meNot really.  Content is just the first step, but it is the most important.  If you find an SEO that tells you otherwise, turn and walk away.

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18 Responses

  1. David Rodger says:

    Let’s not call it a “disconnect”, mainly because there’s no such thing as a “disconnect”. It’s a verb, not a noun.

  2. Barry Wise says:

    Hey, I said websites need content; I never said anything about grammatically correct content …

  3. Eugene says:

    nice story
    This is how people who don’t know about SEO think, Website need content and relevant content to make their sales page rank.

  4. We have done SEO for similar brochure sites and we always find that visitors bounce off and fail to return to the site. We agree that there is a difference between achieving SEO results and making it profitable for a business.

  5. Maneet Puri says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you. Little knowledge about SEO makes people do things that eventually harms their website.

    Keep up the good work of enlightening people!

  6. SEO Services says:

    I always suggest to have SEO consultation before designing and developing a website as you can not change design more often, SEO strategy should be applied before your website gets ready and for that extensive amount of keyword search and quality content required for which your website is about. When website gets ready its suitable for SEO and rankings with maximum ROI.

  7. Web Talk says:

    I still remember one of the very first lessons i got from a friend of mine, right after I started blogging a few years ago. Content is kig. Despite all bloggers’ efferts to improve their blogs, depite white hat, grey hat and black hat Seo tricks, in the end content is what really matters.

  8. Content is king as they say. Always comes down to this, it’s the bottom line and always will be. It’s one thing that will always be top of the SE’s priority. Afterall they can’t exactly eliminate content as they do with eliminating the keyword meta data etc

  9. Lazy Slacker says:

    yep, content is the king. I wish more sites would add valuable content.

    It just makes sense: more relevant/useful pages = more serps. It’s a no-brainer yet companies are having problems with this. amazing!

  10. Are you saying we should not delete sales pages that contain content even when the product is sold? My products vary every day, so when I sell, I remove the page. This is not recommended according to what I have read in your article. Maybe I am confused-would not be the first time though.

  11. Barry Wise says:

    @We sell it all – You have a unique site requirement. Since you have temporary content, you wouldn’t be expected to keep it on the site after the product is sold. You would have to keep up your SEO efforts on the site to maintain a frequent Google crawl rate, so that when you add and remove content quickly it gets updated just as frequently.

  12. Content is King as they say, and it’s common sense really – Google returns the most relevant sites in their searches and it therefore makes sense that they search your content to find out if it’s relevant. The more relevant content you have on the site the better it will rank. Of course there are other factors involved but content is the best place to start.

  13. Austin SEO says:

    There’s an undercurrent here that hasn’t been touched on thoroughly…and that is that 100 *indexed* pages carry more aggregate pagerank power than 10 indexed pages. Even if those 90 extra pages are somewhat low-value, the pagerank they enjoy can be directed toward the pages with the more high-value keywords. Adding content solves more than one problem at a time.

  14. SEO Company says:

    With more web content updated on a regular basis comes increasingly more attention from the search engine crawlers.

  15. I like this post. I often get clients who want the sales brochure type website. I often try to get them to at least add a blog so they can add content, but then again they have to actually write post, but that’s a whole different problem.

  16. Barry, I feel your pain with this. Unfortunately clients have 1 goal in mind, SELL. they do not have the same mentality or experience we have and do not understand that an informative interesting site will convert much better than a purely sales driven site.

  17. Mathew says:

    heh sometimes it’s really difficult to explain to the customers, that their content is king and you can not get great rankings without it. I can concur that sometimes we need to spend a couple of hours to explain the basic concept behind SEO and what’s in it for them.

  18. Bay City Web Design says:

    My site has 197 pages to it. I wouldn’t dare knock it down to half of that. I see a lot of websites that are trying to go for 5 or 10 keywords on their homepage not realizing that they are just flooding their pages! I see title tags like Web Design | Web Development | SEO | Graphic Design | Photography | Logos | Site Title. That is not a good way to get on Google! Thanks for the post!

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