Penny is a small business owner and her friends suggested she should get a website. After all, everyone has one right?
She asks, “a website? Why?” They put the kettle on and sit her down. The conversation that follows goes along these lines: All businesses should be online. This way she could reach thousands more people and everyone can contact her via her website, she can even put her whole glossy catalog on the web along with some contact details…
So Penny scans the latest Friday paper for web design ads and phones the second one listed. “Hi, i’d like a website please. Uhm, not too big no, maybe 10 pages? How much? Oh, and what does that include? Ok, thank you, i will come and see you tomorrow….bye!”
R8 000 later and Penny has her 10-page-super-slick-over-the-top-flash-and-what-not-sql-driven-php masterpiece. All dressed up with nowhere to go!
Penny’s website was designed by one of those “Now you too can have your own website!”; (lamp post ad) – companies.
But Penny is happy because she finally has her own website! The first few weeks go by without any visits to the website apart from a few clicks by some of her friends and family who says: “Ooh, that’s very pretty and all…”How is it doing?”
Penny has to admit that she has not seen any ROI on this rather expensive new venture at all. She thought that once she’s online, she’s basically sorted, business will pick up and the money will start rolling in.
Enter the SEO. What would an SEO have done differently? Do you still need a SEO?
What is it? Researching your product offering! Who do you compete with in the industry? Do they even have a website? Which keywords/phrases are they targeting? Is there another unexplored gap in the market? A SEO (the reason i don’t say “An SEO” is because it’s “A Search Engine Optimiser”…that’s why it can’t be “An”…okay?”
Right, a SEO understands the principles of effective keyword research and this forms an <-- (there's an "an") integral part of the initial steps in building a website from the ground up. Other steps include a SEO friendly file and folder structures as covered in an earlier post.
Researching the top keywords for Penny’s website would have solved the natural next step in building the folder structure because the different content pages her website would have to consist of would have become apparent through the keyword research.
This research would have identified 4 main keywords that represent the products that Penny’s company specializes in and would have spawned these 4 unique pages in her website automatically. (green-widgets.html, blue-widgets.html, red-widgets.html, white-widgets.html)
Penny’s over-the-top website has this rather well known and familiar look. (Home, About Us, Gallery, Products, Contact us.) Yes, you’ve seen hundreds of “Penny sites”.
File and folder design
The keyword research in effect designed the file structure for this website already and it might have looked something like this: www.penny.com/old-green-widgets.html, www.penny.com/blue-widgets-tips.html, www.penny.com/red-widgets-care.html and so forth.
I wrote about these Top 10 On-page factors the other day. Penny’s web design guys basically took the original copy off her Word document which was used for her glossy catalog and slapped it on her Products page.
This wasn’t written by a SEO, and it’s not web ready. It’s print copy! Big difference. Each of these pages need their own unique and beautifully optimised SEO copy and all the other factors that go with it.
Web Developers do not write copy. They hate copy. They love code. So, out the window went Penny’s pages because they had no on-page SEO factors. It was a dead Word document slapped on a one-pager called “Products”.
I believe there are still lots of work out there for SEO’s. There are far too many companies out there who are clueless as to what a good website looks like. Far too many “bad” non-SEO optimised websites that can do FAR better online than they are.
If a SEO was not needed to build your small or big business website using all the above mentioned methods, who was going to do the link building then? Who would you get to write your good SEO optimised fresh content? What about social media (FaceBook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon etc?)
Ok, so you don’t need a SEO to manage your social media profiles, as this is something the website owner could do him/herself if they did it correctly and smartly but your SEO still knows all the tips and tricks that you perhaps don’t know!
All of these above mentioned elements are needed in order to really cement Penny’s website as an online presence and a successful business.
My conclusion? In my opinion, I still have a job!
Ciao, till next time.