Beyond SEO – Optimizing for searchers, not just search engines

By Jen  |  September 21, 2018

I’m a numbers girl. Facts and figures. I trust numbers because they always tell you the truth. Are your Google Ads providing conversions? Numbers will confirm. Is your web traffic up? Check your analytics. So, naturally, I have gravitated to the science side of digital marketing.

All marketers know the value of being able to measure campaign successes, social media presence and ROI on a specific effort. Sometimes we can get caught up on some of the more common approaches to digital optimization: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM). But optimization is more than just the right keywords and paid ads. Depending on your role, digital optimization could mean user experience, it could mean increasing conversions, or content marketing (eg: blogs). All of these things are digital optimization. 

It’s important, when optimizing your digital presence to think not just about the search engines, but the searchers. Yes, SEO is important to help aid in ranking your website, but so are click through’s on your website, as well as relevant content. Search engines have a very complicated algorithm that crawl websites and use over 200 categories to rank, which is a lot to consider. Search engines (while extremely effective at providing the right content, at the right time, to the right person) are still not real people who are purchasing your product, hiring you for a service or getting involved in your community.

Here are three ways you can optimize your digital presence for search engines and searchers alike:

  1. User Experience (or UX) – Is your website easy to navigate? Does is make sense from a consumer stand point? Is it what your users are expecting? Google has proven many times that complex websites are continuously rated as less attractive than simpler websites. That old saying still reigns true today: keep it simple silly.
  1. Content Strategy – It’s been said on previous blogs of ours, but you can’t expect to be successful in your online presence without a content strategy. Having a clear understanding of what your users are searching for and having a content plan to capture those searches is imperative to ensuring website ranking and website traffic.
  1. Website Best Practise Formatting – how you display information on your site greatly impacts how, and if, users will engage with you online. Are you using short digestible paragraphs? Are you linking content? Is there clear, structured hierarchy? Is your website static or dynamic (I’ll give you a hint, a website should NEVER be static).

Digital optimization is something that should always be evolving. I challenge you for a month to blog weekly about a topic that provides value to your users, post on your social media platforms three to four times a week with relevant content and see how it impacts your business. 

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