When Industry Knowledge Matters - Put that SEO Smile On Your Website’s Face

Posted on Feb 23, 2012 in CHI Insight
Tags: public relations, integrated marketing communications, pr tips, seo, search engine optimization, website development, website design

When your company’s website just sits, as it has for months or even years, you may be losing credibility with your customers - without even knowing you are. It’s as if your website has bad breath or stained teeth. It’s just a turnoff.

It’s easy for sales to say they’re doing all the work necessary to educate customers on what you have to offer. And it’s easy for marketing to get so caught up in delivering on those promises that the website gets neglected, or worse, not even considered as a tool for generating new leads and attracting business from current or prospective customers. But despite all these factors, you still want your website to smile at people, don’t you?

Problems of neglect beg for change. The fact is, the customer who visits your website (if they can find it with a lacking web presence) and is so turned off or unmotivated by what they find might never come back, let alone contact you when they need your products or services.

It happens all the time. Set up some site analytics and see it for yourself. Track the traffic deep enough and you’ll see the painful signs of a frowny site. Prospective customers become touch and go when they don’t like what they see. Traffic will be low. The number of page visits is minimal. The time they spend on each page is dismal. Bounce rates will be high and can tell you a lot about what customers are doing when they get to your website - leaving quickly.

This is all taking into consideration that your website is being found in the search engines in the first place. If any web user, or prospective customer, isn't typing in your URL directly, are they finding your site based on the searches they query for your products and services in your target market? Are you showing up within the first three pages of any search engine, for any of your target keywords? Without organic SEO, the answer is probably no. This doesn't mean they're not finding the products and services you sell; they're just finding them with your competitors.

It can be fascinating to study how customers find you. What search engine sources are they using? How does your site look in the software they’re using? What nation or state or city are they coming from? What aspect of your website is most important to them? All these facts and figures can be instructive to you, and a good SEO team will not only assist you with understanding these analytics (as well as improving your analytics data over time) and with optimizing your website, but will also help you with the other factors that tie into a fully optimized web presence. For example, a good SEO team will list your website with the right directories, set up your Maps listings, acquire solid backlinks and make sure you're being found in your target market - all in addition to to basic organic SEO on your website. It's not just on-site SEO that's important; it's all the other components like these aforementioned items that work as a holistic SEO solution.


Industry knowledge and SEO

Prospective customers use their industry knowledge to search for products and services they need. If they type in key terms related your products, your services, your industry, the search engines should find you. But they probably won’t if you haven’t built those keywords into your website navigation, page content, listed them in title tags and headers, included them in meta descriptions and utilized them throughout the meta data on your site. Optimized meta data, complete with a lot of relevant, keyword-rich content, is what search engines want to see.

If your customers or key prospects are searching for your products and services, they’re simply not going to go out of their way to find your company. If a competitor shows up in their search queue with content that answers their query for industry knowledge, you know who’s going to get the attention and their business, don’t you? (Psst: It's likely your competitor.)

It can be even truer with existing customers. No one likes to be taken for granted or treated like a secondary thought when they visit your business. Would you make them wait in your reception area for two hours and keep old, outdated magazines sitting on the tables there? Of course you wouldn’t.

Well, a dull, outdated, unoptimized website is possibly even worse considering you typically only have 30 seconds to get a web user's attention. If the content isn’t fresh, they’re out of there. You won’t even hear the doorbell sound when they leave.

Keep in mind, even if your site rocks the house visually, has Flash or animation, video and all the bells and whistles, it may still underperform if the industry knowledge you want them to find is somehow buried or absent on your site. Meaning, if your website isn't optimized for search with your target keyword phrases, your website can be the most beautiful in the world, but it's still not being ranked in the search engines, and thereby not found by your potential customers.

Getting a fully functional SEO website is not difficult. Rather, it is like forgetting to get your teeth cleaned at the dentist. After a while of neglecting your website SEO, things can get kind of plaquey, stale, and sometimes, lost completely.

It doesn’t hurt to freshen things up with a little new branding and presentation as well, as long as you’re digging around in there. So perhaps it’s time to put a healthy SEO smile on the face of your website. 

You won’t even have to see the dentist. Just a talented SEO team.

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