SEO is great right? Higher Google rankings, more visibility to potential customers, more visitors coming to your website. These are some of the benefits you can get through implementing a good SEO strategy. So is there any actual downside of good SEO, or at least a potential downside?
The Downside To Good SEO
Let’s first look at what the purpose of SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is. When implementing an SEO strategy your aim is to optimise your website in order to help it rank higher in Google and other search engines. There are many elements you should be implementing, but we are going to look at one of the biggest elements and that is your website content.
Content is a key part of any SEO strategy as it is the content that Google reads in order to determine what the webpage is about and the more relevant Google believe your page is to the search term the higher they will rank you. This is why it is important that your page title and meta description, headings, image alt tags, links and general content is focused towards the keyword or phrase you would like to appear for in the search engines.
If we assume that your webpage is completely optimised for your chosen search term and you are appearing near the top of the first page then, depending on search volumes, you are going to be getting at least a few visits through Google’s organic search. The problem then comes after the person has clicked on your link. Once they are on your webpage the priority is no longer to get ranked high on Google. The priority now, is to convert that visitor into a potential customer for your business., and if you’ve only been focusing your content towards SEO then chances are you’re losing out on some visitor conversions. You can most effectively convert visitors to potential customers by following a basic protocol of getting them interested, then building their desire for your product or service, and finally directing them to the course of action you want them to do next. This means that if your page content is solely created for SEO then you are potentially risking losing potential customers as you are not convincing them to stay on your website and take action.
The solution is simple, but requires some extra focus and creative writing when it comes to your website content. You need to write your content so it both appeals to the visitor and the search engines, something which we like to call dual-purpose content writing.
Let’s take a look at an example. You have a business that provides yoga classes in the town of Sale in Manchester. If we’re thinking of SEO only then are main heading for our webpage advertising the classes would be something like “Yoga Classes in Sale, Manchester”. If we were not going to think about SEO and just wanted to connect with our visitor to try and sell the classes we might choose a heading that reflects the benefits that they will receive like “Relax, De-stress And Enjoy A Happier Healthier Life Through Yoga”. Both headings do a fairly decent job, but if you can merge the two together you can get the maximum benefits on both fronts. We could do this by creating a new heading like “A Healthy Mind and Body With Our Yoga Classes In Sale, Manchester”.
Incorporate Your Website’s Design For Maximum Effect
So we now have a nice heading that both helps us with SEO and visitor conversion, but it is a little long which makes it a little frustrating for the visitor and little more difficult for Google’s bots to understand. What you can do now is split your heading into a main heading (SEO) and a sub-heading (visitor conversion).
When Google crawl your website they know your main heading by looking for the H1 tag, but what they can’t currently know is how that heading is displayed on your website (to a certain extent anyway). So what you can now do is give a stronger design emphasis to your sub-heading that is designed to convert the visitor to a potential customer and less focus on your main heading which is more for SEO purposes.
Whatever you do and however you do it, just remember what the purpose of your content is and create content and design your website so that is meets those purposes and not just one of them.