SEO – Are You Too Focused on It?

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It’s not what you’d expect to hear. After all, SEO is the Holy Grail of internet marketing, right? But here it is: there’s a good chance you’re over-emphasizing search optimization at the expense of your online marketing’s success. See, here’s the deal.

SEO alone won’t help.

Usually, a site isn’t performing because the content on the site fails tests for readability and persuasion. So here’s how you can avoid wasting time and money by driving traffic to a dead end.

What Search Optimization Can’t Do

It’s not a revolutionary framework, but internet marketing is really a four-step conversion process: drive traffic, convert leads, build relationships and close sales. Search optimization plays an important role in step one, by increasing traffic from search results. And it helps with the other steps, by ensuring the traffic is qualified for your offering.

But SEO alone does nothing for conversions. All it does is get people in the door. Focusing exclusively on SEO without optimizing your content for other factors is like buying Super Bowl advertising for a nonexistent product: a huge squandering of resources.

And that’s why just packing your site with keywords won’t help. Sure, you’ll increase your keyword density, and maybe your search ranking. But unless you more comprehensively optimize your content, you might actually reduce sales.

The Role of Readability and Persuasion

Why? Because people aren’t search engines. Rather, people have specific content readability needs. English readers scan pages in an “F” pattern, for example, want concise pages (not keyword-loaded bloat), and look for “hooks” like subheads and bolded phrases-so don’t treat all content on a page as equal. People also have specific emotional triggers. These are the triggers that push them to become a lead or customer-factors like your likability and authority, and your offer’s scarcity and social proof.

To truly optimize your content, you need to carefully balance optimization for search engines, readability and persuasion. Because the most important thing isn’t your search traffic. It’s what you do with that traffic when you get it.

write by Bishop

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