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DIY SEO & Usability: Remember Who Your Real Audience Is

DIY SEO & Usability: Remember Who Your Real Audience Is

by Jessica Jones

I frequently make posts about small things you can do to improve your site’s overall search engine friendliness, and DIY steps you can take (some time commitments like blogging, some little adjustments like renewing your domain well into the future) to work on your SEO.

If only the formula for great SEO were this easy!
If only the formula for great SEO were this easy!

So if you followed every single tip I’ve ever given you, your SEO would skyrocket, your site would always show up in the #1 spot, and Google would send their top executives to your business with a cake and a kazoo and some confetti, right? Right?

Unfortunately it’s not that simple. SEO is a complicated and ever-changing endeavor, and there’s no guarantee that the factors that might make a difference today will still be making a difference six months from now – meta keywords are a great example of this; they used to be a major ranking factor and now Google doesn’t use them as a consideration at all.

Also keep in mind that Google uses literally hundreds of factors in its algorithms to determine how to rank a website for any given search. A lot of tips and techniques that I discuss on this blog are meant to be DIY in nature – things that anyone could take some time to do in order to make little improvements. Little adjustments can add up, and if you did in fact follow every single tip I’ve ever given you, you would almost certainly see a positive trend in your results, but would it put you on page one? There are too many factors involved for that question to be answerable – competition for SEO in your industry being a main one.

Step One: Blogging. Step Two: ??? Step Three: AMAZING SEO!

Another thing to keep in mind about DIY SEO tips, either from this blog or any of the other many sources out there advising you on best practices, is that most of them are general advice, not specific rules. There are very few SEO tips that are going to be implemented in the same manner across the board for every business.

Sometimes a well-meaning client wanting to do some DIY SEO work on their site will come away with the mistaken impression that there are certain set formulas involved. For example I’ve had a client ask me “How many links should I be adding to each blog post?” My answer to that was “How many links are going to be relevant, helpful and interesting to someone reading that post?” Even if there was a formula – one blog post per week + 3 links per blog post = AMAZING RESULTS – (and spoiler alert: there’s not) you would still want to make sure that you weren’t slavishly following a formula to cater to search engine algorithms at the expense of your users.

Usability. That’s What It’s All About. Google Is Not Your Customer.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, because it bears repeating: your users should come first and your SEO goals second. Being the first result in Google isn’t going to help if users get to your site, find it confusing or irrelevant, and decide to go elsewhere. Trying to formulaically maximize on every ranking factor you can could easily lead to a website with awkward, disjointed content that doesn’t actually help the real audience – potential customers.

Google’s algorithms continue to move more and more towards rewarding relevance and usability – Google wants its top results to be the sites most likely to help a user answer their question or solve their problem. If your site is geared towards your users’ needs, then you’re already on your way!

Have A Little Help From Your Friends …

… Or your friendly neighborhood web developers / SEO experts! The fact is, in some situations getting the ranking results that you really want might be difficult – or too time-consuming – without some professional help. If you search Google for your most valuable keywords, there’s a pretty good chance that the first few results you see on page one are businesses that have a marketing budget that they invest into SEO. There are a wide variety of SEO services available, to meet a wide variety of budgets, so if you’re wondering whether marketing your site for better results will benefit your business, give us a shout and we can talk about the possibilities!