Last Winter I met with a company that had a second page search position on Google for its most important target phrase. Bringing them up to the first page seemed relatively easy. Optimize relevant content and links. Add new in-bound links. And first page Google search positions should come soon thereafter.
Instead the marketing director decided to use the Web developer of their new site for search optimization. The developer offered the service and bragged about the top search positions it achieved for it clients. The company I was speaking with did not understand how the search positions the developer bragged about were not nearly as competitive as the phrase her company was targeting.
In Summer the new Web site launched. It was search engine friendly. It was optimized with keyword-filled page specific titles. Meta descriptions and meta keywords were filled in. A keyword-filled Site Map was included.
The Result – the site could not be found in Google and search referral traffic collapsed.
What went wrong?
What happened was that the Web developer was using badly outdated search optimization techniques. The Web developer did search optimization in good faith. But the developer was not up to date with the always rapidly changing search engine algorithms.
Though technically the site was search optimized, the Web developer did not take steps to make sure the most important target phrases are identified and featured on the site. They optimized the content given to them by the client, but failed to revise the content for search engines.
The page titles began with the same seven keywords so that Google looked at the site and saw that none of its pages had any distinguishing keywords. The first 4 to 8 words in a page title are huge for search positioning. But if they are the same on every page, what makes them unique in the eyes of a search engine?
The site lacks keywords in text links. These are important to telling search engines what topics individual pages focus on.
The Home page lacks content and keywords entirely. The Home page is your most important page for search engines.
All this added up to search optimization that had no impact on search engines. The programmers who optimized the site did not take care of the details that generate search visibility.
Unless you are doing search engine optimization all the time, consistently measuring and analyzing search positions and traffic, then you will not see how Google and the other search engines are changing.
Web developers are designers and programmers. Typically they are not marketers. Programmers make decisions that do not necessarily work well with search engines. For example we constantly fight with Web developers to do search engine friendly re-directs rather than the 302 re-directs developers typically program. The programming difference is minor. But the affect on search engines makes the difference between search visibility or not.
Web developers are concerned more with technology developments, rather than evolving search optimization practices such as Social Media Marketing.
Web developers usually do not become involved with content development. Whereas Content is King for search optimization.
Developers mean well. However E-Power's experience with Web developers is that they should stick to design and programming. Online marketing is a totally different discipline.
If you want to compete for the growing business available from your market using search engines, then you need an organization dedicated to search optimization doing it every day.