While doing a search on my local SEO competitors this morning, I was amazed at the tactics they were applying on this own websites to come up for the top keyword phrase: “Milwaukee SEO”.
Now, I’m in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I also do search engine optimization (SEO) but I don’t believe in buying every keyword-rich domain in order to splice together a makeshift website just for the keywords. When you honestly look at a majority of these Milwaukee SEO “expert” websites; they have diluted their brand and reputation with poor website design, annoying pop-up graphics and absolutely no calls to action.
I don’t bring this up to pick on my Milwaukee competitors but rather to bring light to a few truths for businesses online:
1. Keep your website clean.
Yes, you want to get people to your website for those great search engine friendly (SEF) keyword terms but that doesn’t convert if you muddy the website and branding.
2. Optimize the call to action.
Keywords are great but without a call-to-action on your website, conversion is unlikely.
3. SEO is not all about keywords for content & domains.
SEO is about bringing relevant and timely content to your target audience in order to help them solve a problem. (You can still have keywords in your URL structure but you don’t need to have keyword-rich root domain names.)
4. Leave the jargon in the boardroom.
People – real people – want things in human terms. When you write so that your big buzzwords are thrown around your content, you dilute the message and confuse the potential customer or reader.
5. Less is more.
Customers want a single point of connection online that works best for them. Having 5 company websites – because they are on keyword rich domains – annoys the customers. Which is the real you? What do you sell? How can this help solve their problem?
6. It’s not all about you.
It’s about your customers. They are human beings. Write for the humans.
By all means, you should definitely geo-target your target customer if that is part of your business strategy but your strategy should never alienate your customers or try to trick them into finding you online. I’ve seen some of the most successful brands in Milwaukee have the simplest of websites (with no targeted keywords) that aren’t even optimized for the search engines. Their success is due to their brand and becoming the “know, like and trust” resource for the customer-base. They are genuine and solve their customer’s problems. They do not try to play dirty online (black or grey hat tactics) but rather remain transparent and genuine.
Always – humans first, then the search engines. That’s the sign of a true SEO expert and a guru you should trust with your online brand.
Yes, you should hire a professional SEO consultant if that fits your needs. Just don’t be tricky and don’t let anyone convince you to deploy tricky tactics. Trustworthy SEO professionals will only implement white hat SEO tactics and will never guarantee your website to rank as #1.
Be yourself and the customers will find you.