One thing many people forget with SEO is you should know your end goal.
Why does your website need to exist?
What metrics do you want your website to drive?
What do you want your customers to do when they get to your website?
Why are these questions important?
People focus so much on getting their website to rank number one in Google they sometimes forget why they’re trying to rank in the first place.
You Can Rank Well in Google and Still Lose
What does it mean to rank high in Google and still fail the overall goal?
You can get a website to rank number one in Google, but fail to convert visitors into paying customers.
People can may find your site, but they may leave without making a purchase.
Ranking number one in Google means nothing if people go to your site and leave, never wanting to do business with you.
The problem is when we think about SEO, we think about making machines happy. We sometimes forget the end goal is to make people happy.
Customers Research Your Website Before They Buy
81% of shoppers do online research before making a buying decision. 94% of B2B buyers do online research before making buying decisions. In both B2B and B2C people do web searches and research companies before they ever pick up the phone, or email them, or place an order.
But many SEO companies are utilizing SEO strategies that may get the ranking, but will never close a sale.
They’re writing for machines instead of people.
If you’re doing this today, you need to stop. Immediately.
You may be ranking well today. But if you’re unnaturally stuffing your website full of repetitive keyword phrases, I guarantee you’re turning away sales.
Everyone Loses With Unnatural Keyword Stuffing
What does it look like when you’re keyword stuffing a page? Let’s just pretend that your keyword phrase is “Sacramento accountant”.
Here’s an example of keyword stuffing.
As a Sacramento account I teach people how to do their taxes as the number one Sacramento accountant in California I guarantee you’ll get more back on your taxes then if you went with another Sacramento accountant.
This stuff sounds ridiculous. But I see people do it all the time.
In some cases, you might even get by with ranking high for a little while. But Google is getting smarter.
Matching Searcher Intent
Google’s goal is to match the best possible answer to what people are searching for and why they are searching for it.
If people are looking for information, and your site gives them gibberish, their trust in your business will vanish. You might rank number one, but you are representing your business in a way that’s not going to win you any work.
For most businesses, the end goal is to convert website visitors into paying customers. Perhaps you get them in your sales and marketing funnel, and you start email marketing to them. Giving visitors information is a good way to let people make an informed decision and eventually select your service.
Ranking is never the end goal. Achieving #1 in Google is just a means to an end.
Let’s be real. What you really want to do is get people to choose your business as the best possible solution to their needs. You’re not going to do that by using SEO tricks from the turn of the millennium.
Outdated SEO tricks don’t work in Google, long-term, and they don’t work with human beings ever.
Know Your End Goal: Design With Intention
There’s another advantage to knowing your end goal. The advantage is the design of your website gets more focused.
If your website is meant to educate customers about your product, then every page should have an email opt-in. If you’re trying to get them in your marketing funnel, you want them to opt-in to your email marketing list.
If your website is all about converting visitors into paying customers, then every page should have a Buy Now button.
These concepts seem basic, but many people never define the overarching goal of their website.
Until you know your end goal and why your website exists, you’ll have a hard time converting people that come to your site. You must know what actions you want your customers to take before you start designing the website or creating content.
Each Page Has One Main Objective
In every well-planned website, each page has a single mission. The content of the page revolves around that mission.
Can you have the secondary goals? Sure.
But if the greater goal of your website is to move people down your marketing funnel, than that’s what each page should be designed to do.
Knowing your end goal lets you craft the content for each page with intention.
From the text on each button, all the way down to what shows up in the Google search results when people find you.
Summary: SEO Is About Clarity of Purpose
The foundation of SEO is getting crystal clear about who you are, what you do, do you do it for.
What benefits do people get from choosing you and not your competitors?
If you know how you best serve your customers, you can create compelling content to draw them into your website, and convert them into paying customers.
The Rest of the Posts in this Series
- What Is SEO?, Part 1
- Know Your End Goal, Part 2
- Know Your Customers, Part 3
- Keyword Research, Part 4
- Google Analytics & Google Search Console, Part 5
- Content Planning for Your Website, Part 6
- Website Content Audits, Part 7
- 301 Redirects, Part 8
- Back Links, Part 9
- The Title Tag, Part 10
- The Meta Description and Its Role In SEO, Part 11
- SEO Friendly URLs, Part 12