Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What SEO Can (and Cannot) Do

SEO can drive more traffic to your web site. If you plan carefully, you can impact the kind of traffic driven to your site. This means that you need to consider SEO as part of your general market research and business plan. Sure, most businesses want traffic. But not just any traffic. Just as the goal of a brick-and-mortar business is to have qualified customersones with money in their pocket who are ready to buy when they walk in the door, an online business ideally wants qualified traffic.

Qualified traffic is not just any traffic. It is made up of people who are genuinely interested in your offering, who are ready to buy it, and have the means to buy it. This implies that to successfully create an SEO campaign you need to plan: this means understanding your ideal prospect, their habits and who they are, and creating a step-by-step scheme to "lure" this prospect to your site where he or she can be converted to a customer.

In addition, SEO cannot spin gold from straw, or make a purse out of a sow's ear. Garbage sitesor sites that exist as scamswill not draw huge amounts of traffic. Or if they do, these sites won't draw traffic for long. Google and other search engines will pull the plug as soon as they see what is going on.

As time goes by, SEO needs to be regarded as an adjunct to the first law of the web: good content draws heavy traffic. There is no substitute for content people really want to find.

While best practices SEO should always be observed, there needs to be a sense of proportion in how SEO is used. It may not make sense to create a "Potemkin Village" using SEO to draw traffic to a site if the fundamental site doesn't yield high returns. In other words, SEO that is costly to implement is becoming regarded as one more aspect of advertising campaign managementand subject to the same discipline of cost-benefit analysis applied to all other well-managed advertising campaigns.


Back Page Next Page Back to homepage