By Marc Purtell | Director, SEO
The evolution of search engine algorithms has added to the complexity of search engine optimization. More significantly, it has impacted the level of integration that is needed with other forms of Web optimization. SEOMoz has a great page that shows the updates year by year.
Search engine optimization is no longer strictly about publishing quality content and building the authority of the content. SEO now involves engaging consumers and building relationships.
The new paradigm of SEO is that it must be implemented in tandem with other website optimization efforts. These include user experience design and social media marketing.
Optimizing for the Desired User Action
Getting qualified traffic to a website is only half the battle; once visitors arrive, they need to perform an action. Whatever the desired action may be, whether it’s filling out a lead form, signing up for a newsletter or completing a purchase, the landing pages and the site in general must be optimized in such
a way that makes the desired action clear and compelling to visitors. Otherwise, the SEO efforts and investment that drove people to the site will have been done in vain.
Given the importance of both driving traffic to a website and influencing that traffic to execute a conversion, it is important not to think of these as two mutually exclusive tasks. The ability to drive traffic is partially dependent on the actions completed once visitors land on a website.
The engagement value of a website is a ranking factor. If a website has low engagement, the site’s organic search rankings can be negatively affected. For example, search engines can easily determine that a website has a high bounce rate if users click on an organic listing then quickly return to the search engine results page. This is a strong signal to the search engines that the site has either poor-quality content or simply provides a bad user experience and, therefore, the search engine will no longer want to send its users to that site. This results in lowered rankings. For this reason, it is essential that SEO efforts are integrated with usability/user experience optimization. (more…)