Having now spent several years helping clients to achieve better performance from their search engine traffic, there are some overriding errors in their perception of what really matters with website performance.
Most misconceptions about “search engine optimisation” (I really do hate that phrase) generally come from a belief that loads of traffic and a first page ranking for a desirable search query is the sole goal of the optimisation process.
Indeed, we can’t argue that good volumes of visitors and a good search engine rank isn’t important, but it’s equally important to look closely at the traffic already flowing through a website and optimise based on how people engage with the website as it stands.
- Do people visiting the website spend enough time reading the pages?
- Do they look at other pages on your site?
- Do they find their way to the pages you want them to look at?
- Do they perform the actions you want them to?
- Do they often leave without doing anything on your site?
If you don’t look at the answers to these questions, ignoring this step, then it would be silly to think that getting even more unguided traffic is really going to make things any better if they’re not good already. What’s the point of more visitors if the site doesn’t help them do what they came to do?… eh, yep, you’re right — none.
I propose we change the abbreviation SEO to SEVO (Search Engine Visitor Optimsation.)