I don’t often re-post blog comments into their own blog posts, but I think a comment left by SEO expert Bill Hartzer is worthy of its own post. Bill was responding to another comment, and he left a lengthy response about what search engine optimization specialists actually do. Bill would probably tell me that by re-posting his comment I am not doing myself any SEO favors, but I think it’s good for us to know.
If you want to learn more about SEO or have a discussion about your website with Bill Hartzer, visit his website, BillHartzer.com.
Here’s the comment Bill left the other day:
“SEO is not just about making a website “rank better” for certain keywords that will ultimately bring more qualified traffic to a site.
Frankly, 90 percent of the “SEO” that I do on a daily basis for clients is cleaning up what a sloppy or ineffficient “web designer” did when they created a web site. For example, title tags, meta description tags, and other content-related issues must be taken care of: search engines use those as part of their search engine listings. Title tags also show up in the web browser, as well as when someone “bookmarks” the page (nothing to do with search engines).
SEOs also clean up tons of spam, such as duplicate content on web sites. There’s not need to have multiple copies of the same page out there on the web.
By the way, Jeff, did you know that you actually have duplicate copies of your home page on your own site (one copy at http://www.usebiz.com and another copy at usebiz.com). You could actually be called a “search engine spammer” for having multiple copies of the same content. Not a good thing. But I digress.
SEOs work on a web site’s structure, such as by making it easier to navigate from page to page–and once someone is on your website, they can find it. Nothing to do with “search engines”, but creating a better user experience. I bet that if you took usebiz.com and broke it into multiple web pages (rather than actually having ALL THAT CONTENT on the same page, you might keep visitors around on your site a bit more–and they might be more inclined to do business with you if you have an “about page” and people could learn about you and your company.
They might trust you more if they could see a photo of you and understand your company’s background and your group’s overall goal.
Another thing that SEOs do is make sure there’s a clear call to action on your website. What do you want someone to do when they come to your site? Contact you? Fill out a form? Email you?
There is a call to action, which is an email address. But did you know that you could “optimize” this better? If you had an online form for contact, you could track the referrers–how people found out about you. They could find out about you from another website, or a search engine. Or they could be directly coming to your site. But you wouldn’t know that since you haven’t employed the services of an SEO to give you these ideas.
My point here, Jeff, SEOs do a lot more for websites than just “get better rankings”. SEOs will optimize your website so that you make more money.”