A lot of NYC web designers and Internet marketing experts treat search engine optimization as if it were a set of proven formulas and practices: do a certain thing and get a certain result.

Those of us who have been in the industry for a while, however, know that instituting good SEO is always a bit of a balancing act. As important as the technical factors like keyword density and link scoring may be, it’s easy to overdo it. That’s particularly true when you have a certain content style or marketing message you want to get across.

To help you find the right balance in your search engine optimization campaigns, here are a few things you should remember…

If Pages Are Not Optimized, They Will Not be Found

It’s incredibly difficult to rank well on Google or the other search engines if you haven’t done any kind of search auditing or optimization on your website. There are just too many other competing sites and businesses. So, even if you haven’t been at the top of Google’s rankings in the past, you should count on doing some keyword research and on-site optimization at a minimum.

Don’t worry…you’re not alone out there. Fortunately, advanced platforms offer SEO tools to help you optimize your own pages.  If you’re using WordPress, I highly recommend Yoast SEO. I’ve been using it for years, and it helps improve rankings.   If you’re using Shopify, I highly recommend the SEO Manager tool from the app store.

Search Visibility Without Conversions is Useless

Although SEO is usually the cornerstone of any successful Internet marketing plan, it’s worth pointing out that a top ranking on Google doesn’t guarantee anything good will happen to your balance sheet. You have to have buyers (and not just website visitors) coming to your pages, and then get them to interact with your company in some way before you’ll see positive results.

Visitor Engagement is a Major Search Signal

Google is relying on more and more artificial intelligence to study the way search users interact with various pages. In essence, if people don’t hang around on your website and click on links, then the search engine may stop sending more traffic your way. Never over-optimize your site to the point that people don’t want to read your content or use your pages. It’s counterproductive.

Only Strong Content Has Value

If stuffing keywords and links onto a web page is the classic SEO mistake, then publishing junk articles that are “optimized” has to be a close second. Because engagement, originality, and authority matter so much these days, only strong pieces of content have search value. It’s better to post fewer pieces of high-quality material than it is to put anything online that’s going to hurt your credibility.

Finding the Right Formula for SEO Success

Occasionally, I meet small business owners who have almost completely ignored search engine optimization because they thought they didn’t need it. More frequently, we encounter marketers who pay no attention to the quality of their content but over optimize every heading and blog post to the point that their messaging is damaged. These are both big mistakes, and neither one strikes the right balance between the need for both search engine optimization and conversions.

When looking for the right search engine optimization “formula” for success, remember that your goal is ultimately to be visible to the right kinds of buyers and turn them into leads or customers. You can’t do that without some kind of SEO plan, but it’s not worth overdoing things if it’s going to cost you business, either. Contact me today if you’re looking to put your first foot forward in SEO.

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