There is a lot more to SEO than often meets the eye, but sometimes the SEO eye isn't enough to make a good optimized page great. While the actual SEO work can be pretty straight forward, it's the additional effort in making the page user-friendly and has the ability to drive visitors to conversions.
Before making any page live we try to have it pass through several sets of eyes, all looking for and analyzing different elements of the page. One writes the content, another reviews the content looking for issues that break the flow of the conversion process, another optimizes it for search positioning and another looks at the page as a whole for usability issues. There are a few other layers of review in there as well and the end result is usually a page that is great for both visitors and search engines.
But even with all that, sometimes it's nice to look at everything from an entirely different perspective. This happened recently as we were working on a PPC account for a client that we also do search engine optimization for. In most cases we can use optimized pages as landing pages for PPC ads. After all, the SEO process is about creating the best entry point for a given set of keyword phrases. That entry point should provide the information the visitor is looking for and be the catalyst to driving them toward the conversion.
However, as we were analyzing the performance of some of the ads and landing pages we realized that one of our optimized pages wasn't all that it should be. Originally, the SEO page was developed as a catch all for a group of keywords. At the time, the client didn't have any category pages and we asked that this, among other, category pages be developed. It turned out to be quite effective. That is until the list of products on that page grew became overbearing.
Looking at the SEO page through PPC eyes we were able to come at the page in an entirely new way and develop some new concepts. We are working with the client now for implementation which should result in a much more usable landing page both for PPC and SEO. And since we decided that we need to develop some additional sub-categorical pages, this will help us to point PPC ads to even more tightly focused pages, thereby improving conversion rates even more.
I have to admit kicking myself a bit, wondering why I hadn't thought of this while working on the on-page SEO. I don't have an answer for that, other than sometimes we just can't see the full forest for the trees. It always helps to have an additional set of eyes on everything. But even that isn't always enough. Sometimes you just have to look at things from an entirely different perspective. And in this case, looking at SEO through PPC eyes is just what the web site needed!
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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