Robots, Ranking, Relevance & Results

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

1. Robots

As the lotto commercial says: "You can't win if you don't play". You'll never win the SEO game unless your site gets discovered by bots and indexed. How do you get discovered? You can move to L.A. and wait tables, or you can build relevant inbound links, create a crawlable, spider-friendly architecture, and work to get mentions and citations (through social media, for example).

2. Ranking

Of course, ranking is the Holy Grail of SEO – we all want to be #1 on Google. I've been tough on rankings over the past year, but it's not because they aren't important. Clearly, you have to rank if you want to generate search exposure and traffic. My concern, and the message of this post, is that rankings are just one element of the big picture.

3. Relevance

Of course, ranking is only effective if it drives relevant traffic, and I mean "relevant" in the very practical, business-minded sense of attracting visitors who are looking for your products and services. Too many clients want to rank for what they think are the most popular keywords, but that often creates two problems: (1) What they think is popular isn't always popular, and (2) What's popular may not be relevant or ultimately drive click-throughs.


Ok, I know "results" is a bit vague, but hey, I needed another R-word. Seriously, I'm talking bottom-line results here - leads, purchases, and anything else that drives your success as a business ("conversions", in the industry vernacular). Traffic is only valuable if it drives measurable results - otherwise, it’s just costing you money.