The other day I was working on-site for a client and the CEO came out to tell me about a pitch he got from an SEO trying to sell their services.
In the midst of the pitch, the SEO company says, "We're going to have first class SEO", and the CEO said, what does that mean? Surprisingly, after working with my client for two months the CEO nailed it bang on – in a way the SEO company's pitch did not:
First class SEO success doesn't start with SEO, it starts with a really great site that is usable, meets the needs of users and is a site people want to come back to, and most importantly, will want to tell your friends about.
Then, once you have that, you can apply SEO to the site and SEO will be wildly successful.
I looked at him with excitement and said, "You get it!"
To be wildly successful for SEO, you need a site that's really great in the eyes of your users. It needs to be well designed, the content needs to be well laid out and it needs to resonate with search engine users in a way that makes them want to read more, come back later and tell their friends about it – the needs of these users are slightly different than direct traffic to your site. Once you have all of this, combined with optimized content and a search engine friendly site, you will be wildly successful because suddenly the coveted links required for SEO will come easily, and many will come naturally, without any effort from you.
Now that they get it, I hope they'll implement the 100+ changes I wrote up to make their site even better for search engine users. :)
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