SEO is for humans
“Search Engine Optimisation”. The name itself tells you that you are making your content (all the material on your website: text, videos, images etc) into an optimal format and organisation so that it can be found easily by search engines, i.e. machines.
This may lead you to embark on this optimisation process by thinking about the mechanics of the machines. You might start asking questions like: How do the search engines operate? What do they look for? How shall I make it possible for them to find my content?
These are good questions and it helps to answer them but not first because the search engine is being used by a person.
Search engine optimisation means making sure that a search engine places your website high up in its results when a person searches for a particular search term.
What are your website visitors trying to achieve? How does knowing this help you?
When did you last have the experience of going to a website and not being able to find what you went there for? It’s either really easy to recall because it just happened, or it’s quite tough because it happens so often.
On the whole websites are a lot easier to use than they were 5-10 years ago but it still happens all too frequently that you get to the site you need and you can’t find the information that you want.
There are a number of things that we can do to make websites easy to use. A great way to start is to know why you have a website and who you want to speak to.
Once you know who your visitors are the next thing to consider is what they are trying to achieve.
Once you know this you can set out your website to make it as easy as possible for people to achieve their goals.
Let’s look at an example (it’s fictional and shortened!).
Who are you speaking to?
In the process of creating a website something to consider early on is the people who will visit your website. Ideally you would do this after you’ve identified your own goals. Once you’ve established why you have a website it makes sense to consider who is going to visit it.
What do you have a website for?
What is the first thing that you do when you want to find someone who does or sells something you need?
For instance, when you need to find a plumber for the first time? Or a mechanic or to find a B & B or hotel or to see what’s on at the cinema?
We look online. We expect businesses to have a website.
So it makes sense that when you start a business one of the first things that comes to mind is “I need a website”. The need is there, unfortunately this leads many people to rush their website set up process.