I coined a new phrase today (or maybe I didn’t, but I still like it.) The phrase: “Search Engine Optimized to Death,” or “SEOed to Death” for short.
“They killed Kenny!”
Earlier today, I was speaking with a prospective client about his website. Let’s call him Kenny. Kenny (not his real name,) told me that, according to Google Analytics, he gets about 700 to 1,000 visitors per month. That’s pretty good for a consultant website, but from that he gets zero contacts – and that’s a problem. So, what’s wrong?
In a nutshell, the search engine robots like his site, but the humans (with money to spend on consulting services to help do business in China) don’t. The website had been so overly optimized for search results that it has become unuseable for human visitors. The content is dense and keyword rich with heavy formatting emphasis heavy (lots of bold, italics, underlines, etc.). Seach engines may love that, but humans are not good at processing so much information and would rather just move-on to the next site. It may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that people, not search engines, hire you and the primary objective of the site should be to give the humans the information and presentation that they are looking for. SEO can be a very effective tool, but don’t SEO your site to death.
Anyone who has seriously looked into SEO knows that there are two components: on-site and off-site. In this case, it was the on-site SEO efforts that “killed Kenny.”
A website needs to walk the line between appealing to search engines and appealing to people. The solution is to find that balance. This consultant and and I are now discussing having us rebuild his website with engagement, persuasion and capture tactics to get the site visitors to inquire about his services.
SEO’d to Death: fact or fiction?
I’d love to hear feedback on this idea of SEOed to Death. Here are some questions to start the conversation:
- Have you heard this term before?
- Is it a real thing or am I off-track on this one?
- Have you ever clicked on a search result and thought “what does this company do?”
- Are you concerned about the balance between search-engine-spiders and human-visitor effectiveness on your website?