My friend Ambrose from www.themarketingcompany.co.nz asked me for my perspective on search engine optimization and strangely enough I got asked that same question several times that week so I decided to post my reply to my blog. Here the myth about SEO:
Direct Traffic and Linking strategies
The majority of good visits to a website are from people who are purposefully going there from things like a link off a business card, business sign, newspaper ad, radio ad, clicking on a link in a newsletter, clicking on a link on email stationary, clicking on a Google AdWords advertisement, clicking on a link from another website, etc. Google says that the average conversion rate for this type of direct traffic is 2% which means that out of every 100 visitors that purposely go to your site 2 of them should contact you, buy from you or take the desired action on your website. We've had conversion rates of up to 42% because of the way that we create persuasive content.
Landing Page Optimization
We call it Persuasive Content but it's technical name is landing page optimization which is all about creating content that is targeted toward the end user and can be tested and improved to create more sales or more of the desired action on a site such as sign-ups. If you miss this stage and go straight to SEO it can actually have a negative impact on your site because your competitors content was better. It's like someone not doing a course or sales and client management and then have them meet 10,000 prospective customers without a clue on how they should manage them in their sales process.
Content is King
I've followed SEO for over a decade and many of the experts are saying that if you have well written content that people actually want then you should do well on search engines because your pages will contain all the correct keywords and other sites will link to you. Search engines are almost Artificially Intelligent now and it is getting harder and harder to fool them which shouldn't be your goal anyway. What we've doing is just making our websites search engine friendly by default so they do get found by Google but you'll get far more conversions by creating great content.
I'm not saying don't do SEO because we do it. I'm saying it shouldn't come until you know that your website is converting customers.