Andrew Twigg Design Studio, Ltd

Good SEO Advice from Seth Godin

>I only started reading Seth Godin’s blog a month or so ago; I really like his approach and happen to think he really know’s what he’s talking about almost all of the time.

I was reading through some entries of his from before I added his RSS feed to my reader and came across his entry ‘How to make money with SEO’.

This is exactly the kind of advice I give people when they want to hire me to help them with SEO. I do not offer smoke, mirrors, red pills or blue pills, special effects or any other magic to help a client’s website perform better in search engines.

What I do is make sure we’re using the right technologies (that don’t impede search engines from understanding content) and covering our bases while looking into ways to be findable. I didn’t invent the term findability, but when I had a conversation with a prospect who wanted to be #1 for their industry even though their market share did not make this a likely situation, I had a moment of clarity that helped me to clearly communicate what I could help them with: I would help them make their business findable so that someone who caught wind of their company – even if they didn’t recall all of the specifics – could find them online quickly and easily.

It is rare that a business creates a new market in a region but it does happen. When we opened Dozen Cupcakes nearly 3 years ago, there was another cupcake bakery opening at the same time. I knew that it was unlikely that people would, upon hearing that the cupcake craze had come to Pittsburgh, remember the name of the bakery their friend/coworker/newspaper told them about. But I was confident that many people would go online and search for “pittsburgh cupcakes” or some variation.

We set forth creating a network of inbound links to the site, built our site using properly structured code with the right semantic mechanisms, and crossed our fingers that our competitors would not have the same savvy. They did not. I am confident that this was one of many factors leading to our success: within the next month or two we will have two more stores opening for a total of four locations.

For a business the opportunity to be in this kind of situation is rare. But even so, it was findability that put us at the top. I took an educated guess at people’s searching behavior and it paid off. People found us because we made ourselves available.

When I work with a client, I remind them to think about how their constituents will find them (sometimes the result is that we don’t need to do anything to their website because their constituents won’t be using it). But if their target is online, I help them keep it simple and do their best to speak to the customer in a way that will _help_ them be found and be understood. Successful search engine optimization sets the stage for better things.

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