What role should SEO play in site design? In a recent site architecting brainstorm with my partner we didn’t mention SEO once. We conceived the site – which sells a CRM/lead gen system for a narrow vertical – as a conversion funnel with a multiplicity of conversion points that had to simultaneously explain and sell the system.
We have yet to even deeply explore the company’s keyword marketspace – though I’ll admit we have a good idea of the sites we’d like to have publishing the articles I’ll write for them (Wikipedia is now nofollowed I’ll still be looking to that site as a targeted traffic generator as they rank so well in Google…)
A post from Fishkin today caught my eye – and in particular because its advice is more in line with the brand first, sales first kind of SEM that I think works best. When we do start to merge some of our search related investigations into the site you can bet I’ll be revisiting Fishkin’s Best Practices for Title Tags.
My favorite of his eight suggestions was making title tags almost a breadcrumb kind of trail to indicate where exactly visitors are on your site… From the SERPs this will give folks a sense of where they’re landing, and quick hint that there is more to your site than a single page. He also suggests the use of the pipe: “|” for designating divides of information.
I also like his first suggestion – “Brand your traffic.” In this suggestion Fishkin has us thinking of the organic SERPs themselves as a medium in which we should already be thinking about communicating brand values and selling propositions.
It’s about having presence in the SERPs over the long term, so that repeat searches by the same investigator will see your consistent title tag format and learn to trust that your site will deliver to the expectations they have in the SERPs.
In short, every instance of your site’s presence online should serve the conversion.
You may have noticed that I like to end my SMSblog posts with a tidbit or two that could send your mind spinning sideways into new growth concepts. Or sideways into a three minute brain vacation
Today I’d like you to spend some time with the lengthy and well considered post from a philosopher of the independent online business builder – Aaron Wall. Read his Where do You Place Yourself on the Value Chain? slowly, with your pen out and your note pad at the ready. It’s long, but if you’re building personal web ventures it should help direct and reinvigorate your efforts.