QUOTE(Jill @ May 9 2005, 03:00 PM)
I had a call with a potential client this morning, and I found myself practically yelling at him to not hire me.
Hey gang...that would be me Jill is talking about!
Let me clarify a little here.....I am somewhat familiar with SEO...in the fact that I fully understand no one can possibly know what any engine will do *tomorrow* and I am not calling any SEO firm and saying "make me number 1."
But, it appears...at least from Jill's perspective that SEO has taken on a new definition.
OK..so what does SEO stand for?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization.
So then what is search engine optimization?
Optimizing a site for search rankings.......or so I thought.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of methodologies aimed at improving the visibility of a website in search engine listings. The term also refers to an industry of consultants that carry out optimization projects on behalf of client sites.
OK....now...Jill did spend a good amount of time trying to explain to me that converting and not rankings should be my focus. Well, at the end of the day, converting is my focus....which I had explained to her....but to me, that was very much tied to search rankings...I have ranked higher in Google in the past...only maybe a few spots higher than where I am now (maybe I was 4 instead of 7).....and my conversions were noticeably higher then.
So...my question is this.....let's assume that any work Jill or any other SEO firm does is solely judged on conversions........is this totally beneficial to the client?
Here is my thought process....
I get 100 people a day to my site from Google...and "SEO firm A" increases my conversions from 5 to 10%...without my site moving a notch in any search engine ranking...so I just doubled my conversions, going from 5 to 10 per day.
This is great........but, if "SEO firm A" increases my rankings so I get 300 people a day instead of 100 from Google..with the same 5% conversion......I am now getting 3x more conversions from increased rankings (15 conversions). In addition, my products and services have been exposed to 3x as many people in one day......increasing my visibility, further increasing my exposure and building my brand awareness.
Am I wrong for looking at SEO from this perspective?
Another thing that I consider.......many of my potential clients start their decision making process for what sites they are going to use for services I provide, by doing a search in Google and seeing who comes up in the 1st few listings. If I am not there, they question how I can possibly reach the same audience as those in the top few listings.......they are coming to me..to get themselves in front of the audience they can't reach on their own...and getting them in front of 300 people a day is way more valuable than 100 per day.
I fully understand Jill's point...and agree that at the end of the day....converting more is all that matters.....but increasing conversions can be done in lots of ways.....and to me..increased search rankings is one.....a very important one.
Site design/architecture, content, external links, proper placement of call-to-actions, A/B testing, ad copy testing, usability testing, unique selling proposition....there are lots of ways to work on increasing conversions.....so..isn't: SEO/search engine optimization/set of methodologies aimed at improving the visibility of a website in search engine listings
one of them?
There are lots of firms who specialize in conversions and those that specialize in SEO...
Are these firms one-in-the-same now?
I spent time before talking with Jill or any other SEO firm..identifying how I would judge success of any SEO campaign......and at the end of the day it always did come down to conversions....but........there is a huge value to increased search rankings......to conversions as well as many other things....
So..that being said.....I am trying to open my mind to the thought of search rankings not mattering at the end of the day...but am having a difficult time.......
So....gang....feel free to continue to try and "lure me over" to the conversion side from the "search ranking" side.......
On another note.....I feel honored that I made Jill's newsletter this week!
Also..Jill....as was noted in this thread......the name High Rankings certainly does not help convince people that conversion matters more than rankings!!!!