I recently flew to Seattle and was observing something peculiar in the baggage claim area. In an area next to the baggage claim, there were what appeared to be information booths. I saw many people talking to the few gentlemen that occupied these booths and as I watched a little longer, people were walking away a bit annoyed. I observed the gentlemen call to another person walking by asking them, “Hello, do you need some help?” The person would stop and ask a question, and then the men would start into a pitch trying to sell them time-shares and other things. How annoying! By now you’re hopefully thinking…okay, what does this have to do with SEO??
Rankings are earned
My nerdy SEO brain locked into this, and I thought – perfect SEO lesson. Too often I talk to people who want to optimize for something they are not. People want to optimize for a location that is far from them, or a keyword that doesn’t accurately reflect what they do. Basic SEO tip #1…be who you are (cue “who are you” by the who running through my brain now).
From a conversion standpoint, trying to trick people is the easiest way to kill your conversion rates. Also, Google’s premise is to return the most accurate results to the searcher. Immense resources are spent refining the SERP’s, improving Google’s (and apparently barnacle Bing’s) credibility and the searchers trust in Google’s ability to answer their questions. How annoying it is to search for a dentist in Seattle and find results 50 miles away, or even 15? As Google refines their algorithms (especially their local search), it will be increasingly better at weeding out the irrelevant. Focus on being relevant to your market. Your conversion rates will be better and marketing dollars more effectively spent.