The nonsense of SEO and PageRank improvements

google-logo-300pxWe get many requests to increase website PageRanks and to make websites search engine friendly. In many cases I really don’t understand what people are bothering about. Why would a rather locally oriented company be willing to spend a fortune for a high PageRank on keywords that nobody is going to use? To be honest I think too many companies are wasting too much money on an issue that will never pay-off. Please check the conversion rate on your website first before you start thinking about spending any money on SEO and PageRank improvements.

Even Google states we shouldn’t focus on PageRank

When even Google employees start announcing that the pagerank is not as important as many people think, there is something going on I would say:
“We’ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true. We removed it because we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it.  :-)”

The user doesn’t get what he is looking for

In my opinion all SEO strategies have led to a situation where we have many well optimized websites with a high PageRank which do not provide the information a user is looking for. Due to all SEO optimizations the relevance of search results has dramatically decreased. This is an issue Google is already working on for a longer time. On purpose they change their PageRank calculation method which can cause dramatic changes. In the meantime SEO consultants earned crazy amounts of money. If you spent at least some money on SEO please be honest with me. Did it pay-off? Did your increased page rank lead to more sales? Isn’t that what it should be all about? What’s the use of getting more visitors on a website when that does not lead to more conversions?

Make your website first more user-friendly

Before considering any SEO optimization I would advise you to check your web statistics. If you don’t have any then the first thing you should do is install Google Analytics. You can do this yourself by creating an account and pasting some code to your webtemplate. From that moment you will receive information about the behavior of visitors on your side. Based on the statistics it is most often very easy to improve your website and to make it more user-friendly. And in the end this is what it should be about. Your website doesn’t have to be search engine friendly, you have to make it is user-friendly. Once you made it more user-friendly and managed to reach a decent conversion rate, you can start thinking about generating more traffic. Traffic that directly should lead to more conversion again. Whether you should focus on SEO improvements to generate more traffic is the question. You can also decide to spend your money in a different, maybe better, way. Online advertisements could for example be a much better choice. Besides you can also do some things yourself to make your website more search engine friendly. Please think twice before you will spend a lot of money on temporary PageRank improvements. Especially because they don’t guarantee your website will generate more conversions = SALES! We are curious about your experiences in this area. Please feel free to comment below.

VP Software Development Europe for Aspire Systems. Sociologist and electrotechnical engineer, a great combination that stimulates him to look for the best working software solutions for clients. Passionate about converting great ideas into new solutions. Married and a proud father of 3 great sons. Training for and participating in triathlons/runs to stay fit.