Technology has done wonders for communication – but are we perhaps becoming slaves to the ‘how’ of the internet age and overlooking the importance of the ‘what’ we upload?
“The trouble with my website,” a local businessman told me recently, “is that it’s written more for the search engines than for the potential customers I want to attract.”
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is vitally important for certain types of business – especially online retailers. Such businesses depend on fast – even impulsive – buying decisions often based on an in-your-face presence at the top of the first Google page.
Most businesses have to make do with a lower position in the search results, and have to rely on many other techniques to attract visitors to their websites. I would venture to suggest that if a business can’t make it into the first few pages, it’s probably not worth wasting effort on SEO.
What I would recommend is a thorough overhaul of the messages a company wishes to convey through its web presence, followed by professional writing to ensure that each message is clear – and in a form that is easily received by the target audience.
Naturally, with or without SEO assistance, there also needs to be supporting activity to drive the reader in the desired direction. For example, if you are reading this on my website, chances are you got here via social media. And if you’ve found this on LinkedIn, you may choose to follow up by clicking through to my website.
Now, to return to my starting point: it’s very easy to become obsessed with SEO and links in all directions across the internet – literally killing the art of communicating. What matters is not how many followers I have, or how many times I post new items – but rather a message that inspires you to buy my skills and services.
David Goddin was born in the UK and educated in South Africa. He began his career on daily newspapers and trade journals, before moving into public relations consulting. He produced award-winning writing and became an Accredited PR Practitioner, the highest qualification of the Public Relations Institute of South Africa. Since his return to the UK 16 years ago he has also contributed to a number of highly successful PR and marketing communications campaigns for major national and multinational clients. He is currently also President of the Haslemere & District Chamber of Trade & Commerce.