Doing Well by Doing Good

When someone asks you, “How are you?” an appropriate response would be, “I’m doing well.” People will say that responding with, “I’m doing good” is only correct if you’re Superman, but really that’s still not an appropriate response to that question. Even if your secret alter ego name is Clark Kent and you’re in the middle of performing a good deed, doing good is what you’re doing, not how you’re doing. However it is possible to do well while doing good. — even with your website.

We see a lot of websites that aren’t doing very well for their owners, and a lot of times when we do our free site analysis, we see evidence that they’ve tried to “SEO their sites.” They want to make their sites do well, so they resort to common tricks:

  • keyword stuffing
  • meta language tricks
  • bolding keywords

They end up with paragraphs like this:

Hot Yoga Pittsburgh is ready to serve all your Pittsburgh hot yoga needs, with hot yoga classes in Reserve Township, Millvale, Mt. Oliver, Ingram, and the entire Pittsburgh area.”

And they often ignore things like clear navigation, their customer’s path to purchase, and answering their clients’ questions.

But Google and the other search engines are always looking for the best possible customer experience. They’re machines, so they don’t have Superman’s insight into what humans really like and want, but their algorithms are built to do the best job they can of capturing that human judgement.

For you, a human being, to try to guess what an algorithm that tries to capture the preferences of human beings, in order to trick that algorithm into thinking that you are really providing a good human experience instead of just providing a good human experience… well, that’s as confusing as Mr. Mxyzptlk.

A website that is truly valuable to people is also going to be a website that is beneficial to your company. It’ll be stuffed with useful information, well designed to be easy for people to use, and enjoyable. Google likes all those things.

You do have to understand how to communicate well with search engines as well as with people, but a website that shows up well in the search engine results and brings leads and sales will never be a website that just uses obvious tricks. It won’t be the website that makes savvy readers think, “Hey, they’re using SEO!”

Do good for your visitors by providing a great experience at a great website. That website will do well for your company.

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