Tell Me Something Good

Tell Me Something Good
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There is not a week that goes by in my capacity as a Search Engine Optimization and Marketing Professional (a field I've been working in since the dotcom boom in San Francisco) where someone doesn't email me to say some combination of the words "Can you fix my metatags? My site has a really high bounce rate."

So, my answer this question is: yes, I can fix your metatags. There is a slight (a very slight) possibility that you've put something really awesome up on your website, and that because the site is wrapped in Flash, or your web guy didn't know anything about keyword analysis or where to put the tags, Google is not finding it, and that's why no one is coming. But, can I just be honest here? The high bounce rate is the giveaway. The fact that once people get to your website they leave, because YOU'RE NOT TELLING THEM ANYTHING NEW, is what lets me know that all the SEO in the world is not going to help you.

Lately I'm using the line "I'm a search engine expert--not a magician" to get people to focus back in and produce some good content for their own websites. Because, in case you're wondering, all the search engine optimization in the world is not going to help you if you don't have something interesting to say when people get to you. This sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised. I always laugh when people say "Content is the new king of the internet. Quality content is going to change everything." Like, was there another king? Was there a time when people wanted to be driven to crappy link farms filled with spun articles, or sites packed with so many keywords they sound like they were written by robots?

No, there wasn't. Interesting things told in an interesting and enriching way are the key to building and maintaining a large audience. This has always been true, and will always be true. This is why some bonehead who knows nothing about the internet but is obsessed with fly fishing is going to outrank your zillion-dollar, keyword optimized up the wazoo web fly fishing extravaganza. He has the relevant content that adds to the fly fishing conversation, and you don't.

In conclusion, before you spend the big bucks on the fancy SEO, first take a long hard look at what you have to add to the world. If that thing is nothing, then start there. You will be glad you did, so will your customers, and so will the rest of the world.

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