Your SEO Doesn’t Speak to Me. Sincerely, Your Customer.

Dear Businesses and Digital Marketers,

I’ve heard about how you try to appeal to me and gain my interest through title tags, meta descriptions and search engine optimization (SEO). Well, I wanted to let you know that your SEO is just not doing it for me. It doesn’t speak to me, I need more.

According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and an article by Neil Patel, which talks about SEO writing for people, focusing only SEO just isn’t good marketing practice.

SEO Isn’t the Only Way to Dominate Search Engines

It seems, though, many businesses are using SEO in order to be number one on Google and the search engine results pages as they try to appeal to complex search engine algorithms.

I’ll tell you a not-so-secret secret: you need to appeal to me. I am your customer.

Google even states this in their Basic Principles: Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.

You don’t need to reverse engineer the logic of a search engine algorithm in order to figure out how Google factors SEO into their equations. You need to put yourself in my shoes for a minute or two and understand me by following these steps:

Pick out words and phrases that I say on a daily basis and use them as your keywords

Forget the jargon that you use at work every day. I don’t use it, and I’m not going to use it when I search. Half of the time, I’m asking my smartphone questions – Where? What? Why? How?

And I’m looking for a website to answer them. If you use the words that I say and not the words that you say, I just might find your website.

Write your title tags and meta descriptions so that they are intriguing to me

There are a lot of businesses out there vying for my attention, so you’re going to need your best wordsmith to write your title tags and meta descriptions.

If you haven’t done this, then you should. Your audience likely isn’t going to waste their time visiting web pages that show up as “HOME” or “SERVICES” on the search engine results page.

Furthermore, they’re not reading the search results, or any websites, word for word.

Make your content interesting enough for me to share

I’m not going to bore my family, friends, or coworkers on social media by posting short, uninteresting articles. It’s like saying, “The article is horrible. Want to read it?”

Compel me. Make me want to share your information.

I’m fairly easy to please. I usually like articles that educate me, support my view of the world, or pique my interest about something that I just learned about.

It’s About Me, Your Customer.

I like to read pages that tell me what you’re going to do for me. Everyone claims that they are the best, most innovative company providing exceptional, high-quality service.

So what? I want to know what you’re going to do for me if I choose to do business with you. What is the benefit that I’m going to tell other people about?

Don’t Make Me Think About It

Make information easy to find on your website. Websites make sense to their builders. Your audience is only going to spend a few seconds scanning your web page. If they get frustrated and don’t see what they’re looking for, they’re gone.

Please take the time and think of me, your customer, the next time you create a new page or redesign your website. It’s not about you. It’s about me (and Google says it should be). You can use SEO to help me find you, and the rest is up to you.


Your Customer



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SEO has slowly but surely transformed into more than just optimizing for search engines. Learn how SEO will change in 2017 and how you can adapt by reading How to Set Your 2017 SEO Strategy: The Essentials.

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  • Claire says:

    Great article! It did really talk to me! Still wonder about SEO on shop page!

  • Boom, great post Dianna. Until I read your post I never considered creating an Customer Avatar to use in link building efforts. Onpage it makes all the sense in the world. I bet it could work for Offpage as well. It would just be a matter of creating links on sites your customers visit and on posts they find of interest, All other links could be thrown out. Thanks for priming my brain on this. 😉

  • Tim says:

    This article sums up trivial things, which are all kind of obvious – once you see them in their sum. I like your approach to write an article that seems not to be concerned with seo, when in fact you are doing exactly that.

  • Jason R. says:

    Great article on an often overlooked issue. Often, clients will hire an expert digital marketing agency like the one I work for to perform their seo task for them. Even still, I am amazed at how these “experts” will make a piece of content, and stuff it with keywords even if it doesn’t read well. User experience is a key factor in seo too. You want people to link to your content as well as follow your site for new articles and content too. Good basic, easy reading generally optimized content is by far the best in my opinion for best seo results in the long run.

  • Ana James says:

    Great post! Reading your post have made me realized a couple of things about seo. I never knew that some of the things that I am doing in boosting my website is wrong. Now I know what to do. Thanks to your post 🙂

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