Do you utilize SEO for your website? Yes? Great, it needs to be done if you want to maximize your success online. However, sometimes SEO can be taken too far (and that’s coming from a SEO professional). If you do get carried away with SEO it is easy to lose sight of why you actually started.

What is the point in SEO then?

Is SEO all about gaining better rankings for your main keywords? Is it about finding new keywords to rank for? Is it about making sure that your website ranks better than that of your competitors? Or perhaps it is all of the above? Well… yes and no.

SEO is certainly about improving your rankings in the SERP’s, and being better than your competition is always a good goal. And yes finding good keywords is a great way to achieve that. But your real goal is simple: Get more traffic and hence make more money!

How to use SEO in context

Ok so now you’re thinking, “Well that’s why we need better rankings isn’t it?” And yes it is definitely. But do you think that sometimes the SEO goal of getting a couple of results higher on Google can eclipse the over-riding goal to make more money? Sure it can, this happens a lot.

Further more. When you are finding new keywords to target, are you thinking about your users and how they might want to find you (or your competitors), or are you, at least occasionally, doing SEO for the sakes of it? Be honest…

Avoiding the SEO trap

The best SEO strategies are always the ones that focus on improving ranks naturally by creating a better user experience. It is important to keep this in mind when you are planning your own SEO activities. It is all too easy to pop in an extra keyword here and there until you end up with a site that doesn’t read right.

So from now on, think in more depth about each activity you undertake. Each time you make an SEO related tweak on your site, ask yourself “How will this affect my users’ experience?”

And when you are looking at new keywords to target, think about who might be searching using that phrase. The idea of SEO is to build targeted traffic. If you sell expensive china, there’s not a lot of point trying to rank for the phrase “cheap plates” even if it does happen to be an easy one to target.

Summary

In all of your SEO activities, try to remember this: “Better Rank = More Traffic BUT Better Site = More Sales.” Without sales (or whatever activity you use to measure success) your site is useless, and all the traffic in the world won’t change that.

Author: Mark Johnson, author of Marks Marketing Blog, a blog for the internet entrepreneur. He likes to blog about starting internet businesses, successful online marketing, and other top SEO tips.