Flooding web pages with keywords is not only user-unfriendly; it's also a waste of time. That was the message Search Engine Marketers William Leake and Kelly Meacham had for attendees of the 2007 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Panel discussion “Making SEO and Usability Work Together.”
“When it comes to natural search results it's really just a robot analyzing the HTML of a site, with external and internal links being much more important than the text on the page,” said Leake, CEO and President of Apogee Search. Both Leake and Meacham expressed the need for website content to be tailored to the user and not the search engine. “Keeping users engaged, ultimately keeps them satisfied,” Meacham added. “If a site is full of jargon serving as keyword density, a user’s interest and/or sales are lost.”
The SXSW Interactive Festival features five days of panels, keynote discussions, trade show and exhibition events. The wide variety of programming offered at SXSW Interactive in addition to the presence of SXSW Film and SXSW Music helps make it a completely original event. Together, Leake, and Meacham, have over two decades of SEO, web marketing, and website usability experience; and were happy to share their know-how to a room-overflowing crowd of 200+ people.
Attendance at the “Making SEO and Usability Work Together” power session was standing room only despite rainy weather conditions that dampened overall attendance that day. This impressive turnout reflects the intensity of interest in search engine marketing, as almost 90% of all websites are initially found through search engines. For those that missed the session, the SXSW website will be adding a podcast of the session in the near future.
As for better search engine optimization Leake stressed the importance of putting keywords within a website’s title tags and letting in-bound links serve as the main bait for the algorithm robots. He explained this strategy by saying, “Google’s search algorithms are constantly changing, and keyword density is only a small portion – typically no more than six percent -- of what drives those algorithm. Therefore, the most sure-fire way to keep up with their changing patterns is to always have a wide variety of outside sites linked to your site.” Afterwards Leake closed the session by saying, “A proper site is one designed for humans and not robots. So if you want it to rank high and still be user-friendly, write fluidly and link constantly.”
About Apogee Search
Apogee Search (apogee-search.com) is a search engine marketing firm based in Austin TX, and was founded by early internet pioneers and McKinsey & Co. alumni. Since its inception in 2001, Apogee Search has rapidly grown to become the pre-eminent SEM agency in Texas. Focusing on a variety of search marketing methods that include: Paid Search (PPC), Natural Search (SEO), Affiliate Marketing, and Pay-Per-Call, Apogee Search's solutions are designed to drive qualified, targeted visitors to B2B and B2C websites for more leads, customers, revenues and profits.
About Expero, Inc.
Expero Inc is a website design, usability, and content development firm creating user experience solutions for software products and websites. Unlike traditional design and usability firms, which have a single point of expertise and focus on a portion of the user experience problem, Expero provides a user experience solution that strives to create a user-driven website on target with the needs and expectations of the client’s audience.