crossed fingers at handshake

I recently received an envelope in my letter box addressed “to my neighbour”.

It appeared to be handwritten. Maybe it was more news from one of our many neighbours having building work done. Or maybe it was from the neighbour who I’ve been “talking to” about their annoying and noisy dog.

So, my interest aroused, I opened it.

It turned out to contain a printed card from a man called “Colin”, who was offering a home haircut service at a very reasonable price. It sounded like a useful service.

But if Colin thinks I’m going to have anything to do with him or his business then he’s mistaken. He tricked me into opening the envelope and I don’t want a business relationship (or any sort of relationship) with anyone so dishonest.

It’s the same with search engine optimisation – the process of using key words and phrases on your website to make it appear high up on a search page.

Yes, you need to draw readers to your website and SEO is a great tool to help you to do that.

But you still have to provide them with useful and interesting content once they get there. Don’t promise them a how-to guide and give them a sales pitch instead. It’s essentially a broken promise, just like Colin the hairdresser’s.

At best, they’ll just close down your site and forget about you. At worst, they’ll remember you – but for all the wrong reasons and next time your site comes up in SEO, they’ll move on to one of your competitors.

Every time someone comes to your site to view your content, you have an opportunity to engage with them, to impress them with your expertise and to educate them about your industry or your products.

Don’t waste it.