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At the first stage of SEO thinking there is the user . Or more exactly, the user must be the starting point of the design of your website as a whole.

The central role of the user is one of my favorite subjects, but it is Axenet’s excellent infographic that proposes 10 steps for the creation of an SEO-ready website that decided me to write this article.

1- Your website is for your customers

It is a fact, the majority of the sites are conceived without having benefited from a true thinking oriented marketing “customer”. Sponsors want a website that looks like them. And the agencies deliver what they are asked.

The problem is that without this work, the communication is centered on the company itself and the needs of the customer are absent.

The classic example of the navigation menu below gives us a perfect illustration of these shortcomings.

2- Prioritize your content

This aspect is less obvious than it seems. You have to reconcile both marketing goals, ergonomic requirements and SEO best practices.

On the one hand, you must both propose a clear hierarchy of your content for your different audiences, and avoid excessive tree depths.

On the other hand, grouping pages dealing with similar topics is an essential SEO lever.  

These issues of prioritization of content are all the more crucial, they will impact the website all his life. All the more reason to take it into account very early in creative thinking.

3- Do not underestimate the editorial work

Content is often more complex to produce than initially imagined. For the sake of simplicity, we often go back to the overly technical discourse of the company’s brochures … or worse, entrust the writing to the trainee. It’s totally unsuitable.

You need to consider SEO as an opportunity to get users into your funnel. To get a maximum of users in your funnel, your site must offer rich and varied content. This content should not only focus on the last stages of the sale, but answer questions well in advance.

4- Writing: Think “thematic” rather than “keywords”

 We must focus on the terminology that is used by Internet users. And in practice, we will target a selection of keywords whose search volume has been evaluated using keyword generators such as INSIGHT .

However, this recommendation should not make you lose your common sense. Indeed, one of the ravages of the democratization of SEO is the impoverishment of content. I see too often webmasters who think improve their referencing by tirelessly repeating the same keyword 30 times per page, on all pages of the site.

By the way, these SEOs sacrifice the user for the benefit of Google. It’s nonsense. We propose a poor and repulsive language, which creates more doubts than desires to buy.

On the one hand, because the searches of Internet users are extremely varied. Specializing your content excessively on a keyword makes you miss most of the traffic.

On the other hand, because the concept of theme is very present at Google (PageRank theme, Hummingbird …). In order for the meaning of your content to be understood by the Google machine, you must offer content that is semantically consistent with each other, around the different topics of your theme. And to get the best SEO results, you must use all the terms of the lexical field of your theme .

This does not prevent to be educational, on the contrary. Each technical term, each complexity of your business is an opportunity to produce explanatory content, which answers a question that your prospects are asking.

5- Design which meet the right objectives

Often conceived in an aesthetic objective, the design must above all translate the hierarchy of information. Even the aesthetics must serve the marketing positioning of the site. Take the example of Cdiscount’s “bazaar” design. The apparent approximation is perfectly voluntary. It gives the visitors a sense of urgency to seize the opportunities offered.

The weather is not necessarily the main goal. So always check if the design and ergonomics choices serve the purposes of the site.

6- Choose a good web integrator

Here is an aspect that often depress SEO agencies and particularly harms the effectiveness of the site. There are countless websites that do not allow real control of SEO on a technical level. Hn markup is often used to handle graphical rather than semantic aspects. Sometimes the CMS used does not allow to freely choose the Title tags, the H1 or the meta description and the site generates duplicate content per kilo.

To conclude, I would say that too often the sponsor of an SEO service thinks SEO, this involves some code manipulation to make the site compatible with Google. It’s wrong. The target of SEO is not Google, but the surfer who does research.

So, remember. SEO without marketing is as useful as a car without a steering wheel .