Optimize My Brand

Strategy, tactics, ideas and tips from Creative Company.

Website SEO review: Dos and don’ts

website-seo-review-roastWhen it’s time for a website SEO review, think marketing first

SEO is today’s critical marketing tactic. It’s essential for anyone who wants to build their business. Why? Because people looking for answers, goods or services (what you offer), are starting their search online.

Great Search Engine Optimization gets people to your website, not someone elses

A search engine doesn’t shout, “look at me!” the way an ad or billboard does. It’s a go-to tool we all use when we’re seeking answers, we want to learn, or we’re eager to buy. It’s not intrusive. It waits patiently until we’re ready to look.

When someone arrives at your website via search, it’s by choice. They have actively looked online for what you offer. You didn’t have to shout to get noticed. They found YOU.

That’s a huge advantage in closing new business, no matter who you are.

Keywords for SEO are one of your critical marketing ingredients because they help people find you online. They’re the words and phrases people type in to find what you offer. Choose the right keywords and you will send warm leads—people who are already looking—to your website. That’s good. Really really good.

Sounds easy? Not really

Here’s the thing. If you sell shoes, you’re probably going to use “shoes” as a keyword. But lots and lots and lots of people sell shoes. So how do people find you? Get specific. Google offers a good overview of SEO that shows you how to narrow your keywords to get better results.

That’s one angle—get specific and descriptive so it’s clear you offer dark roast coffee beans instead of instructions on how to roast a turkey. But in my view, that’s missing a big opportunity for your brand.

Let me tell you a story about a website SEO review

I was talking with a former client who was trying to grow website sales. They make an unusual line of products—skin care creams and lotions made with mink oil. Most sales are generated at fairs and festivals where the product is demonstrated and buyers can sample it. It’s an excellent line and those who buy often become fans and repeat buyers. Once users get past the idea of mink oil as an ingredient, they love the results.

This company had hired an “SEO expert” to do a website SEO review, with the goal of optimizing the whole site for better search to draw in new buyers. What happened? The SEO company optimized the whole site around mink oil. Logical, sort of.

EXCEPT … who is going to search for “mink oil” or “mink oil skin products”?

Think about it. There is a foot care lotion that is loved by soldiers in the desert. There is another lotion proven to offer relief to diabetics with overly dry skin. There is a night cream that softens and moisturizes better than any department store product. Their pet shampoo is loved by dog breeders and people who show their dogs and horses.

Each of those examples of uses and results is a potential search query. Each could be a full page optimized around the stories of how people have found relief with different products. Each is a marketing message to drive sales for people looking for relief or solutions to specific problems. Get better results from a website SEO review when you integrate the “why” instead of just the “what.”

DO NOT just focus keywords on what you sell
DO focus keywords and long-tail keyword phrases on the problems you solve, the outcomes you deliver

Let’s talk marketing messages instead

Messaging is an essential ingredient in your marketing recipe. Your key messages speak to what you do for your audiences; the outcomes you create; the problems you solve; why they should buy what you offer. These messages are the context of what you offer, not a list of products, services, facts or details.

When you build your keyword strategy to answer people’s questions or solve a problem, you’ll draw in people looking for those answers and solutions. Tie those ideas into your messages on your website and blog and you’ll have a long-term strategy that builds traffic and new leads.

SEO is essential in today’s marketing

A keyword strategy that reflects what people can expect from you is one that matches your marketing … because you’re framing your messages from your audiences’ perspective, “What’s in it for me?”

I could go on because there’s so much more to share. Instead, download our guide to SEO below before you ask for a website SEO review. And check out what Google offers in the link above. Or talk to us. I’ll share with you how a low volume keyword, “brand refresh,” has brought us great leads and a link in Atlantic Monthly. Very cool.


When you’re ready to update your marketing recipe, think messaging, keywords and your online brand. We’ll put it all together for you and roast up some flavorful results.

About the author

Jennifer Larsen Morrow

Jennifer's four decades of work in the industry, starting as a designer and adding marketing, copywriting and digital marketing, has generated response for clients since 1978.

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