Search engine optimization is absolutely crucial if a business wants to be found on the Web. Without placing some effort into SEO a business can be sure that their traffic and brand recognition will be miniscule compared to their competition.
In the World of SEO there are clear winners and losers.
You would think that people would be on board with SEO seeing that the Web has been a very big part of our lives since the mid-90s. Even so, many industries are slow to adopt while others go out in full force when it comes to rankings.
Let’s start with…
The types of businesses that fit into this category also seem to be the ones that lag in terms of adopting some kind of forward thinking when it comes to their websites. You land on their site and it looks like Geocities spat out some kind of garbled mess. The sites are essentially just business cards that happen to be online… cards that look like they were designed by the nephew of the business’s owner.
The industries that really fail when it comes to SEO (and why) include:
– Craft Stores. You would imagine Etsy and Pinterest would give people some kind of idea what others expect in a website but it’s not getting through to these people. They’re the “crafty type” which means they’re trying their hand at site design with (what appears to be) an outdated website editor. These sites are generally a mess of information, cluttered in design, and don’t exactly have a functioning shopping cart. In terms of SEO they seem to skip it over, completely. For example, consider the site for A Fanciful Twist — a site that sells handmade crochet things. The site uses a basic TypePad template that has been crowded with images, buttons, and when you want to shop you’re sent to Etsy!
– Law Sites. Sure these individuals make a whole lot of money but when it comes to ponying up money for a site they are stingy as hell. They want a site but they don’t want to spend money. Someone slaps one together in a hurry, it’s almost never updated, and you can be sure that the developer never took the time to work on the SEO. Using a copied template is among the top seven mistakes that legal sites make! (Source: JurisPage)
Then we have the individuals and companies that really seem to just “get it”.
– Web Designers & Developers. This one probably isn’t even fair because they’re in the business but they have to be mentioned because they work on and build their SEO from the ground-up. Since they develop their sites from scratch they (almost) always have SEO in mind since they’re in there touching the code. They understand the best practices in development and usability and that combination with their SEO skills makes for a perfect website. Boutique firms and developers can use their own resources to build sites that rank within Google keywords and dominate their local markets.
– Auto Industry. The auto industry seems to really get it, too. I would imagine that like an auto franchise site – a lot of the development is done in similar fashion. This means that a dealership is not only rolling with the business formula but also the Web formula. Auto dealers are extremely focused on local SEO and rankings. For instance, let’s look at the website for this AutoNation Ford Dealership. Like the craft site mentioned above, this site has a ton of information for its users. Unlike the craft site above, though, they target locally (this particular dealership is located in Miami) but also tap in to the larger parent company’s structure and offerings. They have flexible usability, proper site structure, and a ton of information for each listing. The auto industry can teach you a thing or two about developing big, dynamic websites that work well with their SEO.
– Universities. Online and physical universities are amazing at what they do in terms of website development. They may notneedto push hard in search engine optimization but they certainly have it down pat because they have structure. Look at some of the top universities’ websites and everything just “flows”. The keywords are there, the information is there, and it’s easy to use. This is more than what others can claim.
Your turn – what industries (or specific sites) fall into the winners or losers for SEO? Share in a comment!