Most small business owners and webmasters think of search engine optimization or SEO as a way to improve sales. But did you know SEO can have a significant effect on customer service, brand and usability?
Besides using search engines as a way to find products and services, many people use them as a way to navigate vendor sites and even their own web sites. As a search engine optimization company, we get access to the web site visitor statistics and log files for most of our clients revealing a surprising number of visitors that type domain names into search engines as well as company names plus specific product names, ids and model numbers. For the most part, most on-site search functions are horrible and Google for example, does a much better job at helping users find specific content on a particular site.
As a result many customers will often enter a query on Google that the site owner assumes they would enter on the site search. This is especially true of support information, knowledge base articles, FAQs and related content. I can´t count how many times I´ve bypassed the "official" online help desk and forums and simply queried the problem via Google. If it was your brand, would you want your content to appear first or some AdSense or YPN optimzed blog post that may or may not offer accurate information?
Therefore, companies that optimize their content for search engines are actually contributing to a positive user experience and customer service by making it easier to find content. They are also helping to promote brand visibility to a channel that is often discounted or not considered at all when optimizing for search engines.
When you’re considering whether optimizing your site for the search engines is of importance, keep in mind that there are many good reasons besides lead generation for search engine optimization – whether it is to make content easier to find for current clients in customer service situations or as an augmentation to normal site navigation.