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SEO – Be Direct, Be Clear

If you are like most people, it is probably safe to say that you are often annoyed when sales people become … pushy. And it does not matter if it's a car salesperson or someone blocking your way past a kiosk in the mall, these sales people have something in common, and that is persistence and the belief that they can persuade you to buy anything and / or everything .

If they talk fast enough, or maybe if they fill your head with so many claims, they feel that you can be convinced.

Unfortunately, there are many sites on the Internet who feel the same way, that if they inundate the friendly neighborhood visitor with claims and boasts and incomprehensible numbers and figures, they'll persuade you that what they are offering is exactly what you need. And surely you'd agree with them … once you've waded through all the claims.

Or, there is the other situation, the one in which you wander into the wrong store, either because the name was misleading or you just were not paying enough attention. The same thing happens online. SEO practices can get certain websites to the top of the ranking for a given keyword, even if the searcher's intent does not quite match up with the content of the site. The visitors who click on your site need to know they found the right place before they have the chance to beat a hasty retreat.

Given these experiences, it should be obvious that being direct and being clear is at least as important a part of SEO as keyword rich content writing or link recruitment. Well, to rephrase, it is important if you want to increase your conversion rate and not just the number of visitors.

Often SEO developers are focused on creating keyword relevant content, and advertisers are focused on finding that great turn-of-phrase or magical call to action that will persuade a visitor to make a purchase. But the truth of the matter is that often it is the simple act of making your site clear that will do the most good for your business.

By clear and direct, this means that a potential customer will need to know immediately where they are, what they can do / buy there, and why they should choose you over the competition.

For example, an old SEO tactic (a bad tactic, it should be added) was to redirect visitors to a different page. But it does not have to be that dramatic, either. If a visitor clicked on a PPC ad that claimed there was a free download / membership / whatever at the other end, yet when they get to the site there is no clear path to the freebie, this can lead a consumer to believe that they found the wrong place and they will try somewhere else.

Helping them understand what they can do on your site should happen next, and it should happen very quickly. Do not make them wade through lines of text before giving them an option to do something. That option should be available to them from the beginning, and they should know exactly what that option entails.

Finally, they need to see why you are the right choice instead of your competition. This does not mean bragging and talking yourself up. When you do that you've just reverted to the care salesman mentality again. And no one likes dealing with these personalties unless they absolutely have to. Clear comparisons and honest testimonials will go a lot further than hollow promises and claims.

Many times content writers feel like they need to answer the "why" before the "what" and the "where". This only leads to cumbersome dialogue and weary customers. Proper content needs to quickly confirm where they are and what they can do. Do not try to present the solution before the problem. When you address these issues you can start to create a site that will interest your customers and help them choose to do business with you.

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