Here’s a nice video (there’s a transcription available if the local Network Stasi doesn’t allow you to have speakers on your PC) from the SEOmoz Daily SEO Blog which explains why any process of search engine optimisation must also involve content creation or rewriting. Mapping Keywords to Content for Maximum Impact explains how an SEO project is crippled from the start if the site can’t also be developed alongside its requirements. Quite simply, if you want to rank highly in Google for a specific search term, one of the key requirements will be – not surprisingly – to have a page about that search term. If you can’t create one at all, the job is doomed from the outset, but it’s not much better if you have to shoehorn lots of target terms onto a single page which is trying to do too much. The video calls these “Frankenpages”, and they’re not pretty.
Now, I know there are many of you who don’t have any control over your company’s website, because the operation is run by an overseas head office which doesn’t have a clue about effective online marketing, and considers its own empire-building to be more important than selling products and supporting customers. I have a tremendous amount of respect for your patience, and presumably look forward to renewing our acquaintance at a more enlightened employer as soon as the job market improves. In the meantime, I think it’s important that you don’t commit to any outsourced SEO work, because it’s not a job which can be done properly, and any reputable SEO experts will probably decline the work. Unless your site is a total basket-case, without even the most elementary stuff in place, you should be extremely suspicious of those who still want to take your money from you.