Enterprise SEO should serve consumers, not keywords

Why does a page get traffic from organic search? Because search engine algorithms determine that it is likely a relevant and quality result to a consumer’s query. While all marketers want more traffic, smart marketers want more of the right traffic – consumers who are interested in our offering. These consumers want what we have to sell. And ensuring that the right consumers have a great user experience is the key to converting that consumer to a customer. Enterprise SEO professionals should intimately understand the search consumer and ensure their websites make search consumers happy.

On May 29, 2012 in Search Engine Land, Ian Lurie of Portent, Inc., asserted that keywords shouldn’t be the focus of Enterprise SEO, that they are contentious and that there are more important battles to win for the Enterprise SEO professional. He laid out seven problems that he guarantees occur in sites of over 10,000 pages. In my opinion, half of these problems make for a bad crawler experience and half make for a bad user experience (problems identified by Mr. Lurie while the categorization is mine).

Bad for Crawlers Bad for People
  • Thousands of un-crawled pages
  • Improper response code configuration
  • Utterly nondescript, probably duplicate title tags on at least 10% of all pages


  • Content slightly less compelling than Ishtar (the movie, not the deity)
  • Poor page load times
  • Thousands of un-crawled pages
  • Massive duplication
  • Broken external and internal links
  • Utterly nondescript, probably duplicate title tags on at least 10% of all pages

Enterprise SEO professionals are the leading content strategists of their companies and should avail themselves of big data applications to deal with site duplication, linking and content discovery.  They should partner with their webmasters and IT departments to diagnose and eradicate the causes of poor page load time.   And then they need to bring to bear the art of great SEO – great, compelling content well linked to and from other pages.

There are no tools that can write content as compelling as a great marketer.  A great headline/title for a page evokes an emotional response from consumers – and contributes to the consumer’s recall of the product, brand and offer.  A great consumer experience should be measured by consumer happiness – did the organic search consumer stay on the page, click to visit another page, return again to the page during another session and, of course, convert to buying from you. These are the metrics that matter and what we’ve seen at BloomReach is that when you deliver the most relevant content to the consumer and optimize for their satisfaction, it makes consumers and search engines happier and web businesses more successful.

  • Ian

    Thanks for the shout-out! Note that we’re Portent, Inc. not Portent International. Although I like the sound of that 🙂

    • admin

      Fixed – sorry took so long – just get so many spam comments, we don’t go through it frequently enough! You’re welcome. 🙂