Yes, ranking well in search engines is important. But how you achieve those coveted high rankings is actually more important.

Search optimisation has some dirty secrets.

First, it’s often a substantial perpetual outgoing; a financial treadmill that’s tough to get off without your business grinding to a halt.

Second, it’s ever-changing. Search algorithms change all the time and search optimisation is always fighting to keep in check.

Third, it’s risky. Unethical search optimisation can have a negative impact on ranking or even lead to a site being blacklisted.

Fourth, it places measurement on traffic not customers. Measured on the volume of traffic, search optimisation companies don’t have to worry about the relevance of the visitors they deliver, or how many will actually become customers.

Which leads us to the final and most important point. Just what is being optimised? When people land on your website, the thing which will or won’t engage them is your content. If you’ve spent your budget on search optimisation rather than content creation, all that you’ll get are sightseers, not customers. People who look quickly over your website and then leave. It’s no surprise that placing too high a focus on search optimisation goes hand-in-hand with high visitor bounce rates.

Google’s search algorithms may change but its guiding principles remain the same: those websites which focus on creating unique content and delivering a great experience will rank highly – because people like them, like to use them, and like to tell others.

Essentially, what Google is saying is that if you take care of the content, the search optimisation will take care of itself.

And, since you have to create content website anyway, why not create the best you can? First and foremost, invest in what people want from your website, how you can build a relationship with them – and how they can become customers.