An SEO Lesson from Shoeless Joe Jackson?

It’s been quite a week and I am going to have a little fun with this post, so bare with me. I saw an E! True Hollywood snippet on Gabby Hoffman the other day and I began to think of one of my favorite movies – Field of Dreams.

I remember watching Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, and little Gabby Hoffman woo baseball heroes by building a baseball field in the middle of corn field, where the ghosts of the infamous “Eight Men Out” or “Black Sox” accused of throwing the 1919 World Series could come and relive their best moments.

There are a number of memorable quotes that come to mind when I think of this familiar movie including, “If you build it, they will come.” This gets me to thinking how webmasters can learn a little something (or not) from Ray Kinsella, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and Terence Mann.

“If you build it, they will come…”

This one really got me thinking – because when it comes to SEO, building it WILL NOT necessarily make them – meaning search engine spiders and visitors – come. You could build a really great site that portrays your message and your voice, but without implementing some very basic SEO best practices, your beautiful site may not see the traffic you anticipated.

“Go the distance…”

Now, if you were aware of SEO during the design and construction of your site, or have made alterations to account for search engine spiders, please, please, please go the distance and address usability throughout your site. Make the navigation clear, the structure intuitive, and the contact information or conversion points visible and easy to find. Building an aesthetically pleasing site sometimes isn’t enough, but by creating a site that encourages users to investigate and research your product or services you are increasing the chance of having visitors become customers.

“Ease his pain…”

This is a tough one and may be a bit of a stretch, but for the sake of fun “Ease his pain…” can refer to the pain of the user helplessly trying to navigate your site, or the pain of the company waiting for traffic or sales. It is important to address SEO, usability, and conversion goals to make your site a successful endeavor.

Don’t sit and wait for people to visit your site, and don’t wait for them to convert. Analyze current business practices, pull out what sets your business apart from your competitors and put this front and center, hire an SEO company or work internally to implement SEO best practices to increase your positions in the SERPs for important keyword searches, and help users convert by making conversion points more visible. Furthermore, by including PPC in your search marketing mix you’re likely to increase brand awareness, traffic, and conversion opportunities.