It has been my experience that people don’t use this word correctly, in regards to SEO work.  Let’s review a little on how to use it, how people use it incorrectly, and…how to use it correctly next time.

  • “Optimize” – expressing an on-going activity or a single action
  • “Optimal” – expressing a level reached of perfection, in balance with fixed constraints.
  • “Optimized” – expressing that you’re done; the perfect state it will ever need to be in…forever.

How to use “Optimize” incorrectly

I’ve had these conversations in the past 2 weeks:

  1. “We optimized our web-site back in 2008, so, we’re good.”
  2. “We’re going to optimize our website now using The Facebook, so, we’re good.”
  3. “Our site is optimized.” “Great! Targeting what?” “Everything, so, we’re good.”
  4. “I optimized our site myself, last year.” “Oh really?” “Yup, changed the meta tags and now it’s optimal.  So, we’re good.”

Why is the above wrong?

  1. …Optimized = your website isn’t ever ‘optimized’ because there are too many moving targets.  Not only are the search engines constantly evolving, but your competitors are also.
  2. …The Facebook: Social media sites are certainly important to SEO work…but they are not a substitute to the other best practices like quality content, link building, and site architecture.
  3. …For Everything:  Really?  Everything?  So if I search “Pizza Kansas City” your plumbing company in Denver will show up?  No. You ‘Optimize’ your site for keywords that you strategically choose.  As with all strategy, by choosing something’s, you have to give up others.
  4. …Meta Tags:  Again, same as #2, there are so many different things that go into working on site optimization.  If all it took was listing your keywords in your meta tags and then you’d rank 1st on Google, then everyone would do it and rank 1st on Google.   Wait that won’t work…clearly there is more to this then just doing something that straight forward.

In closing…

Your website is optimized for a set of words, that when someone searches for those keywords, you show up.  You’re never done optimizing your website, because search engines are continually evolving and improving their services to searching customers.  Also, you’re never done, because your competitors are never done.  Lastly, you’re never done because you’re not listing 1st through 10th on every keyword you trying to show up for (if you are…please send me the link to your blog, as I would love to read your thoughts).

Have people said similar things to you?

Post filed under SEO, Web Marketing.