This is our first post in our new series "Let's Get Techy With It", where I will give you the tools and information you need to make smart tech-related decisions for your business (view the introduction post HERE).

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of those buzzwords that scares entrepreneurs into making bad decisions. Some website article will come floating across your Facebook newsfeed telling you that you MUST invest in optimizing your website for search engines NOW. Sometimes SEO scammers will even email you directly trying to scare you into buying their services.

First of all, what even is SEO? In a nutshell, it’s writing content and creating design elements that help your website appear at the top of search results on search engines such as Google. For instance, if you’re a baker specializing in vegan cakes, and you have a successfully search engine optimized website, then when someone googles “vegan cake,” your business is the first result on page 1 of the search results on google.

SEO is one aspect of having a business on the web, but you don't need to exhaust your brain space, time and money overly obsessing on this issue. Here's why

1.) SEO can potentially hurt your business. 

Of all the reasons not to care about SEO, this is a big one. Not only might it be a waste of your valuable time and money, it might actually hurt your business. Have you ever visited one of those obnoxiously SEO-y websites? Their homepage might say something like this:

Vegan Cakes in Dallas: If you’re looking for a vegan or gluten-free cake in the Dallas / Fort Worth / Arlington Texas area, you’re in luck! We are the Dallas–Fort Worth premier vegan cake specialist. No matter what kind of vegan or gluten-free cake you’re looking for, we can create it. Check out more of our vegan and gluten-free cakes in our portfolio section. If you live in Dallas, Plano, Irving, Fort Worth, Arlington or Grapevine, we would love nothing more than to create a vegan or gluten-free cake for your next birthday party, corporate event, wedding, bar-mitzvah, bat-mitzvah, or quinceanera, 

Yuck, you guys. Imagine if you were at a party and someone asked you what you did, and that’s how you answered them. Would that person EVER want to buy something from you?

Your website content needs to be written as if you’re talking to real-life human beings, because you ARE talking to real-life people. Your potential customers want to work with a person/company they can relate to, and when your website content is written to impress a search engine algorithm and not your actual customers, it’s a big turnoff. Although you might get hits on your website, you are far less likely to convert those hits into actual customers. For a growing business, sales and customers are the most important. 30 hits resulting in 10 customers is better than 300 hits resulting in none.

Don’t write for the machines! Write to the awesome real-life people who have yet to hire you. Because getting people to your website is one thing, but if they get to the website and they don’t want what you’re selling? You’re not only losing potential customers that are finding you on Google, but you’re probably also turning away the much more promising leads that you’re getting personally from word of mouth and social media. If you're looking to increase traffic to your site there are other simple strategies for attracting the RIGHT customers. Which leads us to… #2. Stay tuned for next week.