DWtS (Dancing With the SEO)

So the new season of DWtS has begun. Even if you are not a fan of this type of television or even television itself some important clues relating to search engine optimization can be seen.

Season 14?  Yes, season 14 already which means over 100 stars have crossed the stage and while some many remember a few, most fade into memory.  But what hasn’t changed (much) is the judges, hosts, band and set.  All very familiar and comfortable. 

The framework of the show is stable.  The moving parts are changing, but the frame is solid and by design.  Tiered seating, seats right to the edge of the floor, all designed to give you a close and personal feel.  Put the judges in the balcony the intimacy is lost. Move the floor seats back 5 or 6 rows, same effect. Take the band off to the side or behind the screen you’d think piped in music.

Most of the dialog and action happen right on the floor, and even the dancers lounge is visible in nearly every shot and audience visible when filming from the lounge.

What can be said for your web site?  First and foremost, does it do what you intended it to do? Does the reaction you desire, deliver?  Regardless of how well the stage is constructed and if the electrical lines can be serviced at either end of the floor, does the floor itself shine?  The elements of the set are as important as the moving parts.

Some sites you see are great at being shiny but when it comes time to deliver the goods the floors crack (broken links), sparks fly from the outlets (fill out this 30 field form to get your “free” catalog) and bulbs are burned out (you missed 1 of 30 required fields and have to start all over…. from scratch).  Other sites you know are coded to perfection.  You can almost feel the precision but it leaves you with a sterile or cold warehouse feeling.  Yeah the lights are on and there may be someone home but the echo is deafening.

Once you eventually hit that sweet spot in the framework of your site (functionality and measurable results) and have assembled the key components (judges, hosts, band) you can begin to get into the moving parts. 

The moving parts are those things that either support or drag on the web site, er, I mean show.  Did the blue tag line get a higher response rate and did the orange framed image have people bailing the entire site?  All this work can only be justified and verified for results over a solid foundation.

A recent SEO exchange gave me some insight into this in that this firm in question wanted to jump right into keyword densities and code to text ratios without even examining the set, stage, lighting, nothing at all.  The glaring piles of dirt as it were on the floor, burnt bulbs and obstructed aisles in the shopping lanes were overlooked as not glamorous work were not seen during a review. 

All in all most SEO firms want to get the dance going without care, regard or acknowledgment of the set and cast.  The development of a winning presence is not just throwing it up there anymore but a calculating action based on your customers and desired call to action plan.  We can always swap out the dancers, (keyword terms), change judges (pages) even the hosts (navigation) but in order to make it work you have to know without doubt you have a winning set, purposely designed, built and maintained.

SEO 101 may not be glamorous; it may be tough putting on muck boots instead of the tap shoes but as the old saying goes, the mountaintops are indeed beautiful but the fruit grows in the valleys.  If you hope to see your own season 14 (mountaintop views) you have to put in the work in the valley. (SEO 101)

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming to witness the dismissal of stars in an unnoticed display of equal rights.  Man, woman, woman, man, man, woman….. or some combination thereof to have an equal mix of stars for audience enjoyment regardless of talent.  ie: watch for the drama of “Wow, they were better than so-an-so to be let go…..”

P.S. Did you know can follow Cap’n Crunch on Twitter?  And that he can follow YOU?  http://twitter.com/#!/realcapncrunch

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