The Five Eyes of SEO Review

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The SEO Review Process Includes Five Sets of EyesThere is a lot more to optimizing a page of content than just having an SEO research and throw in a bunch of keywords. The SEO “review” of content should be just one of the many steps in producing good, relevant, keyword-focused, and user-friendly content for your website.

Personally, I like to make sure that all of our SEO content gets reviewed from five unique perspectives. Before any page is approved to “rollout” live on a site, it goes through these five eyes:

  1. Copywriter Eyes
  2. SEO Eyes
  3. Visual Eye Appeal
  4. Usability Eyes
  5. Conversion Eyes

Each set of eyes looks at the optimized page from a unique point of view. Sure, one person can technically perform a review, but he or she may not look at the content from each of the five perspectives. It’s easy for things to get “overlooked” if you’re not incorporating every angle into the review process.

Let’s look at each of these eyes individually.

Copywriter Eyes Ensure Well-written Content

There is nothing worse than having an “SEO” optimize your page by throwing a bunch of keywords on it, all because his or her job is to get the page ranked at any cost. Fortunately, this kind of keyword stuffing is easy to spot and can be combated.

However, there is another, less nefarious type of keyword stuffing that happens. It’s what I call keyword creep. This is what can happen over time as a page gets optimized, tweaked, and re-tweaked in order to keep inching those rankings up. Each time, more keywords are added in an attempt to boost page “relevance.”

Using a skilled copywriter to review each optimized Web page can help prevent keyword stuffing issues. It also ensures that the keywords work with the content and are optimized in as effectively as possible.

SEO Eyes Ensure the Right Keyword Balance

This may sound backward, but we usually have the SEO review and optimize content after the copywriter has done his or her initial job of naturally working in the keywords. If the copywriter knows the keywords that need to be integrated (and has a base understanding of good optimization content development), nine times out of 10 the copywriter can produce a very strongly optimized page. The SEO, then, just has to look at it from a slightly more technical standpoint.

Once the SEO gets a hold of the content, he or she can review keyword usage, placement, iterations, and phrase variations. If the copywriter missed anything, the SEO is free to either try to work that in or send the content back to the copywriter with further instructions. If the former, it’s a good idea to have the copywriter perform an after-SEO review, as well.

This after-review is also helpful each time a page is tweaked for further SEO enhancements to ensure keyword creep doesn’t destroy the content for the sake of good search engine rankings. Working together, the copywriter and the SEO create a well-optimized page that serves both visitors and search engines.

Visual Eye Appeal Ensures Positive First Impressions

Technically, it’s not the SEO’s job to worry about anything but rankings, but as Web marketers, we try to look beyond getting traffic to a website and try to help our clients succeed as a business, as well.

One thing we have to remember is that each optimized page is essentially an entry point to the website. It may be the first (or even the last) page a visitor may see on that site. That first impression matters. Therefore, the visual appeal of each page matters, too.

You can do a lot of things to improve the visual appeal of any page, such as adding images or using text headings, bullets, bolding, and emphasis. All of these can add a visual dynamic that makes drab text look much more appealing and far easier to read.

Usability Eyes Ensure Visitor Engagement

If every page is a landing page, then getting the visitor to engage with the content and conversion options on the page is critical for success. Usability looks at how the content is arranged, where the calls to action are placed and whether or not the wording is action oriented (as opposed to passive).

Usability might also look at textual linking to other areas of the site or even suggest changes to be made on a global navigational level. In all, it’s these eyes that are responsible for ensuring that visitors like what they see, read what they need, and move on toward the end goal of achieving the conversion.

Conversion Eyes Ensure the SEO Brings the ROI

In many cases, the best person to view the site through conversion eyes is the PPC/landing-page conversion specialist. This person looks at pages for more than the traffic it can deliver or even the engagement it produces. PPC also looks all the way down to the conversions the page produces.

While great ads are essential to the click-through rate, it’s the page that is ultimately responsible for the conversion. Landing page conversion is a key element for PPC strategists, which makes them a prime candidate for this final review. They know what works and what doesn’t and can help improve any optimized page (PPC landing page or not) to be a better keyword landing page.

As before, calls to action are important here, but specific wording and placement of the calls to action can be a factor—as can font styling, image use, link text, and more.

Only after a page has gone through each of these sets of eyes do we consider it “done,” but really, that’s just the beginning. Each validation must ultimately prove itself in readability, rankings, traffic, engagement, and conversions. By going through these five eyes, you’re not just creating an optimized Web page, but you’re also creating a customer magnet.

Image Credit:

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!, and President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading web presence optimization firm... Read Full Bio
Stoney G deGeyter
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  • Peter

    I totally agree with all your points Stoney. Well I don’t give much emphasis on SEO one, but surely visibility and usability makes your content stand tall between others.

  • Stoney deGeyter

    Peter, LOL. Well, this was about an SEO review, so we can’t NOT have an SEO review, right?

    • Peter

      Yea , sure 🙂

  • Nick Stamoulis

    “we usually have the SEO review and optimize content after the copywriter has done his or her initial job of naturally working in the keywords.”

    I completely agree. When a copywriter works with SEO in the back of their mind, chances are the content gets naturally optimized fairly well without any outside SEO help. The SEO eyes step in and make any final tweaks to get it all the way there.

  • Justin howley

    I think if you’re an SEO and you don’t already encompass all of these “eyes”, you should quit being an SEO. I can’t wait for the day that the term SEO disappears and turns into Traffic Conversion Optimization. If you don’t understand all the moving parts involved with a businesses website, then you’re doing a disservice by not focusing on the funnel.

    Great article, got me thinking, and my thinking leads to venting lol.

  • Andy Rostad

    Having recently endured a minor Quality Control snafu, I can’t endorse these practices enough.
    With respect to the idea of ‘conversion eyes,’ I would suggest that an extra step needs to be scheduled: a review of actual analytics data, after publication. Without any evidence of whether a page is truly converting, time can be lost fine-tuning a page that may not need revision solely on the opinion of one person, ‘expert’ though she or he may be. A/B testing can also help make decisions based on evidence . This evidence will further inform your conversion expert, leading to better performance in the page-creation stages.

  • steveplunkett

    When at PR firm, we did keyword research prior to each release, had quick conversation with copywriter.. usually never had to re-SEO anything, just proofed it and then we sent out release.

    We have started doing a different thing where i work now, where we do kw research, then do content inventory, then do gap analysis on both, then make content calendar using existing and newly generated content. works fabulous.


  • Paul

    Very good tips here, I have not only bookmarked but also printed out and pinned on my wall above the monitor 🙂

  • Tbs

    A great content surely makes its visibility and usability stand out in the crowd with higher chances of conversion rate. A copywriter’s eyes has a crucial say in seo. Valuable suggestions. Thanks for this