Online PR not SEO
Making your website look beautiful and express what you want it to is only half the battle. Making your website popular and attracting the attention of your target audience is the other half. One of the keys to attracting this attention is convincing the search engines and this is where the term 'search engine optimization' or SEO comes from.
What color is your hat?
Many SEO strategies are quite simply about making sure that your website is properly understood by the robots that scrape them and index their content. It is certainly vital to ensure you are telling Google everything it wants to know in order to make your site content available to those who are looking for it. Is your organisation specific to your locality? Make sure you are on Google's map. Is it specific to a certain industry or hobby? Make it clear to Google. There are many legitimate or 'white hat' strategies for improving your search engine results position and it is of great importance that you maximise these opportunities. These are the absolute foundations of website success and you must get this right.
However, there are many SEO strategies that are quite obviously attempts to fool search engines into thinking you are more popular than you are. These 'black hat' techniques can be very effective but search engines invest millions to identify and defeat these strategies which can have devastating effects on your search engine results position and therefore your business. On many occasions Google has actually de-indexed sites from it's results when they have been caught using black hat techniques.
The Web PR approach
Of course search engines are only a part of popularity and in fact the resulting positions are their attempt to reflect the popularity of sites that are relevant to the search terms. So one great strategy for attracting attention from people and search engines is to actually become more popular using Web PR techniques. This approach is similar in many ways to traditional 'old media' PR, identify a network of media outlets, cultivate relationships, distribute your news as and when appropriate.
So I recommend a twofold strategy of getting you site right and then pursuing real Web PR. If you want more information about this approach Contact me.