On-page SEO is like the lottery

It happens quite often that on-page SEO is done to a site and it doesn't yield any results. This is generally considered a bad thing. I'd like to throw an alternative viewpoint out there.

This came about after we declined a job because we didn't think we could make a fair ROI for the site, based on the cost of our time.

The site in question was flash based and had appalling on-page SEO. Before you even start thinking about links, you need to get the basics right. This site needed considerable work done, at considerable expense - to the point where it be unlikely to get a ROI.

Fixing mistakes

Some would say doing this SEO work is a waste of time, but really it's not SEO work that is being done. I would consider this work fixing mistakes of the original website. The original site got so many basic principles wrong, that these needed to be fixed before you could start doing actual SEO work.

It's the same concept as putting an extra bedroom on your house - but to be able to do that, the builder says he has to replace the structural timber which wasn't done right and won't support the new bedroom.
Not really fair to blame the builder for being expensive in this case, so why blame your SEO when he has to fix past mistakes as part of the job?

It's not that all web developers should be experts in SEO, but a client should probably be told that their flash based website has almost no show of being found in Google, and a smarter approach is to do a HTML website containing selected flash elements, such as image rotations or galleries.

The lottery

Doing on-page SEO to your site is not like winning the lottery of great rankings. It is comparable to buying a ticket. Without the basics done right, you stand almost no chance of being found, ie you don't even have a ticket.
With the on-page work done, you may still never be found, but it's then up to the content, links and time to do it's thing. The point is that you can be found.

I consider on-page SEO to be as much a part of good web development practice as it is SEO.
What is good for the user is usually good for search engines.
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Tags: seo