The old saying that “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” is applicable here to e-commerce and SEO. It’s a group phenomenon that happens when too many people add their opinion to a project and the project just goes way off the target.
Yes, it’s fun and social to have everyone involved taking part in some aspect of a website, specifically in a corporate situation, but often many of the people involved have no clue as to what SEO is and why it’s most important. Instead, these people want to express themselves and make the website a show off spectacle to friends, colleagues, and the public. That’s fine that a website has lots of bells and whistles, but if the site doesn’t meet SEO standards then all you’ve ended up with is a good looking website, miserable traffic, and low sales.
If you have an e-commerce site the keyword here is ‘commerce’. That’s your primary goal. Making the site optimized for making money, not making social networking friends. You need to apply the latest and sound SEO techniques and technologies so that your site covers SEO on every level. This means keywords, keyphrase, and key groups that are well researched, placed in the right spots on your webpages, photos, graphics, video tagged with the keywords, and link building from authority sites that shows your site is an active one, a mini community devoted to your products and services that stand out in your industry for great prices, great reviews, and awesome products.
When you’ve got the boss, the investors, the friends of both, non-relevant office people adding their two cents to a website’s engineering, the webmaster gets saddled with trying to please everyone. It’s hard to argue with some higher ups as they’ll often let their spouses or kids or friends jump in and make suggestions for the site even though they aren’t experts in the field. To avoid hurting their feelings, a boss might order such changes even flying in the face of sound SEO application. This is why sites die on the vine. Hardheaded stubbornness, ego tripping, and ownership bullying. Then when stats go down and someone want’s to know why the website is under performing, the finger pointing starts and eventually it ends up pointing to the poor webmaster.
The real deal is that SEO is a highly specialized technical field that has a changing landscape due to technological advances. You can’t let people who have any clue stick their noses in too far. That client that wants the website with a ridiculous video of them posing with their spouse and kids showing off their cars and houses isn’t appropriate for selling those vacuum cleaners. It may hurt their feelings but you’ve got to hold your ground as an SEO professional who’s responsibility is the optimization to the nth degree.
The bottom line is at the end of the day when the dust settles, all website performance falls on the webmaster who is supposed to be applying SEO skills. This is where communication comes in. From the start, you have to let a client know that there are things you can and can’t do, and should and shouldn’t do. That you will advise them in a courteous manner if their suggestions are off track and try to explain why on a level that they’ll understand. Establish from the start you’ll not be entertaining multiple people’s suggestions unless they’re professionals in webmaster and SEO. Your time is precious and your client will end up spending more money being foolish if you don’t grab the reins from the start.
Remember, a business, and e-commerce site is there for doing business, not impressing people first.