Posted by Ernest Corder on April 16th, 2011
Clients ask for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). But do they really know what they are asking for? Everyone wants to rank on the first page of Google on a variety of topics and keywords. But most are missing the concept. Optimization is not just making your web site show up on your favorite terms – that is not realistic. Web Optimization is getting users to find you online, period. They might find you on your web site, your blog, in a newsletter or white paper, quoted in an article, on a media web site, in a web directory or listing, or through a paid Adword. The goal of search engine optimization is to stack the cards in your favor of being found, regardless of where you are found.
We look at a web optimization plan as a wheel. Your web site is the hub in the middle – all the options you utilize for people to find you are the spokes of the wheel. These might include blogs, newsletters, Adwords, traditional advertisements, directories, or any other source used to find your business. An optimization plan should look at the various ways users might be searching for you and make sure you have a plan for each.
Here a few things to look at in your SEO program:
1. First - your web site. 80% of SEO is in how you design, develop, organize, and write your site. There are a thousand different things you need to include in your web site that all contribute to its optimization, which is why many SEO strategists recommend you start from scratch and create a new web site. The most important factors in your site are your titles, url’s, and H1 tags. Determine the keywords and phrases people use to search for your business and use these as your page titles, headings and urls.
2. Create blogs, newsletters and white papers. This is where you can say all the things you really want to talk about on your web site without your designer complaining about too much body copy. Google loves real, original content. So go crazy and write all you want. Don’t use a third-party blog service. Build the blog on your site, and include original urls, titles and H1 tags for your blogs. Title your postings for search.
3. Sign up for directories. There are hundreds of ways for users to find you on the web besides your web site. hotfrog.com, manta.com, and other directories are available for free and are well-indexed by search engines. Directories build pages and pages of url’s for your business so you can be found in many places.
4. Pay-Per-Click Advertising. Yes, this costs money. And No, Adwords are not your golden ticket to success. But pay-per-click advertising can be a great way to be found quickly even for competitive terms. To cut down on the cost constantly monitor your paid search keywords and measure against your organic search. Use your budget to pay for terms in which you do not show up well organically.
5. Social Media. First, ask yourself this question – “Is your business social?” If it isn’t, then don’t expect to save your business by using Facebook. If you’re selling lawn mowers, Facebook is not your answer. However, it can be a great way to receive customer feedback, to build reviews, and to create content on the web about your business. And it is very cost-effective.
6. Sign up for Google Places. Complete a listing and direct consumers to your reviews page to build positive accolades.
These are just a few ways to optimize your web site for search and are part of a greater web proliferation strategy. Create a written web proliferation and SEO strategy including an action plan. Check off items as you complete them and constantly update your content. Create a budget to make all this happen. SEO never sleeps – you will never be finished – this is an ongoing commitment to be found and if done right, will absolutely pay off.