Every company with a website wants more business. Many companies have improved their rankings and sales because they successfully optimized their sites to increase their marketable audience. If you feel your website isn’t generating the interest you expected it’s time to take advantage of the potential of the internet by implementing search optimization techniques.
Search ranking can make or break the success of your online offering. If browsers can’t find you they will surely find your competition. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves a series of strategies that range from writing “Keyword” rich content, to submitting your domain name and website to the major search engines. The basic goal is to rank no further down the list than page two. Ultimately you will want to come up on page one. It takes a lot of time and diligence but it can be done.
While there are no guarantees of where your website will rank for any given search phrase, careful consideration, design and implementation of each requirement will give your site the best chance at a better ranking. What you sell, or offer, will reveal the degree to which competition has already established its place. If they have successfully implemented SEO into their website marketing, it will be difficult to rank high among these companies unless you can find a narrowed niche that you can focus on.
Not all web sites can get a rank at all if their offering is so nebulous that it would be difficult to think of how or why someone would search for it. In these cases, rather than employing SEO techniques, you will need to develop a print marketing campaign to drive traffic to your site.
It’s important to understand that placing your website high on the list has nothing to do with your domain name. Clients ask all the time why, when they type in their domain name, they come up far down the list. Some say they don’t need search engine optimization because when they entered their domain name they were listed number one on the first page of hits. The answer is simple. If a potential client knew your domain name why would they be searching for it.
They would just browse right to it and be done with it. People browse the internet because they are looking for companies that sell or service what they are looking for and they have never heard of you, yet. If they already knew about you they would just go right to your site.
For example, if internet users type in a phrase like “computer dealers in south Texas” and you come up on the hit list, while your domain name is listed as the link to click on, your there because somewhere, on some page in your sight, you had the phrase “computer dealer in south Texas” listed and it was indexed by the search engine provider. If you weren’t listed at all, and you are a computer dealer in South Texas, then you need to consider optimizing your site by adding content rich, “key word” driven verbiage to all your pages.
Unless you’re a skilled web designer with in-depth knowledge of the SEO techniques outlined in this article, it will be difficult to implement an effective SEO campaign on your own. You will need the help of an SEO professional that can accomplish the steps in this document. Each SEO professional or agency will have its own method of why, how and when, they conduct the necessary steps required to get your web site ranked as high as possible. At Digital Vision Marketing we have outlined the SEO process in a series of 4 steps.
- Content Creation
- Site Optimization
- Social Networking
Why is optimization important?
Why have a web presence at all if you don’t care if and how new customers find you. We have all heard the phrase “15 minutes of fame”. On the internet your fame will determined in less than 15 Seconds. That’s the time you have to entice a new visitor to consider if you are the right company to do business with. If they think you are not what they are looking for or your page and its content is so poorly designed that they can’t tell if you are the right company, they will leave your site in 15 seconds or less and never come back.
Your goal is to catch their attention for longer than 15 seconds and hope they drill deeper into your site and call you, or at least, bookmark your site for future evaluation. There are many design methods to consider and we will talk about that in another article, but for now, implementing SEO can insure that at least they can find your site to make an informed determination.
Step 1 – Research
Research and due diligence will help you evaluate what you will need to consider to effectively optimizing your site. Prepare a list of competitor websites to use as a benchmark for what you need to consider. Your research will also help you to determine what “key words” to consider when developing content that will help you rank better on the search engines.
While the more content you have the better, it is only better if it’s pertinent to describing your products or services, and/or, its content that the reader feels is important enough to save as a favorite. Your SEO budget may limit what you can do and when, but be assured, that doing nothing means all your potential business is going to straight to your competitors.
Step 2 – Content Creation
Developing “key Word” rich content is easy if you know your business and you have carefully evaluated how your competitor markets his business. Writing content begins by first conducting some research into what you think the average person is typing in to a search engine when they are looking for companies that carry the same products or services that you do. Once you have those key words, embed them into pertinent descriptive language that is placed on the appropriate pages.
Use bullet points wherever possible. Other than eye catching graphics, bullet-ed items are where user’s eyes go when they are giving your page a quick glance. If something grabs their attention you are increasing your chances that they will think they are on the right website. Step 2 of your SEO campaign should include the following :
- Create Keyword Rich List for use in Meta Tag Data
- Edit and layout “Key Word” rich content on all necessary pages
- Create Heading tags H1, H2, H3, H4 where needed
- Add ALT & TITLE tags to all images and links where needed
- Improve CSS on pages if needed.
- Provide improvements to existing graphical content and layout
- Create unique Title tags on main level pages
- Create Meta Keywords & Meta Description tags on main level pages
For more information on creating good content please see our article “How to Create Content for Your New Company”
Step 3 – Search Engine Placement
In this step, your SEO designer we will submit your site to top search engine providers including, Google, Yahoo, Bing and Alexa. This Step should include :
- Submit domain name to Google, Yahoo, Bing, DMOZ and other search engines
- Provide research on inbound linking
- Create crawler sitemap.xml for Google, Bing and Yahoo
- Create robots.txt file for Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engine crawlers
- Create Google Analytics account and insert GA code on all pages.
Step 4 – Social Networking
Do not underestimate the value of social networking in rank placement. Google, the number one search engine provider, places a great deal of importance on how popular your site is through the linking and discussions of people that have visited your
web site. The more that you can get people talking about the fantastic products you sell, the great customer service they received, articles you have written and linking to them, or adding them as a favorite, the faster and higher your site will get ranked. Step 4 should include :
- Create Social Networking profiles as desired for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others
- Setup account profiles for Manta, Merchant Circle, CitySearch, YP, Yahoo Local, Google Business Places, Bing business Places and others
- Create and Configure a WordPress Blog
What have we achieved?
By implementing these first 4 steps you are now on the way to getting your website ranked as high as possible. But don’t expect miracles in overnight page one rankings. Because these
steps were not previously implemented when you originally designed your site, it will take weeks as the Search Engine providers crawl thru your site and index your pages. Your competition, for the time being, will continue to be the first site people find because they have already conducted these steps before you.
Wait! What about Step 5 – Offline Marketing
Patience is the key, but waiting for new business to happen is not the answer. There is still more you can and should do to increase your chances of online success. Waiting for users to find you in a potential search for products and services is only one way you garner new clients. You will want to find new ways of driving new
and existing clients to your site using well designed marketing material that excites them to go there. Additional methods to consider in marketing your business success are:
- Establish brand continuity between all your corporate identity, products and service logos and material. Please read our article “Image Branding Basics. First impressions make a difference”
- Develop a tri-fold, brochure or catalog for handout, direct mail or email campaigns
- Attend trade shows with signage & posters and provide your handouts and brochures
- Develop web and DVD based Flash or PowerPoint presentations for product awareness, sales and training
- Develop web or mailed, informative or instructional, product and service sales & training videos
Although every bit as important as the first 4 Steps. Step 5 – Offline marketing will be discussed in a future article. Budget permitting there is no limit to the methods that you can employ to saturate the marketplace with information about who you are and what you do. As you begin to establish a profitable business it will be imperative that you apply a budget in maintaining your brand effectiveness, albeit, online or in print, thru ever-changing, dynamic and fluid content.
Date : 5/25/2011