By incorporating these essential elements into your overall marketing campaign, you will begin to see the cost-effective benefits of Search Engine Optimization.
1. Commit Thyself to the Process. SEO is not a one-time event. Search engine algorithms change regularly, so the tactics that worked six months ago most likely not work now or six months from now. SEO requires a long-term commitment in order to be successful.
2. Patient is a Virtue. SEO is not about instant results. Results often take months to see, and this is especially true if you are small company, and if you are new at doing business in the online world.
3. Ask a lot of questions when hiring an SEO company or Contractor. It’s important to know what kind of tactics the company or contractor uses to get you the results you desire. Ask about the techniques and practices they use. Ask if the techniques and practices they use are ETHICAL (White Hat) or UNETHICAL (Black Hat) . Then go online and do some research. Research the company, and the tactics they employ, etc.
4. Teach Yourself the SEO Way. If you’re an avid do-it-yourself (DIY) type, it’s important to become familiar with SEO and learn as much as you can. There are a million Web resources you can check out by simply googling “SEO Techniques”.
5. Install Web Analytics from the Get Go. You should have clearly defined goals in mind for your SEO implementation, and you’ll need web analytics software installed so you can track what works and what does not.
6. Build a Great Website from the Ground Up with SEO in Mind. Every business or entrepreneur wants to show up on the first page of Google or Yahoo, but consider asking yourself this: “Is my site a valuable resource for what it is I am offering? Are people going to come to my site to learn abut the product or service they want?” If not, make it so. Remember “Give” is the new “Take” when it comes to marketing yourself on the web. Give users relevant information and present it in clear and concise language that’s easy to understand.
7. Consider the Benefits of a Sitemap. Spiders will not index pages they cannot crawl. A site map helps spiders locate all of the important pages on your site, and helping them understand your site’s architecture and navigation will only serve to get you a higher rank.
8. Make SEO-friendly URLs. Use keywords in your URLs and file names, such as yourwebsite.com/productx.html.Don’t over do it though as search engines are always looking for spammy text and spammy links. If you look like spam, then expect to be treated like spam.
9. Keyword Research at the Start of the Project and Throughout the Life of your Business. Continual Keyword research is what brings you customers and visitors that convert to sales. There are seveal free versions to use like Keyword Discovery or WordTracker, and Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool,
10. Open a Pay Per Click (PPC) Account. Google’s AdWords and Yahoo’s Search Marketing are a great way to get search volume for your chosen keywords, but they cost money to use them. If your budget allows for them, then by all means use them! If you have the budget, it’s worth the investment. If you are looking for instant visibility and traffic, then this is a great option. Note: PPC Campaigns are not a “set it and forget it” solution. You must consistently monitor it or else you can risk wasting a lot of money. PPC Works well if you understand how it works.
11. Always Use Unique and Relevant Title and Meta Descriptions on Every Page on your Site. The page title is the single most important on-page SEO factor. It’s rare to rank highly for a primary term (2-3 words) without that term being part of the page title. The meta description tag won’t help you rank, but it will often appear as the text below your listing in search, so it should include the relevant keyword(s) and be written so as to encourage searchers to click on your listing.
12. Write for Users First, Search Second. Google, Yahoo, etc., have spider bots crawling the web constantly, but spiders and crawlers do not buy from you nor do they sign up for your newsletters. These are all human functions so keep humans in mind when writing articles. Nothing makes you look worse than writing an article that’s hard to read or uninteresting because its so full of spammy text or redundant text. I used to work for an SEO company here in Los Angeles that was always trying to get me to write spammy text and use UNETHICAL SEO Practices and I remember hearing the Project Manager complain on a daily basis that Google hated us for our practices(well, I refused to do it, so it wasn’t me). I was eventually laid off (Supposedly because of a bad economy, but I think it was because they were using UNETHICAL practices in SEO which I refused to do) and we just didn’t meet eye to eye. I was pretty relieved to say the least when we parted ways and business has been great for me since I left that company. I learned a lot back then and I learned that sticking to my principles has given me a very strong edge in the LA marketplace. At any rate, keep content readable.
13. Create Great, Unique Content. If you’re selling the same product or service that 100 other retailers are selling, and everyone is using the standard manufacturer descriptions, then this is your time to shine. Write your own product descriptions, using the keyword research I mentioned earlier in this article to target actual words and phrases that searchers use, and make product pages that reflect that. Another important point to consider is whether you are a retailer, service provider, writer, artist, etc., great content is a great way to get inbound links from others for free.
14. Use your Keywords as Anchor Text When Linking Internally. Anchor text helps tells spiders what the linked-to page is about. Links that say “click here” do nothing for your search engine visibility.
15. Build Links Intelligently. Submit your site to quality, trusted directories such as Yahoo, DMOZ, Business.com, Aviva, and Best of the web. Seek links from authority sites in your industry. If local search matters to you, get links from trusted sites in your geographic area—the Chamber of Commerce, etc. Analyze the inbound links to your competitors to find links you can acquire, too.
16. Start a Blog and Participate with Other Related Blogs. Search engines, Google especially, love blogs for the fresh content and highly-structured data. Beyond that, there’s no better way to join the conversations that are already taking place about your industry and/or company. Reading and commenting on other blogs can also increase your exposure and help you acquire new links. Put your blog at yourdomain.com/blog so your main domain gets the benefit of any links to your blog posts. If that’s not possible, use blog.yourdomain.com.
So here are several things to get you started in online marketing. While this is not a complete list, it will get you well on your way to becoming more visible in search.