TopRank Marketing Editor

Charting Effective Search Engine Optimization

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing, SEO, SEO Tips

SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a necessary component of any successful business website. The internet has become the primary resource for information on virtually everything, from goods and services to relationships. To meet the needs of customers searching for solutions, businesses need to ensure their website content is easily visible and what better way than SEO  to achieve this?

For readers new to SEO, getting started can be a bit of a mystery, like planning a trip in uncharted territory. How do you know which keywords to use in optimization? Can you implement an effective SEO campaign yourself, or will you require outside assistance? TopRank Online Marketing has established 5 SEO Essentials for those who need optimization but don’t know where to begin.

1. Establish a Plan of Action:  It’s important that you know what you ultimately want to achieve with your SEO campaign. Are you looking to increase your site traffic? Up your brand visibility among your target audience? Generate more leads? Solidifying your goals is a necessary step in deciding which SEO tactics to deploy and how to measure results.

2. Assess Your Capabilities: Do you have the resources to implement an effective search engine optimization program? Will you need to outsource some, or all, of your tactics? Search engine optimization involves a broad mix of skills ranging from dealing with code and server side issues to creative keyword copywriting to ongoing content promotion and link building.  Once you have established what your business goals are and what you hope to attain with your SEO program, take a look at your budget, internal SEO knowledge and bandwidth to decide what you can accomplish yourself and what you will need help with in the short and long term.

3. Determine Measurements of Success: Measuring the success of a SEO program is essential and should match the specific marketing goals that have been set.  Many companies continue to determine SEO success solely by rankings for keywords in the search results, which has become largely irrelevant.  Search results for the same keyword will vary by the geographic location of the searcher, whether they’re logged in to Google and their past search history. Other metrics to consider include changes in organic search traffic for optimized keywords over a given period of time as well as conversions. Reference the objectives you established at the start of your SEO efforts in order to solidify precise metrics that will clearly indicate the success of your SEO campaign. Also, don’t forget to take benchmark measurements so you have a documented starting point.

4. Implement and Promote:  The right keyword research should result in a Keyword Glossary that can be used for a content optimization audit and serve as a resource for future content creation, digital asset optimization and link building. Code and server side audits should handle any technical issues along with template and database optimization where necessary.  Processes for content optimizatsion on an ongoing basis will empower web site contributors to produce keyword optimized copy as part of regular web site content creation.  Keywords, content and links are the fundamentals to any SEO program.  Each need attention at the start, as well as on an ongoing basis to achive momentum and to create an advantage over competitors.

After implementation, take your SEO campaign to the next level by finding your target audience online, rather than waiting for them to find you. Knowing where your prospective customers are interacting with one another online, and promoting useful content from your website as a resource within that space, can increase the reach of your SEO program by encouraging direct traffic and inbound links.

5. Maintain an Ongoing Program:  In the world of search engines and online marketing, many things can and do change. Search engines are constantly upgrading the way in which they determine web page rankings. Businesses and the mix of goods and services may also change over time.  After the initial site optimization, any future changes to the web site, especially with a content management system, can affect all past SEO efforts.  An effective SEO program needs to adapt in order to survive and thrive in the changing online environment. A consistent, ongoing SEO program is the best bet to ensure optimized content continues to maintain visibility on search engines for customers that are looking. Ongoing SEO efforts also provide oversight of implementation, continued link acquisition, opportunistic content promotion,  coordination with other departments such as Public Relations, Advertising, Customer Service and HR as well as search analytics insight.

If search engine optimization isn’t a core skill for your company, selecting the right SEO tactics and resources can be as challenging as charting a course through the unknown. Each company has unique needs and it’s important to keep web site marketing goals clearly in mind in order to establish a campaign that will be successful and pay off.  Follow these 5 SEO Essentials and you’ll be able to navigate your way to a good start. If you’re thinking about hiring an outside SEO resource, check out “How to Hire a SEO Firm – According to Google“.

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Comments

  1. This is great advice. I’d just like to re-emphasize the need to stay consistent. Far too many marketers start a blog and either get of topic or start to lag in the consistency of their posts. Stay at it and choose a niche.

    We’ve been able to specifically focus on referral marketing at Referral Key. This helps differentiate and add value to the content.

    Stay steadfast.

    best,

    Chris O.
    Referral Key
    “Your Trusted Referral Network”

  2. I agree, it’s important to find the best SEO options that work for your particular field of interest, there isn’t a one size fit’s all. You need to find out what works best for you.

    I found this article very informative.

    Racheal A. Mack
    Internet Marketing Consultant

  3. Even though it is very hard to stay with your program and plan it is a critical element of any campaign. If you are going to change your focus and direction regularly then you are only going to create more problems for yourself. You must give things, like an SEO plan, the time to really work.

  4. Bob Mercader says:

    Great article! I can’t agree enough with point 1. Establish a Plan of Action. When I meet with clients who are new to Search Engine Marketing, they have tried certain techniques themselves but don’t realize which SEO techniques might be right for them, or if SEO is the solution to their marketing efforts.

  5. Excellent tips. People fail because they don’t have a plan or they don’t follow though on their plan. Consistency is the key.

  6. Great post. Most people get fired up and hit the ground running but they falter on the maintaining part. People don’t realize that search engines are constantly upgrading. They fail to adapt to these changes.

  7. “getting started can be a bit of mystery” …

    I’m thinking that’s the understatement of the year. For people just getting going, SEO is pure magic. And then what they generally read first is totally bad information and leads them in the wrong direction. Also, people just don’t grasp the scale of the Internet. We see people every day saying, “I will get a link here and traffic will come.” Oh boy. It just doesn’t work that way with SEO.

  8. Great post, being new to SEO and reading posts like this means that i can put these tips to use by having plan and being consistent but also remember to maintain, as the search engines constantly change.

    • Maintaining SEO efforts cannot be stressed enough. In 10+ years of SEO consulting, I’ve seen so many companies ruin their SEO investments by not managing their content and web development efforts in a way that considers the effects on search engines.

      Our SEO consulting agency has saved many clients major losses in rankings by watching optimized content and web analytics to ensure search performance. When optimized copy gets overwritten or deleted, there is a direct effect on search visibility. If a web site gets redesigned, changes content management systems or navigational structure, then there will be a direct effect on search engine rankings and visibility. Ongoing SEO protects and boosts search marketing effectiveness with a cumulative effect even though it’s typically a flat rate monthly investment.

  9. Vishal Agrahari says:

    Hi Dana,
    your post says the same thing what other experts have written in their SEO tips, seo for beginners such posts.

    Dana help me in finding a good keyword search tools as per your trust and you use most.

    Thanks for this post.

    • Vishal, if you want to find the best keyword research tools, then Google “best keyword research tools” and you’ll find a post from our blog that lists the keyword tools our readers voted for most.

  10. #5 is the key, seo is certainly not a set and forget type of thing. Without tweaking and testing you will start to lose ground. The search engines are always evolving, and your site and content need to also.

    Good post Dana.

  11. You are always going to have to change your SEO techniques to keep up with the search engines as they are always changing there algorithms and there are always new techniques being found that can benefit you and without trying these new ideas you are not going to do as well as you where doing.

  12. Finding a niche is key. You can optimize and optimize for the content amazon ranks number one on and you probably will not get the number one spot without using black hat tricks. And then it will only last until the next refresh. Stay focused… A specific book, a specific fitness trend, coaching, etc…

  13. I think niche targeting is overdone. If someone is, for example, promoting an affiliate product, the process is backwards – you already have a market. But the insights you offer, in the proper context, are great. Thanks