Search Engine Optimization is the science behind getting your website as near to the top of the search engine results as possible and keeping it there. In todays world the internet is playing a bigger part than ever before in people’s lives. Most likely if someone is searching for something, from Auto repair to massage therapy to scrapbooking supplies, they will use the internet. There is no doubt it can be a great way to increase your business, and is vital in today’s world.
In order to effectively mount an SEO campaign, you need to answer a few key questions:
-Who are the people I am trying to reach
-What are those people typing into their search engine when trying to find the services I offer?
-What is my geographic catchment area?
-What are some of the synonyms that people may use while searching for my products or services?
If you can answer those questions, you are well on your way. The next step is to alter your website to use the key terms and phrases that you have identified as being relevant to your product or service.
The most important thing in SEO today is that your website be optimized for Google. As of May 2010, Google searched accounted for 72% of all web searches (http://www.hitwise.com/us/press-center/press-releases/google-searches-may-10/), making it easily the most important site to optimize for.
Since Google uses a proprietary and closely guarded algorithm for ranking websites, no one can guarantee you top spot on Google. But there is much that we do know about the types of elements that the Google spider is looking for, and we can use those to our advantage. The most important thing that I tell people is that there are no short cuts or substitutes for hard work. It used to be quite easy for unscrupulous “marketers” to trick the Google algorithm in order to get traffic, but nowadays such tactics will most likely get you banned from Google, and if your banned from Google you might as well not exist!
It is also important to take a wholistic approach to your SEO campaign. It is one thing to get people to your site, and quite another to make sure that they want to buy your product once they get there. Have you ever had this experience: you see advertising all around your neighborhood for a great new restaurant that is opening up. The ads look slick, the menu sounds great, and the prices seem reasonable. Then you get there and find out the service is terrible, the place stinks and the washroom is dirty.
That is the same thing as you or your SEO company only paying attention to one side of the equation. Always remember that you are not optimizing your page for search engines, you are optimizing for people. You want people to find your site, you want people to like what they see when they get there, you want people to believe that you have a unique proposition for them, and ultimately you want people to make the decision to contact you or purchase your products.