الخميس، 25 أبريل، 2013

The Starting Point of your SEO Plan

By Cristine Sphan


Considering all the conflicting information in the online space, it's not surprising that some small businesses are reluctant to take the leap into online marketing. Though it can be a daunting task, those who do find the experts to help them navigate the online environment, can often achieve very impressive increases in leads, sales, and business growth.

Inbound marketing is clearly focused on your company website. There is no more efficient and cost effect way to drive traffic to this focal point than through search engine optimization. Improving the visibility of your site through various search engines is the most basic definition of search engine optimization. In a nutshell, the objective is to apply a variety of proven SEO techniques that will allow your webpage to achieve a higher ranking when certain keywords or phrases are entered in the search field of major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Look at the Landscape - See What your Competitors are Doing

Make sure you do some competitive analysis to see who is at the top of the search engine results pages for the words and phrases you want your website to rank for. Mine the data. It's your best starting point. Assume that if they are ranking well, your competitors are doing something right. Don't make the mistake of underestimating their efforts or strategy. This little research effort can really pay dividends for your own SEO plans. It might not take too much to outrank your competitors if they are not active in their search engine optimization. Don't forget though, keywords are the lifeblood of your inbound marketing strategy. Make sure you target a large variety of keywords with varying levels of competitiveness.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that a few keyword phrases in your industry probably account for a significant percentage of traffic for that industry. Take the necessary steps to rank for these phrases and you're certain to see significant results to your online marketing efforts. The goal of keyword optimization is not simply rankings; it's about growing your business with tangible results.

Be mindful of the entire sales cycle of your typical clients. Different stages of the buying cycle have corresponding keywords. You'll need to plan accordingly. Effective keyword research is the secret sauce to a well run search engine optimization plan. Businesses are often very surprised to learn the terms that customers use to search for their products and services. Or maybe they do use those keywords, but at different stages of the buying cycle. In other words, you may need to augment your content accordingly.

Every business size can and should benefit from search engines. SEO is not just for big businesses. Every sized business can benefit. Online competition may be fierce but search engine optimization can help you compete with businesses much larger than yours. Remember, people trust search engines to help them make important decisions.




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