Thursday, 18 November 2010 10:25

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so that your chosen (or targeted) Keyphrases are receiving an appropriate amount of attention from search engines.

I always begin with what I call a “Competitive Market Analysis”, which includes:
•    Current Search Engine Positioning for your site (if available)
•    Search engine positioning for your top 3 competitors (Including Page Rank status).
•    Search statistics for your targeted geographic area
•    Given the number of average daily visits to your site, what your optimum click-through ratio should be

The next phase of the SEO is researching your chosen keyphrases. I use several tools to determine the number of searches in the last 30 days, the number of expected searches per day, and the number of competing web sites. This information is then used to determine your keyphrase effectiveness index, or KEI. The KEI is a basic way to determine if your chosen keyphrases will be effective. For example, if a keyphrase has 30 searches per day, and 10 million competing websites – it’s KEI will be extremely low, and therefore that keyphrase may not be a good choice.

Many website content creators choose basic, simple keywords when creating their site. One thing that many do not keep in mind is the concept of ‘niche’ marketing. This technique searches for keyphrases similar to the basic keyphrase, but have a much higher KEI. For example, instead of using a keyphrase of motocross performance (KEI: 0.16), you could use motocross gear (KEI: 32.44).

Once we’ve agreed on the keyphrases that will be used for the site (up to 5), the content modification can begin. As I am not an expert in all fields, I wait for the content to be created, edited, and approved for use before the optimization. At this point, I will optimize the content for the chosen keyphrases, and submit it back to the client for final approval.

After the content is approved, it can be posted to the website. While I also update and optimize META tags such as description, title, etc – these are not the most important aspects for SEO. Instead, starting with well optimized content is the best way to ensure search engines see your site as you intended.

Additionally, when using modern Content Management Systems (CMSs), important SEO tags such as title, description, and keywords can be updated dynamically. This is very useful in helping search engines find the subject of every page on a website so they can be properly indexed. These new feature not only saves the client many hours in consulting fees, it has revolutionized the way SEO works on websites.

The next phase of the SEO process is website marketing. There are several options to choose from:
•    You can choose not to market your site beyond the SEO, and allow the search engines to spider and index your site as soon as they can.
•    You can choose to market the site yourself using social media tools. See my discussion on Interactive Marketing for more information on social media.
•    You can contract a site marketing service to help build deep links to your site. This is a good choice for companies without much time to self-market, but can be expensive.

Once all SEO phases are complete, it ordinarily takes six to eight weeks for search engines to properly index your site. At the eight week mark, I provide basic statistics on your search engine rankings, visitors, hits, and most popular content. From this point minor tweaks to the website will help to increase conversions.

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