Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Getting the Most Out Of SEO

There you are, finally ready to launch your online business. You went through weeks of planning with a web designer and got everything worked out and tested.

Then, finally, your website goes live. And you wait. And wait.

Where are the customers? Where's the traffic? That's when you'll hear the word SEO for the first time. It's a word you should make your new best friend!

Search Engine Optimization is what can put your site at the top of search page rankings. But how can you get those high rankings? Fortunately, there are many wonderful resources available online to help you beef up your SEO. The goal is to choose the right SEO services and make sure that you get the value for your marketing money.

Here's what a good SEO company should be providing:

Knowledge and tools to research strong keywords. Everything starts with the keywords. This is what the typical customer will use to type into the search engines. Finding the right combination of keywords is, well, key. Keywords or phrases should be based on your understanding of your customers’ buying cycle. A comprehensive keyword search includes keyword popularity, competitive research and product-related searches. There are some keywords that appear to rank high but might make no sense in terms of being added to content. Your SEO expert needs to decipher the difference.

Ability to create engaging copy. Once you've got the keywords locked down you then have to fold them into your content. This is what will be picked up by the search engines. Working them into headlines is easy but it's the copy that really matters. Search engines are becoming extremely sophisticated - they can sniff out "spam copy" and penalize you for it. Don't depend on an IT guy crunching algorithms or a web designer to be able to entice your customers with the written word.

Up-to-date information. Google is still the reigning champ of search engines but it is getting plenty of competition from rivals Bing, Yahoo and a whole range of other players. Your SEO expert needs to be on top of all of the search engine parameters because they are constantly being upgraded. You want someone who will be staying far ahead of the technology curve. Ask them when the latest update to a search engine was and have them explain to you how it can affect your website. 

As you look for an SEO expert don't hesitate to shop around to find one that best suits your needs. Obviously, you should start with the ones that have the highest rankings themselves. You know they're doing something right.