Do you want to increase traffic, or generate more leads from your website?
Why perform search engine optimization?
1) More people today search the internet first when looking for services. If your business can not be found in your local area by people searching for your products/services, then you are losing business opportunities.
2) SEO is cost effective marketing. It’s typically less expensive than print, radio, and tv advertising.
3) A website using basic and proper SEO techniques will perform better in the search engine rankings, and therefore get more traffic.
What you need to know about search engine optimization:
Entrepreneur magazine (Feb. 2010), in “What You Don’t Know About SEO” states:
“It’s essential to understand SEO before you spend thousands hiring consultants you may not even need. …. countless SEO strategists, consultants and self-professed experts who will claim they can beam your site up into Google’s top 10 search results–for a price, of course. Consultants commonly charge upward of $200 an hour, and most will pressure you to sign a contract that keeps them on retainer for months–at prices as steep as $12,000 a month. Unscrupulous SEO firms not only make promises they can’t keep, the worst of them also use shady practices that might produce no traffic, deliver the wrong traffic or even get you banned from planet Google.”
“The SEO business is 80 percent scam,” says Peter Kent, an internet marketing strategist and author, “It’s very, very difficult to find a good firm.”
So the bottom line is that you need to know exactly what SEO services you are paying for, before you hire an SEO expert. You should receive a detailed list of services the company will perform, along with monthly reports on activities performed on your site. You should begin to see results within 3-6 months. If your website is brand new to the internet, results can take between 6-12 months if your SEO strategy is performed appropriately and consistently.
There are certainly many schools of thought when it comes to search engine optimization.
Once you have a ‘live’ website, you may receive many emails and phone calls from “SEO firms” marketing their services to you and making promises (often unrealistic). Many of the strategies they employ will get you short term results – those results may drop away as soon as you stop paying large monthly fees.
Many of the online SEO companies who market their services to you are outsourcing their clients to South America, Asia, India. And, many are involved in performing temporary SEO tactics on your website, leaving you to pick up the pieces. Some SEO tactics will get your site to quickly top the ranks in Google on day one, and then fall of the search results the next.
The reality is, if you want long term results on your site, you need a smart, long term strategy and then consistency in implementing that SEO strategy.
The very best way to build value on your site is through writing relevant, helpful content on your website (blog, write articles, write pages). But simply writing content will not get you anywhere unless you understand the keywords you’re optimizing that page for and taking advantage of optimizing each page you write for the search engines.
Search Engine Optimization Plans
A customized SEO plan is created to fit your business goals and budget.
SEO Plans may include one, or several of these strategies:
- Keyword research and analysis: Find the keywords with the highest possible number of searches on Google. Review your site, and your competitor’s sites to uncover strengths and weaknesses. With this information, create a site optimization and link popularity building plan. You should not necessarily try to rank for the highest volume keywords because those are more competitive. Rather, find a niche and “long-tail” keywords that you can rank for faster to begin building rank and traffic to your site.
- Blogging (weekly blog – article writing on your site is one of the best ways to increase your rank and presence online).
- Social Media – TWITTER presence, and weekly tweets.
- On-page optimization: SEO-friendly URL’s, unique page titles,internal links on keywords, breadcrumb navigation (keyword links at top of page)
- Content development: Strong keyword page title, brief page introduction using keywords, keyword-rich page content, long-tail keywords
- Search engine submission: Google, MSN,Yahoo!, Bing, Alexa, and other directories.
- Local Business Directory Listings, including Google Maps and others
- Detailed reports on website traffic and visitors (Google Analytics)
- Pay Per Click Advertising (Research and Strategy/Recommendations, then once your account is setup, Monitoring & Reporting. (Pay Per Click Advertising may be appropriate depending on your business model, competition for your business services on the web, and your budget.)