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Search Engine Optimization - Seven Steps To Success
Keyword Selection Is Crucial
Originally Published: February, 2004
A common misconception of search engine marketing is that all you have to do is submit your Web site and then you're done. Industry veterans know better. Search engine marketing, and more specifically, search engine optimization is an ongoing process. While it certainly offers many rewards, it is not a silver-bullet, single click solution to bringing more traffic to your Web site. Anyone that makes such lofty promises probably also sells a magic elixir that will cure cancer and re-grow hair.
Like most things worthwhile, search engine optimization requires at least a modest investment in time to be truly successful. Fortunately, it's an investment that rewards you handsomely when you know the steps to doing it right.
Search engine optimization offers a higher return on investment (ROI) than most, if not all other forms of online advertising. Countless studies have placed search engine marketing at the top of the "most effective forms of online marketing" list.
After all, what lead could be more targeted, and more ready to make a purchase than one that is specifically searching for what you have to offer? Most other types of advertising are passive, hoping to catch the curiosity of a potential buyer at just the right moment. Conversely, searching is active. The prospect is pro-actively looking for a product, service, or information.
With billions of searches being conducted daily, how does an online business tap into this incredible market potential? You must appear near the top of the results for search keywords that apply to your business. That means the search engine must find your Web site's content more relevant to a given search than the millions of other pages in its index.
Simply submitting your site and then hoping for the best is not an effective strategy. Instead, you must understand the process to achieving top rankings in the major search engines, and then do something about it. To industry insiders, this process is known as search engine optimization or SEO.
Generating free traffic for your Web site via search engine optimization requires the following seven steps:
1) Keyword Selection
Perhaps more often overlooked than any step in search engine optimization, choosing the right keywords and phrases for which to optimize is crucial. If you choose keywords that few people are searching for, then you can achieve a dozen top rankings and yet nobody will show up at your site.
Just as bad, choose keywords that are too competitive and you'll soon throw your hands up in frustration trying to rise to the top.
Furthermore, if you choose keywords that are not closely related to the type of buyer you cater to, then visitors will arrive at your site but never make a purchase.
The solution? Simply make a list of relevant keywords that balance both popularity and competition.
is the best-known service for helping you do this quickly and easily. It brainstorms keywords in seconds and then helps you narrow that list by ordering them based on both popularity and competition factors.
2) Measure Your Rankings
Before you can improve your positions, you must know where you rank for the keywords and phrases that relate to your business's products and services. If you did your job in step 1, you should now have a long list of highly relevant keywords and phrases that people are searching on.
When I first started optimizing pages back in 1996, I had an employee take my keyword list and plug each keyword into a dozen search engines. He would then carefully sift through page after page of search results looking for our Web site. After that, he would record the ranking, the page, and the URL in a spreadsheet, and move to the next keyword, and then the next search engine. Needless to say, this process took many hours of precious time and had to be repeated at least monthly.
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This article is copyrighted and has been reprinted with permission from FirstPlace Software.
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