Website SEO – How To
Website SEO – Clear Purpose, Specified Cost & Measurable Results
One of the first questions shop owners ask me when looking at improving their websites performance is about SEO or Search Engine Optimization. They want their website to work better but see SEO as a mysterious art form that costs buckets of money with little measurable results. Many SEO “experts” keep you in the dark so they can charge truly outrageous fees for their ‘secret’ techniques. Don’t fall for this con job. Legitimate SEO services should be clearly defined logical steps that have a clear purpose, specified cost, and measurable results.
I see SEO as a clear process of logical steps. Each step has a clearly defined task, cost, and result. Each SEO step moves the website forward in the level of Search Engine Optimization. How many levels of SEO performed depends on how competitive the market your website operates in and how many leads you want your website to generate. (Notice that I used the word “leads” and not traffic! Website “traffic” or hits are not prospective customers! Be careful of the type of ‘results’ your SEO expert offers to provide…) The amount or level of SEO required varies greatly. If you are in a smaller town with few competitors with poor websites you don’t need to do as much SEO work to come out on top. If you are in a large geographical area with hundreds or even thousands of hard driving competitors your SEO efforts will have to be a lot more extensive.
Here is my basic SEO game plan suggestion.
Steps 1 through 9 are considered ‘organic’ SEO. They are an investment that will continue to work for the life of your website. This is in contrast to paid search result methods like Google AdWords which immediately stop the second you quit paying. Each step is in order of importance:
1. Start with a well constructed website that has an up-to-date structure, error free HTML programming, and meta-data that the search engines like. If the search engines find a website that is full of bugs and errors no amount of SEO will improve its performance!
2. Correct any existing back-links. Search for any mention of your business on the Internet and make sure the info is correct and has a link with your correct website address.
3. Create a Google Place listing which works through Google Maps.
4. Create profiles on MerchantCircle, InsiderPages, Yelp, Facebook, etc. with links to your website.
5. Purchase a Yahoo directory listing.
6. Build search targeted website content: Create additional pages on your website that describe specific services or products you sell.
7. Back-link building. Search for local websites and community directories where links to your website can be placed.
8. Create keyword domain name website(s) that link to your main website.
9. Write and submit auto care articles with back-links to your website(s).
10. Paid AdWords.
All of these SEO steps are practical and can be applied to any website. And there is nothing ‘secret’ about them. Granted most of my SEO suggestions are just plain old time consuming hard work, but there is no way to avoid this if you want results.
In future postings I’ll expand on each of these SEO steps and let you know what you should be looking for when shopping for SEO improvements. If you have any specific questions please ask.