Committing to The SEO Process

by demtron on Thursday, October 02, 2008 06:13 PM

The power of the Internet and search engine technologies has increased interest in making Web sites appear prominently in search engine results.  According to Opinion Research Corp. for Performics Inc., 58% of adults conduct on-line research prior to making a purchase.  This underscores the importance of a business to have a Web site.

The majority of traffic from a search query will go to those sites listed on the first SERP (Search Engine Results Page).  Those sites have a clear advantage in capturing attention, clicks and conversions on their sites.  Sites that do not appear there will likely be ignored completely.

Those well-positioned sites didn’t get there overnight.  SEO takes consistent action and reaction.  What works today for SEO may not work as well in the future.  Competition for high positioning intensifies over time for any keyword phrase as more businesses find out about SEO.

By committing to an SEO strategy over time, a small business has a great opportunity to drive significant amounts of traffic to its site and lands great positioning.  What do you need to know to do to make this commitment?

  1. Assess your current site and positioning.  Where have you been, where are you at, and where are you going?  By knowing your current positioning, you have a reference point for understanding the results of your present and future efforts.  You may be surprised at how well some parts of your site are performing!
  2. Know what to change.  There are over 200 factors that Google considers to determine ranking of pages in its results.  Many can be controlled your site design and profile, and there are a handful that provide the greatest return on your investment.  You might consider hiring an SEO consultant to help you identify what will work best for your site.
  3. Make meaningful changes in increments.  Unless a site has poor content, navigation, and suffers from serious neglect, there are probably areas that are doing reasonably well to attract traffic.  Making too many across-the-board changes too quickly may negatively impact those well-performing areas.  Plus, it may be difficult to identify what changes made the biggest difference.
  4. Measure your effectiveness.  It’s important to periodically check your ranking among the major search engines to gauge the impact of your changes.  Do this for the first week or two after your changes.
  5. Measure your traffic.  Typical analytics tools can tell you statistics such as number of visitors, traffic sources, which search terms yielded visits and page popularity.  The metrics derived from these tools are important for guiding you ongoing SEO enhancement efforts.
  6. It takes time.  Don’t expect the results to happen overnight.  If your site has not ranked well in the past or is not established, it may be several months before your site’s ranking rises substantially.  Search engines need time to crawl your pages and your competitor’s pages to pick up changes and analyze them.  Ranking for high value phrases may prove to be a significant challenge.

The proverb “good things come to those who wait” is particularly important in SEO.  If you need help developing a comprehensive search engine optimization plan, contact us to get started.

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