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Effective Search Engine Optimization: Part 1

Effective SEO PlanI remember 11 years ago when I was talking to business owners and managers about the importance of search engine optimization, or commonly called SEO, for their business. They looked at me as if I was a Martian or something. They did not know of a company called Google and most had not heard of the term “search engine”.

My wife and I thought that someone might develop software to automate this process and we would be out of business. In fact there have been numerous attempts by various vendors to automate SEO, saying they will submit your business to thousands of search engines.

The reality is that these programs do not work. Fortunately our business grew as a result. Our company has been consistently ranked by TopSEOs as one of the top SEO providers in the U.S. While there are many good SEO agencies in our industry, the reality unfortunately is that there are also a lot of bad SEO agencies or providers as well. Many business owners and managers feel their SEO investment and efforts have failed as a result.

The SEO Process

We consider SEO to be the process of optimizing your website to rank high organically or naturally in the search engine results pages, or SERPs, for search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. There are thousands of search engines out there but only these 3 really matter because they control an estimated 95% of all the search engine traffic.

There are also two other methods of getting your website ranked high on SERPs, using Paid Per Click Advertising (aka PPC) and Local Search. While we are experts in PPC and Local Search as well, part one of this blog article is specifically focused on SEO.

I get so many business owners who say they rank number 1 in Google for their company name as if they have conquered Google. While you should rank number 1 in Google for your company name, this is not considered SEO success. This, to use a basketball term, is a “layup” with no defender around.

If you can’t rank 1 for your company name, you need to seriously consider replacing whoever is responsible for your current SEO efforts.

What an Effective SEO Plan Looks Like

When we talk to clients about their SEO goals, our focus is also to get them to ranked high (page 1) in SERPs for the most relevant keyphrases for your product or service. Here are the components of an effective SEO plan:

• Keyphrase Analysis – This is a detailed analysis of all the keyphrases most relevant for your products and services.
• On-Page Factors – These are the key elements of what needs to be done on your website to optimize it for SEO purposes.
• Off-Page Factors – These are the key elements of what needs to be accomplished for your website to drive high-quality links to your website.
Analytics and Ongoing Performance Management – This is the tracking and analytics that tells you how well you are performing in your SEO efforts.

In the next blog post I will go into detail on each of these core components of an effective SEO plan. The reality today is that consumers feel that the companies that rank on page 1 for Google, Bing and Yahoo are seen as the most credible companies in the marketplace. The click-through-rate to those websites is significantly higher and they receive the vast majority of all the website traffic for people conducting online searche

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