I continue on describing how to use various sales channels with a discussion on search engine optimization (SEO). This is a really big topic but I will try to hit the key points. SEO is really about improving your display ranking in search engines so people can find you.
Here is the most basic fact: the more high quality links are out that point to your site or page, the higher your rank will be. You can and should put your keywords in the titles and headings of your pages but this won’t work by itself.
There are two strategies in SEO. The first is to go for the most searched keywords that best describe you business or the products you sell. The second is to optimize for the less searched but more specific keyword phrases. The first group represents about 30% of searches but each keyword gets lot of hits. Lots of companies are going for these words. Keywords in the second group are much more specific so they have many fewer hits but collectively these more specific keywords added all up represent 70% of searches.
90% of all clicks occur on the top ten items on the first page returned after a search. So if you can’t get on the first page, it does you no good.
To see what volumes are like, you can use the Keyword Planner that is part of Google AdWords. You can also get keywords by looking at your competitor’s web sites and seeing what words they use in their home page titles and headers. You want to find terms that have enough volume that they give you meaningful results if you got 10% of the searches. Next you want to see how hard it is going to be to rank on the terms you have selected. You can use a tool like Open Site Explorer to find out. If a competitor has thousands of links for your terms, it is going to be very difficult to rank high. You can also use Google Analytics to find out which keywords are being used to generate your existing traffic. This can be a very useful starting point.
On way to test keywords is by running a test ad campaign on AdWords and see what happens. I will cover this in a later post.
So to get links, you need to have content someone is interested in and have links to that content. You can get these links through (1) publicity, (2) product, (3) content marketing and (4) widgets. Publicity is being covered by some online publications and having a link to your site in the article. Product is have a web page that has you product on it (on your website) that is so good people want to share it. Content marketing is creating strong, relevant content that people want to read and share. Widgets are giving site owners useful things to add to their sites which also contain links back to your site.
SEO is one of the bedrock strategies that are part of inbound marketing – having customers find you, but it is serious work to get it to work for you.