What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
Lets start by what it’s not. SEO will not sell your product or service, it will not phone you, and will not increase your bottom line and it won’t make your website look cool. It will help you achieve your goals, and it’s those goals that need to be defined first to then know how to measure SEO performance.
SEO Goals: What are they?
SEO is simply making search engines (mostly Google) place your company, product or service near the top of the search list. In a way it’s a complex dance between you, your competitors, search engines and yea, customers. Often we forget the last critical part of SEO, customers, and how we can gain more. Many SEO experts focus solely on ranking and keyword density for your target market. But, what if no one calls you? Is it optimized? Why are we optimizing in the first place? Don’t get fooled in to thinking that we are optimizing for search engine’s, even though that is what we are doing. Ok, that sounds confusing. From my perspective any good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) program includes as a critical measurable conversion or solid lead activity. Saying that then I think we are optimizing search engines for maximum lead (or sales) potential. I suggest this is where you start and not with keywords or other traditional marketing collateral.
SEO Lead Generation: How many new customers will I get?
Leads will increase based on how knowledgeable you are of your target market. It is the same for all marketing campaigns, are you targeting the right people, is your message focused enough that ‘they get it’. First, start with understanding how your customers view and think of you and the products and services you offer. Many businesses make the mistake of focusing on internalized self importance. What I mean by that is companies often feel that they somehow mean a lot to the customer. More often it’s the product or service you offer that is important, they don’t care what the company name is or how great you think you are. They want your offering and want to know more about it. Ask your customers why they bought from you, what they used to search for you and if they didn’t search for you online ask them how they would. By getting inside the customers mind will get you to where you want to be faster and easier.
SEO Measurement: How to measure search engine optimization
So now we have a list of keywords or phrases from our customer base and hand them over to the SEO guru. You’re told that it will take time and isn’t a precise science. OK you have to wait. How long, and what for? It does take time for the search engines of the world to pick up and rate, grade RANK your site and activity. While you wait for all this to work revisit the issue weekly. Yes weekly and touch base with customers just to make sure you are targeting the right words. Now don’t get me wrong here, don’t go changing every week just because a new customer found you in a way you didn’t know of. Add it to your list so when you revise your strategy you will have historical data to work from. Maximize your efforts; here is my simple search engine optimization list.
Target keywords and phrases (your customers use not you)
Write good content that reflects these keywords
Don’t try to fool search engines, they are smarter then you
Understand and use Meta Tags effectively
Customers buy not search engines. design your site for people.
So there you have it. Quick simple no black magic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for small business.