Getting to grips with Search Engine Optimisation

Getting to grips with Search Engine Optimisation

This article teaches a proven Search Engine
Optimization methodology for how to improve your ranking through Search Engine
Optimization that should allow you to improve your site quickly
and effectively.

Search
Engine Optimisation (SEO), the
process of gaining good “natural” (unpaid) rankings in the search engines is
being implemented effectively by more and more UK businesses. The investment can
reap huge rewards, from increased brand exposure, increased traffic and
ultimately, increased revenue. The following general tips are aimed at
companies and marketers looking to begin a Search Engine Optimisation campaign.

1)      Be Realistic

Everybody
knows the “ideal” keyword / keyphrase that they would like to rank well for,
but the chances of ranking well for this keyword may be slim / almost
impossible in very competitive industries. 
Be realistic with yourself in terms of the amount of time, money and
effort required to rank well for these search terms. Does the potential reward
justify the time and effort?  Are your
competitors actively carrying out SEO work? 
Would the rewards of achieving 6th / 7th position
justify the effort? If not, would you be better targeting more niche / long
tail keywords? Are you competing against big brands outsourcing their SEO to
large search marketing companies? Prioritise your tasks and look at outsourcing
opportunities if you do not have the time necessary to complete tasks. You
should be asking yourself all of these questions before deciding on a primary
keyword to target.

2)     
Short Term
/ Long Term Goals

Related
to the point above, setting realistic short and long term goals are great ways
of staying motivated. Keep the short term goals towards longer tail search
terms. If you already have a relatively established site, which terms are
currently driving significant amounts of traffic? How easy will it be to
increase the ranking of this term? Use click-through rate data to predict the
number of clicks you can achieve. For example, if you rank 9th for
“purple mice”, and receive 22 visitors per month, if you increased this 4
places to 5th, you could expect to almost double this number. Look
through all of your search terms looking for good short term search strategies.
Longer term goals should be your more competitive keywords, often with a 6 -8+
month timescale (depending on industry) for achieving good rankings.

3)      Research

Spend
a lot of time researching every aspect of your strategy. Which sites are
ranking for your target keywords? To what extent are they carrying out SEO
work? What are your potential link-building strategies? Which strategies should
you spend the most time on, and which are most cost effective? Who are the key
industry authorities? Is there potential to partner with, write content for or
gain backlinks from these authorities? In order to have a credible search marketing
strategy, all of these factors need to be analysed in as much detail as possible.
  

4)      Competitors

One
of the most important individual factors to focus on is the competition. How
good is their onsite SEO? Have they missed obvious tricks? Can you take
positive things from their site design /structure and implement it yourself?  How impressive are your competitors’ backlink
profiles? How are they going about obtaining back links? Is there scope to
replicate strategies, or further improve on strategies your competitors have
implemented?

5)     
Learning
Online

A
lot of basic SEO advice is available online, though dedicated SEO websites,
blogs and discussion forums However, when reading and learning SEO, always pay
particular attention to who is dispensing the advice. The internet is full of
myths and bad advice on SEO , with
hundreds of “experts” giving conflicting pieces of advice. http://www.mattcutts.comArticle Submission, http://www.seobook.com/ and http://www.seomoz.com are all considered
reliable industry authorities.

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