Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy - Navigating the Dark Waters of Website Promotion

Creating a well-designed website is the first step in your internet marketing strategy that must be backed up with techniques designed to drive traffic to the website for successful, long-term results. You wouldn't consider opening a retail store in a major shopping mall without signage and you shouldn't consider having a nice looking website designed without expanding your web presence in order to be found on the internet. The following strategy overview is designed to bring about these results:

  • An attractive website that is complementary to your company image and provides your targeted audience with information about you, your company and your products and/or services
  • A website that creates a call-to-action in the form of purchase, contact, subscription or other commitment from your viewer
  • Create a successful marketing arm for your overall business promotion and marketing campaign to promote your business, products and/or services
  • Become competitive in your industry and marketplace by meeting or exceeding the industry marketing standards and attracting a qualified audience for your products and/or services via the internet
  • Generate and maintain or grow internet traffic to your website resulting in a conversion of traffic into sales of your products and/or services

This search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is composed of several processes in three stages.

Tier I

Website design is the foundation and beginning of a successful internet marketing strategy. It is true that several websites exist on the internet that are unattractive but seem to work. If there are aspects of these websites that work, imagine how well they could do if they simply followed basic design implementation tactics that resulted in a good image as well as simply pushed information out to the viewer. These basics are essential for Tier 1 success:

  • Good web design that complements the company image and offline marketing campaign products
  • Easy, logical navigation that leads the viewer deeper and deeper into the web of information provided by the website
  • Attractive but quick-loading graphics that are pleasing to the eye and meaningful to the website.

    • Keyword usage that is search engine-friendly:
    • Utilization
    • Placement
    • Frequency
    • Relevance

  • Coding that is lean, clean and without errors
  • Relevance of content to the theme of the site
  • Changing content that changes frequently
  • Content is king -- it's all about content, content, content

Tier II

Once the website has been created and published, many new website owners think that the project is finished. But in reality, the real work is just beginning. In order to create a money-making site, traffic must be generated and driven to the website. There are several effective methods that can be implemented in Tier II for this to occur. While all methods may not be required to see successful traffic generation, some combination of most if not all will probably be needed to create traffic, maintain traffic and finally, grow traffic to our website with long-term results. Consider implementing these strategies:

  • Dynamic content is necessary and by updating the website frequently the search engines see your website as active, not stagnant. How often should changes be made? At the very least, monthly. But the more frequent the changes, the better. There are some tried and true methods you may want to employ:

    • Monthly newsletter (or weekly)
    • Tip of the day that rotates to the page using a script from an existing database of information at your site
    • RSS feed to public news feeds that update hourly or daily at the least
    • Changes to contact information, staffing, clients, etc.
    • Checking the links frequently to make sure that they are active and valid
    • Simple modification of content from time to time should be done in between these regular maintenance tasks which will update the website

  • Good links management results in a positive weight given by the search engines for search positioning. The algorithms used for weighting one page over another require link popularity assessment for successful traffic to your website. Link popularity is also one of the main contributions to Google and Alexa Page Rank. How do you achieve link popularity? It can be tedious and requires careful attention to the selection of the links, but there are several means that can be employed:
    • Reciprocal Links - Search for relevant and desired web pages with which to trade links
    • Purchase Page Rank-based links to boost your relevance and weight in the eyes of search engines
    • List with directories, paid or unpaid that will give your website additional exposure
    • Create the links with link text in mind, designed to utilize relevant keywords
    • Link only with websites that have decent PageRank (PR); i.e., PR of 3 at a minimum, PR of 4 would be the ideal minimum
    • Blogs - web logs linked to your site or posting to popular blogs with your links included to point traffic back to your site; a good strategy is to employ pinging with the blog posting

  • Forums -- forum participation that allows you to leave your link with the intent of attracting traffic back to your site
  • Listing with the few free search engines and directories is essential although you won't see any results for months
  • Develop an email list subscription function on your site with the intent of sending e-newsletters and announcements on a regular basis. This subscription list can be used for several other campaigns, including the sale of advertising space on your newsletter.
  • Purchase sponsorship on other email lists where you can promote your product and/or services as well as get your website promoted in the process.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns with Google and Yahoo Search Marketing where you purchase advertising space for keywords that are popular for your industry if you are not in a saturated market. If your business operates in a saturated internet market, seek niche keywords for your PPC advertising. Determine your budget first and from there, you will know how much you can afford for the positioning your desire. It's all mathematical:

    • Price Per Click = monthly budget/number of clicks or
    • Number of clicks = monthly budget/price per click

    Some combination of price and number of clicks will result from a well-designed and constantly monitored campaign. The important result to watch is the conversion rate. How many paid clicks convert into the desired result; i.e., new contract, sale of product, sign up for e-newsletter, etc.

Tier III

Finally, after the hard-core efforts that are directly related to generating traffic to your website, you will want to create follow-on, additional traffic that is under your control. Several methods exist for this strategy:

  • Taking the large list of ancillary keywords that relate directly or indirectly to your website, begin purchasing keyword related domain names that will be used to create traffic driving websites that point to your money site.
  • Setup satellite pages using the keyword domain names that are heavily populated and geared toward keyword designed to develop niche market traffic. As you develop niche markets that create new customers, you are going to be able to capitalize on those customers for the other products and/or services that your company offers by focusing on information sites that link back to your money site while informing and attracting these new customers.
  • Create links, backlinks and cross-links between the satellite pages and your money site, improving your link popularity for all websites, especially your money site.
  • Display articles or e-books related to your industry and place these articles on your websites being aware of the best location based on keyword dominance.
  • For long-term, viral marketing results, create articles or e-books that you will either sell on your website or offer to public domain websites where your link information must be retained for use by anyone else on the internet.

Monitoring

In order to determine if the SEO efforts are successful, you must monitor results of backlinks, PR and web trend statistics. There are many sources for generating this data as well as programs that will assist in these analyses. Whatever method you choose, whether it is using specific programs or setting up a spreadsheet for entry of data, be consistent in tracking the data. There will be fluctuations from day-to- day. You are looking for general, overall upward trends. Upward progress followed by maintenance of a strong position with slow, steady growth would indicate a successful SEO campaign.

Article written and copyrighted by Chesa Keane, TAO Consultants, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Website: http://www.computergoddess.com

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