February 20, 2009
There is so much information floating around out there about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how to get some rankings. So much of it is contradictory and confusing. I wanted to spend a little bit of time talking about the secrets of top rankings.
So, let’s jump right in with the secrets to SEO success….
Search Engine Secret # 1: There are no secrets! The search engines make it all very public and clear what you need to do to get top rankings. The success lies in the details and proper implementation. But there is no top secret, proprietary technique for getting top rankings.
OK, so now we all know there are no secrets, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t information you need to know, such as:
If you don’t optimize your site, you won’t get top rankings. It really is that plain and simple. If the engines can’t spider your site and you don’t have links and strong content, you don’t stand a chance against the sites that do have all that in place. So many people don’t want to spend money on SEO, or are afraid to take the plunge but then they can’t understand why they don’t have rankings. So maybe there is a secret – maybe the secret is take action and get your site optimized!
Your site structure matters! I can’t tell you how often people have said to me “I know my site is a mess, but I don’t want to spend the money fixing it, so can’t you just throw up some keywords and Meta tags and get me some rankings?” Ummmm, no, I can’t. Your site structure is your foundation. You would never build a house without a solid foundation, why would you build an SEO campaign without a solid foundation?
Don’t just focus on small keyword list that is made up of the most popular and competitive keywords. You will be missing out on opportunities for great keyword phrases that convert really well. Expand your list. Include long tail phrases. They may have less traffic but they will convert at a higher rate and if you get enough of these phrases they will likely add up to be better than your original list.
SEO is changing and evolving so staying current on what the engines are looking for is important. Either hire a firm to get you top rankings or find a way to make sure you stay current with information you can trust.
Social media and SEO go hand in hand, so get out there and be social. You can optimize your site without doing social media, and you can do social media without an optimized site. But why would you? The two enhance and compliment each other. The truth is there is a lot of competition out there for website traffic so why not use all the tools at your disposal?
Focusing on SEO without focusing on conversions is a mistake. You are going to work so hard, or pay someone your hard earned money to get you top rankings. You can’t afford to ignore marketing issues. Make sure your site is going to convert all that great new traffic you are going to send to your site.
Google Webmaster Tools and your web stats are a goldmine of information. Make sure you take time to see what words people are actually using to find your site and see what people do once they get to your site. See how many people link to you and which of those sources are driving traffic. Find out if there are errors on your site. There is so much information to be analyzed; you just need to make the time to check it out.
Successful SEO requires time, patience, skill, knowledge, persistence, attention to detail, knowledge of HTML, current information and an understanding of marketing helps too – then you can write the best possible text while using the keywords well, and it will also help you write compelling Title and Description tags….OR – the willingness to invest in a professional firm to get those top rankings for you.
Jennifer Horowitz is the Director of Marketing for EcomBuffet.com. Since 1998 Jennifer’s expertise in marketing & Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has helped clients increase rankings, traffic & revenue. Join Jennifer’s mailing list to stay current on SEO, marketing, social media and more. http://www.ecombuffet.com/spotlight_on_seo.php