When making the decision to wade into the ultra-competitive world of web-for-profit, one of the first mysteries many people run into is search engine optimization (SEO). Whether doing their own research or using a paid service from web developers, SEO can be a daunting subject. There is a cornucopia of articles and websites devoted to the topic, but all the research and implementation you bring to the table will be moot without turning the effort into solid results for your website.
First and foremost, consider your website’s content, and your overall budget for promoting it to the outside world. If you can afford conventional advertising, such as television, radio, or print advertising, you may not have to lean so heavily on SEO, but key to remember here is the scope of all four mediums. Broadcast and print advertising can be effective, depending on the size and cost-relation of the campaigns involved. Web advertising employing SEO, in comparison, can reach millions of people for a mere fraction of the cost of a print campaign, and will more effectively reach the target audience your website is after.
When hunting for a particular site, the web surfer will most commonly hit Google, MSN, or Yahoo! to find the most relevant pages for what they are looking for. SEO is the process of determining which keywords are most likely to hit the top of search engine results, as those are the spots that are most likely to result in a click-through, and then a purchase, by a surfer. Your obvious goal, as the website publisher, is to gain those coveted top spots to help drive your traffic and subsequently drive your sales. This is where your targeted keywords come into play. While you could spend untold hours typing up Google searches, trying to find which words or phrases have the biggest searches, you will save a lot of time and effort by using resources like Keyword Discovery, which provide a broader spectrum of results to better engineer your SEO plan. Be sure to include your keywords in copy and content, while at the same time making sure the content is useful to the people browsing your site. You don’t have to give away the keys to the castle, but make sure they can see the walls past the fog, and that means allow the public to see some of the expertise you offer, without having to make any kind of “good faith” gesture, like making a purchase to shore up their questions. People are far more willing to make a purchase from a company or merchant giving away some of that expertise, free of charge.
If you decide to go with paid SEO services, always do your homework. Find out how long the firm has been operating, get examples of previous work, and remember that there is no oversight success. Building and earning higher search engine positions for keywords and phrases can take months of work to make that research pay off, and with the levels of competition, there is no such thing as a knockout punch in the first round.