Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website so that it ranks higher in the search engine result pages (SERPs), thus enabling users to find the site easily. Higher the ranking of a website, more the traffic it receives. SEO involves analysing the website, search engines and what people are looking for, in order for the search engines to give a higher preference to your website.
The key Steps for Search Engine Optimization are:
- Keyword Research and Analysis: Keyword research is the first and the most important step for any successful SEO campaign. Unlike paid search campaigns, keywords cannot be changed frequently so you need to select these carefully. Concentrate on 1-5 phrases of keywords for the whole site and 1-3 for a single page. All your efforts may go waste if you focus on the wrong keywords. For example, Instrument and Instruments seem to be very similar keywords, but there is a huge difference when either is selected for your website.
- Competitive Analysis: You should know the strengths and weaknesses of your competitor’s website. It is important to know which keywords your competitors are using, why are they ranking high and what sites are linking to them. If you have less competition, it means you have a better chance to rank higher.
- Website Design and Development: While creating a new website, consider search engine friendly designs and architecture that will save upon a lot of time and money and will push you way ahead of your competitors. This includes tips on site layout, html design, and even navigation.
- Directory Submission: Get your website listed in the directories that are recognised by search engines. This will help search engines to follow the link and discover the content on your site
- Sitemaps: Create a sitemap of your site that will help search engines to index your site pages. Also, submit your sitemap to the search engines.
- Website Analytics: Track and measure the effectiveness of your website through a web analytics solution. Google Analytics is a free analytics service that helps you to improve your website and channel your resources for a successful marketing campaign. You can also signup for webmaster tools for free too – these provide additional analytics and reports.
- Build the content: Provide good quality content updates on your website e.g. focussing on what you do instead of what you sell. Informative and useful content is the key to high traffic to the site, leading to high rankings.
- Link Building: Encourage sites to link to your site and to your content. Link building will help to increase the number of inbound links to the site, thereby increasing the website ranking.
- Building trust and community: Build relation and trust with the customer by discussing and listening to what they want and their criticism and improve upon them.
- Traffic and Rank Analysis: Evaluate the success of the goal of the campaign and look for the trends. Analyse the change in ranking due to traffic and how much you were able to convert that traffic.
- Conversion Analysis: Check which traffic got you the highest conversion – that traffic is more valuable than any other traffic.
Finally, analyse your Return on Investment and expand the things that worked and get rid of the things that didn’t work. Ideally, you should partner with an agency that understands your business goals and works to meet them – rather than just SEO goals.