Remember the Yellow Pages? You know, that big ugly book that you would open when you wanted to find out something about a local business. The operative word being “local,” of course. Good luck trying to find out anything about San Francisco if you lived in Los Angeles, for example. But, that’s another story…
The search engines have forever altered the way businesses learn about each other. On the Internet, Beijing is as close as your local convenience store. The problem is that only a limited number of websites can appear on the first page of any search engine result page. Approximately 85% of all searches are completed on the first page. The number jumps to 99% if you include page 2. So, if you aren’t on the first or second page, you may as well not be there at all.
SEO is all about getting to page one.
Business to business search engine optimization is essentially a four-step process:
- Keyword Research – It all starts with the keywords your customers are likely to use to find your website. One useful free method is Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool. There you will find the number of monthly searches for that keyword and as important, the relative competition for each of its variations.
- On Page Optimization – After determining which primary and secondary keywords to use for each page, you must integrate them into that specific page. Meta tags, content, headers and page titles must all be updated. If you don’t know your way around your source coding, Strategic eMarketing can help.
- Off Page Optimization – Fully 70% of your search engine ranking will be accomplished here. This includes setting up a blog (companies that routinely blog acquire 67% more leads each month than ones that don’t!), sending out press releases, publishing articles, and posting to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. The same keywords you determine are best for your website pages are used within your off page postings and publishing.
- Mobile Device Optimization – The number of searches conducted on phones and tablets now exceeds 25% and increases each month. You are at a distinct disadvantage if your site does not conform to the size of the display.
The key is to be certain to devote a full page to each primary keyword. If you try to target more than one or two per page, the results will be mediocre at best. Each keyword demands its own unique meta tags, titles and content.
This year has brought about extraordinary changes in the weight Google’s algorithm assigns to content. No longer is it just about the word count and keyword density. Those remain important, but the more critical components now are readability, interest level, relevance to the keyword, advertisement quantity, site architecture, navigation and more.
Realistically, only half of the SEO process involves traffic – the number of people who find your website and then click on it. The other half is your marketing message – making certain that a fair percentage of those who find you are attracted enough that they make an onsite purchase, fill out your contact form, call you, or act in some other way to produce the desired outcome.
Next time we will discuss marketing message and calls-to-action.