“SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the key to success for any business that is active on the web. It not only helps find relevant keywords when searches are conducted via search engines but also helps save a big deal of money. As experts put it – “SEO is the best customer acquisition strategy in the online world”.”
SEO as a customer acquisition strategy
Everybody’s talking about it these days! Still, there are few who tested it and know its value. You could see SEO as part of the marketing tool in real life. And, from what I know, with no marketing, you can expect exactly 0 sales. Let’s give some definitions to make it clear for all.
Imagine the SEO process like an exam. The first condition to pass an exam is to take it. You could be the best on your market but if you are not visible, you will not pass. There are still good chances that you take the exam with a bad mark. How do you get a good mark? For a good mark, you have to improve the odds that people should meet and know you.
How is that possible?
Well if you knew the teacher’s questions before the exam… you’d know exactly what to learn. Now if you change the term teacher with crawler-based search engines it will sound like that:
The site will tell the crawler exactly what he wants to hear and when that is done it will rank you better.
What keywords to chose
What to tell the crawler is of course what the site is about and where to find what on the site. Google is pretty smart about finding out what the site is about but one of the ways you can help them is by telling Google what the keywords are that likely customers will be searching for if they should want to see your site. These keywords are very important because they also determine what the potential traffic flow will be. A keyword which is searched for a lot will typically have a lot of competition and it will be much harder for your website to score highly. A keyword with a little volume (also called long-tail) will not attract so much competition. Unfortunately, the traffic potential is also much lower. SEO-optimizers recommends that you find keywords in what we have called the sweet spike. This represents a balance between high traffic potential and effort required to get a good SEO score. Of course, you should not forget also the long-tail keywords and the high traffic keywords but in terms of the effort, you need to focus on the sweet spike. However, this is only a part of what’s to be done and it is only valid for the search engine.
Still, don’t forget about the other things that you can do to improve your chances to sell. To make sales you need customers. In my opinion, this is the first thing to do: bring customers to your web-site.
Remember that while search engines are a primary way people look for web sites, but they are not the only way. People also find sites through word-of-mouth, traditional advertising, traditional media, newsgroup postings, web directories and links from other sites. Many times, these alternative forms are far more effective than the search engines.
So it is a “must” to give proper attention to these aspects too.
Another part of the SEO process that you should pay attention to is to go yourself looking for customers and not expect them to show up at your place by their own will. Promote yourself on similar websites to yours. If you have a dating website you should make link exchange or banner exchange with the sites that are on the same market which is dating.
That is not such an easy step because you can easily take costumers from the other site and nobody likes that. Still, cooperation with the competition is not impossible and for this, you just need some patience. Make a standard mail for the link and banner exchange and when you find a website that you find appropriate to collaborate with, send the email.
Besides cooperation with direct competition, you could also look for websites that address the same target market as you do but which sell a different product than yours (preferably a complementary product). For instance, if you have a dating site and you talk to someone that sells books or advice on “how to get dates” it will be easy to make link exchange.
Where to start with SEO
There are many potential improvements possible for increasing the performance of SEO. In the table below you can see a typical chart of effort vs effect. This means that the green blobs represent the best balance between the workload required to implement the activity and the benefit you will receive. You should see this as an indicator of where to start. After the green ones are done to move on to the light green then yellow and finally red.