January 20, 2010

How to Create a Comprehensive SEO Strategy


Hostway Team

By Dan Kenitz

The small businessman with a company to lead doesn't have a lot of time for anything but core business functions — so it's not uncommon to see old-fashioned entrepreneurs scoff at putting together an SEO strategy for their Web site. But what many entrepreneurs fail to see is that their Web site is more than a business card. It's an interactive platform that allows you to interact with old and potentially new clients — if you know how to promote yourself well.

To make sure your platform is visible to people looking for your kind of services, you need a straight-forward SEO strategy. Here's how to build it.

Structure and Keywords

First, make sure that your site is well-structured from an SEO point of view. Have no idea what this means? Simply make sure that you're using the words on your page to reflect what your company does. Your page titles should feature at least one keyword or phrase that you want people to know your business for.

Make sure that your headlines and meta descriptions also express what you do: if you have a headline that simply says "Great Service," then re-write it to express what you actually do: "Top-of-the-line Auto Repair Service." This won't make you famous overnight, but it's a start.

Drive Traffic

Next, consider ways that you could attract more people to your site. It's one thing to have a site that's optimized for search engine robots. It's another thing entirely to have a Web site that actually attracts new visitors based on its merits alone. Think about starting up a blog in which you give out tips related to your business. For example, if you run a headhunting service, write tips and strategies for job interviews and publish them to a blog on your site.

Inbound Links

It's also crucial to make sure you have a lot of high-quality inbound links to your Web site. Essentially, this is how your popularity is rated on Google, and it will be perhaps the most important factor in all of your variables. The more Web site that link to your Web site, the more search engines like Google will trust that you are a source to index high in its rankings. So think of ways you can attract links from other Web sites. Some popular solutions are to provide link-bait, which are links that other people will naturally want to link to, ask for links directly from other Web site owners and submit your site to link directories.

Tracking Your Efforts

Finally, make sure you're tracking your results. A free service like Google Analytics can help you see how many people are vising your site and where they came from. This will help you get a better idea of how new customers are finding your site, as well as reasons they might potentially be leaving. Continually tweak your site, or hire someone who can tweak it for you.

About the Author

Dan Kenitz, a graduate of Cardinal Strich University in Milwaukee, is a former Search Engine Optimization professional and a current freelance writer who works out of of the Midwest.

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