Sunday, December 21, 2008

Internet Marketing Optimization Factors: 7 Optimization ...

Internet marketing optimization - more commonly called search engine optimization (or SEO) - is a set of techniques, tools and methodologies you can leverage to get your site noticed by the people who matter most to you or your business. Whether you are looking for would-be buyers of your product or service or just have something wonderful to share with the world from your website, SEO is the only way to get people there short of paying for advertising.

Here are 7 of the most important internet marketing optimization factors:

1. Start by clarifying the true goals of your website:

Many days, weeks or years ago, you or someone in your organization set out to build a website. Whether the site is new or was built long ago, you now face the a question that is of utmost urgency: why do we have this website and what do we want to do with it? You would be surprised to learn how many firms and individuals never sufficiently answer this question for themselves. You must define the goals of your website so that you can determine exactly what it is you want visitors to do once they arrive. If you don’t know what you site represents, how can you expect search engines to find it and classify it properly?

2.Identify the keywords for which you should optimize your site:

Think about it from a search engine’s perspective: its job is to connect the right content with the right searcher, serving up the content it finds in order of priority from best/most relevant to worst/least relevant. The way they do this is to first use “bots” (automated agents) to constantly scour most of the site on the Internet. So, when the bots get to your site, what will they see? How will they know how to classify your site? The only way is to make your site rich in the keywords most relative to what you do. So, short of “stuffing” your site (an SEO no-no) with keywords, pack your site with plenty of well-written, keyword-rich content that tells bots how to classify your site.

3. Fortify your site with the right meta tags:

Meta tags are, in essence, information about your site that only search engines see but that humans do not. There are many types of meta tags, but the ones you need to make sure you have properly covered in your internet marketing optimization efforts are: meta description, meta title, and meta keyword tags. Make sure that each of these is under the maximum character length and that each strategically includes your target keywords.

4. Submit your site to top search engines and directories:

One of the easiest ways to cut your teeth in search engine-optimizing your site is to submit it directly to top search engines and directories. Google, Yahoo! and the other major search engines have FREE services for submitting your URL/web address. (See my blog for details on how). The Open Directory Project and Yahoo! Directory also allow you to apply for consideration for inclusion in their directory services.

5. Add fresh content to your site regularly:

Search engines love fresh, quality content that is updated regularly. I suggest making a space on your site for recent articles, blog entries or news blurbs. Then, update that content frequently. Search engines will reward you with more frequent visits and better rankings. Also, having fresh content on your site also encourages Webmaster of other sites to link to your site (i.e., to form backlinks).

6. Get more backlinks to your site:

Speaking of backlinks: you can never have too many! Backlinks are merely links to your site from other sites. Backlinks are more valuable when: 1. you have lots of them; 2. the links themselves include keywords for which you are optimizing your site;. 3. the sites that are linking to your site are themselves well-regarded by search engines (e.g., have a high Google PageRank).

7. Have a compelling call to action:

Once you do all of this work to get people to your site via better search traffic, make sure you offer them something compelling to do once they get there. This is often referred to by marketers as a “call to action,” and your site needs one. So, make sure you make it clear to visitors what you most want them to do once they reach your site. Then, make that call-to-action so compelling that they will not be able to resist taking it.

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