Whether you’re a marketer at a large Fortune 500 company or a small business, search engine optimization (SEO) can be one of the most cost-effective tools for reaching a broader audience and increasing online sales. A solid and persistent search engine optimization program can increase search visibility for many types of content affecting the bottom line: sales, customer service, recruiting, public and investor relations.
These are challenging economic times calling for prudent marketing decisions. Search industry, business and analyst publications agree: search marketing is recission proof, or at least recession resistant. To make sure your SEO program investment yields effective and efficient marketing results, keep the following tips in mind:
Planning: A solid plan of action is a necessary component to any successful SEO program. Before beginning an effort to optimize content for better search visibility, be sure you have clarified specific goals and expectations. This will help you to decide which SEO tactics will be most effective, what internal resources will be necessary and what metrics will be used to measure success.
Resources: Assess your resources to ensure you can actually implement your SEO program. The most common reason for an unsuccessful SEO effort is failure of implementation. Take stock of available budget (yours or another department that will be affected) talent pool and any existing media assets that can be leveraged. You will need to determine if you have the resources to complete your ideal SEO plan on your own, or if you will need to enlist the services of a SEO agency (like TopRank.
Measurement: Organize a process to measure the results of your program. You will want to be able to tie your measurements of success directly back to your SEO tactics. If increasing leads was the initial goal for your program, this may mean using an analytics package to determine the origin of your online leads. If you choose to work with an agency, be sure to select one with a strong record of measurable SEO success.
Promotion: A well-optimized website will increase your search engine rankings and help your target audience find your services over that of competitors. However, a solid SEO program does not end there. Make the most of search engine optimization by promoting useful content. Place your URL on your business card, in your email signature, and promote it online beyond the search engines in social networks, blogs, forums and anywhere that it can be useful. It will be passed along and linked to, sending traffic and further increasing search visibility.
Innovation: Don’t rely on what has always worked, or assume that your initial optimization will last forever. The online world is constantly changing, and this extends to optimization best practices. A solid SEO program is an ongoing investment that requires you to adapt and innovate to ensure your website stays at the top of the rankings and top of mind with your consumers.