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Steps To Successful Search Engine Optimization
Like most marketing techniques that are worth the time & money invested, search engine optimization requires a strong commitment and a bit of patience. Well, actually, alot of patience! Fortunately, it’s an investment that will reward you quite well if you follow the proper steps to accomplishing high-ranking “organic” search engine placement. By “organic” we mean not a pay-per-click listing that so many people waste tons of cash on with Google Adwords or Overture’s pay-per-click marketing system.
The reason that you must have patience when trying to rank high in the organic listings is simply that there is no exact science to achieving this. Many companies claim that they can get your site listed in the top ten within weeks. In fact, they may be able to get one page ranked high for one obscure keyword on one obscure search engine that no one visits! There is no quick way to getting ranked in the top ten for your most desirable keyword, as most search engines only visit your site maybe once a month, and sometimes alot longer than that, after you submit. You must take the time to optimize each and every page for each search engine that you wish to rank highly. Read further if you want to find out about the basic steps to reaching your search engine optimization goals.
Simply submitting your site and then hoping for the best is not an effective strategy. Instead, you must understand the process to achieving top rankings in the major search engines, and then do something about it. To industry insiders, this process is known as search engine optimization or SEO.
1. Keyword Selection - Perhaps the most difficult step in search engine optimization, choosing the best keywords and keyphrases for which to optimize is extremely important. If you choose keywords that nobody is searching for, then you are wasting your time. Even worse, choosing keywords that are too competitive can become a potential deadend. Furthermore, if you choose keywords that are not related to the type of product or service that you offer, then your visitors will never make a purchase.
The solution? Make a list of relevant keywords that balance both popularity and competition. Using specialized software really helps in this difficult task. There are many software packages out there that will help you do this quickly and easily, but keep in mind that prices aren’t typically cheap. However, the amount of time that you can save by utilizing one of these powerful tools can really pay off in no time at all.
2. Measure your rankings - Before trying to improve your page rankings, you must find out where your pages currently rank for the keywords and keyphrases that you are focusing on. If you worked through step 1, you should now have a solid list of relevant keywords and keyphrases that potential customers are typing into the search engines. Again, there are several pieces of software out there that can help you run these queries in a timely fashion.
3. Page Creation and Optimization - Get ready to roll up your sleeves and really get to work on your pages. This step makes all the difference in your ability to compete effectively with other search engine marketers. You may ask, “what is web page optimization?” Basically, it is the process of building a page that contains all of the content that a search engine needs to rank it highly in its index for a particular keyword or keyphrase. One of the easiest ways to determine what the search engine is looking for is to study the pages already ranking in the top 10 for your particular keyword. Then you will try to imitate the key aspects of those pages on your own site, including keyword counts, link popularity, word counts, prominence and several other criteria.
This may sound like rocket science, but fortunately there are software programs that can help you struggle your way through. By analyzing the keywords and content on your page and your competition’s pages, the software can make specific recommendations for improvement. These recommendations vary for each search engine. The key to success here is to stay on top of the industry by reading everything you can get your hands on relating to SEO. Subscribe to SEO newsletters and attend seminars when they become available.
4. Submission - Submitting your pages to the various search engines can be done by hand or through a software submission tool. Be careful not to over-submit as some search engines will consider you to be a spammer and your site will become blacklisted. Some sites, such as Google and Yahoo!, will “spider” your website on a periodic basis, and you may not have to resubmit to these indexes.
Regardless, SEO is a daunting task and is not recommended for the novice. If you feel that your business is in need of search engine marketing and currently does not have the resources to accomplish a successful go at it, feel free to contact EarthQuake Studios to begin a comprehensive SEO campaign.
About the Author
EarthQuake Studios thrives on the leading edge of innovation, continually developing services that enable our clients to improve their business models. Our service offerings include web design & development, website hosting, domain name registrations, marketing communications, full-color print advertising & collateral, intranet / portal development, e-commerce, email solutions, search engine optimization, SSL certificates and digital photography.
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