SEO Overview, Cont’d: The Process
Our process centers on building each of the Four Pillars:
Goals Analysis. Bottom line, a search engine campaign isn’t really about traffic. It’s about selling more, or getting more subscribers, or getting your message out to a wider audience, or something else. You have an objective in mind – your search engine optimization campaign should demonstrate a real return in that respect, or it’s not worth it. We make sure that we understand your goals – sell more, get votes, get the word out, increase subscriptions, etc. – and use them to drive all of our campaign decisions. We’ll also use these goals as one measure of campaign effectiveness.
Audience Analysis. Who’s going to look for you in a search engine? How is that audience unique? We answer these questions first through audience research, surveys and other methods, so that we have a foundation for intelligent keyword selection.
Keyword Analysis. We work with you to generate a list of desirable keywords and phrases that, based on our research, present the best opportunities for drawing potential customers. Then, we test these keywords using our proprietary keyword performance modeler. This formula helps us predict which keywords will generate the maximum click-thru. At the end of this first step, we provide you with a complete list of all keywords and phrases that might generate traffic, plus the 10-15 we feel we should emphasize. We revisit this step periodically to make any necessary changes to your campaign.
Search Engine Readiness
Code review and revisions.
We review your site for coding and design issues that might prevent a search engine from successfully ‘crawling’ your site. Then we will revise your site’s HTML code and, where possible, content and linking structure to best optimize it for search engine visibility. Of course, we always balance tactical SEO decisions against the impact of any changes on site usability and performance. This is the most critical step in the process. Site readiness doesn’t just maximize visibility for you for the keywords we choose. It also opens your site up for high rank with keywords we don’t anticipate, but generate good traffic. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, Portent can also show you what needs to be done and provide instructions for optimizing your site.
Feeds. If you sell products online, then it makes sense to set up a Froogle and potentially a Yahoo Products feed. We can automate that process for you, by enhancing your shopping cart system to generate the required data and format on a schedule. In some cases your site may also benefit from a ‘trusted feed’ via Overture Site Match or other feed services – Portent Interactive can set up these feeds for you, to maximize your exposure.
Content and Structure
Architecture. We will help you bring the most semantically relevant content higher up in your site structure. It might be as simple as adding a home page text link to a previously buried page on your site. We might create a selective site map, or a more complete directory. Regardless of how we do it, we’ll help you create an architecture that makes sense to search engines and to your audience.
We will also work with you to add new, unique content to your site. This might include taking existing print materials and adding them to your site. We can also help you write new, original content. Portent always helps you develop new strategies to constructively grow your site and search engine profile.
Campaign. We review how your site and partner sites link to each other, how they link internally, and which other web sites link to yours. Then we develop a structure that maximizes the link relevance of optimized pages on your site, and work to increase the number of ‘inbound’ links from other semantically relevant sites. We also cover all possible bases by submitting your site to our own list of free and pay directories.
PR. Depending on your needs, we may also recommend doing a PR campaign using PRWeb or PR Newswire. Both offer search-optimized ‘feeds’ for their press releases that will get you better visibility with the major search engines. We can help you write and optimize releases for these services, so that you can take advantage of the extra boost they can provide.
Search engine optimization is an ongoing effort. Once we complete each of these steps, we develop a plan for submitting your site to free search engines where needed, and to free & paid inclusion directories, such as Yahoo and Open Directory. The fastest search engines (Google and AltaVista) will generally show results within 4-6 weeks. The slower engines and directories will show results within 12-18 weeks.
Note that many major search engines, such as Google, no longer require a submission. You can submit your domain name, if you like, but it’s usually better to get found because you’re linked from other relevant sites.
Measurement. We track traffic to your site from each search engine keyword. We also monitor your position on each search engine. And, most important, we measure audience response – are visitors to your site from search engines buying, registering or doing whatever it is you want them to do when they get there? We will provide this data to you in a monthly report.
Adjust. Based on the data we collect, we will suggest changes and additions to your site. We may suggest additional content as indicated by your movement in major search engine rankings. And we’ll likely suggest changes to your site that will make the most of your increased traffic, by maximizing conversion rates. Because a successful SEO campaign builds more than traffic – it builds your business. Read on…
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