Introduction

 I’ve been an advertising guy for   two decades and an Internet marketing specialist for 11 years. I perform Search Engine Optimization for a very diverse group of clients. Diversity is a neccesity , because I don’t want clients to be competing for the same top spot on Yahoo! .

Background – What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

The process of optimizing your website to be on top   of search engines like Yahoo!, Google, and Bing is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  This is also called “organic search,” as opposed to “paid search” the ads you see on the top of the search engines.

Advertisers often pay from twenty cents to hundreds of dollars for one click using paid search, while with SEO, organic clicks are free.    Nevertheless , consumers are 8 times as likely to click an organic link as a paid link.  So, the value of SEO is enormous.

Process

Before beginning any project, it’s good to have a proven process to follow.  Here’s what we recommend .

Goal Setting

It starts with goal setting .  “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”  So, exactly what are we trying to accomplish ?  Is it just to get visitors to our site, through any possible measures ?  You probably want visitors to take some action. Actions could be: “Just read this health warning and share it with others.”  Or, contact us via email or phone. Or subscribe to our newsletter …   Or purchase our products online …

After you know what you want from your visitors , you can start to quantify it.  For example, the goal might be to have 3 people a day sign up for our newsletter.  Or to sell 100 eBooks or DVDs a month.

I don’t limit what I do to SEO and neither should you.  Getting on Yahoo! Page 1 is only half the battle.  If you’re not getting people to take some action, then what’s the point?

A recent client asked me to build a website and perform SEO for her law firm.  Within one month we were on Google Page 1 for her top three terms !  Moreover, we had two listings for each of the top three terms!  For example, we’d have Position #5 and Position #7 for the same term .

She was ecstatic for about a week.  Then she complained that she wasn’t getting any calls.  So we revised the text on her website.  Now she gets calls and real business.  Six weeks after we began and her results have already paid for all of my time to build their website and do the initial SEO.

In a different class , I talk about Marketing, Positioning, and Branding .  I won’t go over that here except to say this. Before you begin Search Engine Optimization work, you should ensure you have the right marketing positioning and branding.

Positioning is an internal exercise to determine exactly what we’re going to talk about when we’re selling to a concretely identifiable market. So, an internal message.  It’s a guiding message.  Everything on your website should reflect the essence of it.

 

Branding is all about boiling that internal position down to something that communicates powerfully, and a set of actions to burn that message into the mind of our prospects.

OK, back to SEO.  Regarding goals, for this crash-course, let’s say you are a Pittsburgh-based therapist, and your goal is to get three leads a week and to close four clients a month.

 

In our next article we’ll discuss keywords, domain names, and meta tags.

 

Bill Weil and Pittsburgh SEO focus on SEO in Pittsburgh