SEO Explained - What is Search Engine Optimization? What is SEO?
Natural Search Engine Listings ( also called organic or algorithmic listings)
SEO – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the shortcut name people usually give to the group of activities which follow momentarily. There are at least seven factors for search engine marketing success :
Initially, the goal is to create a prioritized list of campaign objectives and identify the conversion metrics that will measure success in reaching those objectives.
SEO, specific search engine optimization is primarily concerned with the “organic” or natural listings which occur in the twenty or so major search engines, the best known of which are, Google, Yahoo, MSN Search and AOL Search.
THE "SECOND CLUSTER"
In addition to the above, a complete search engine marketing plan includes a presence in other databases through a second cluster of services. One of these, and the most important one after organic SEO, is the sponsored listing portions of the search engines, for which it is possible to pay a fee for high listings. The best known are Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing, and Microsoft Ad Center. This area is often called “PPC” for “price per click” .
Another important listing area is the “local” databases of the major search engines organized as yellow page systems, and which populate the many online yellow page systems in use today. A very compelling example is local.google.com.
A new program at Google and Yahoo, and soon to be available at MSN Search and AOL Search, allows one to provide special text files, or in the specialized XML format, as “search feeds”. This allows websites to inform the search engines when pages have been updated or new pages have been added to the site. These “feeds” will become one of the most important aspects for website identity as they are further developed.
Finally, a behind-the-scenes directory, the Open Directory Project, which affects rankings in Google and Netscape Search, among others, must be submitted to manually, with repetition, until it has succeeded.
SOME ITEMS EXPLAINED IN GREATER DETAIL
Keyword Research: Start with a list from the client of terms they’d like to rank well for. Supplement this with research in keyword databases to determine relative popularity and variations on phrases. Do competitor research to provide new terms and insight into the relative competitiveness of terms. Present the client with a revised and expanded list to assess the phrases in terms of relevancy. The end result is a list of keyword phrases that are the most popular in the field, most likely to attract the target market, and most likely to lead to conversions. Rank these in order of their anticipated impact on site performance.
Benchmark Search Engine Position Report: Using the target list of keyword phrases run a benchmark report in Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL to determine current rankings. Also report on how many pages of the site are indexed in the major search engines. If the site for which the analysis is being done is a new site, the benchmark cannot be done until the site is published, thus the emphasis at this stage will be on factors relating to competing websites.
Review Other Sites: Analyze sites that rank well for the most desirable keyword phrases to determine the factors that have made them successful. This will include examination of their site architecture, content, page coding, link structure and backlinks.
Analysis of Backlinks, Link Recommendations, and Link-Building Strategy: Compile a list from sources on the web of the sites that link to the client’s. If the site is new and yet to be published, complimentary sites will be identified which can provide backlinking opportunities. Link building and competitor analysis go hand in hand, since finding out who links to competitors is often the best way to improve a site’s link popularity. Additionally, a secondary tier of search engines and directories provide quality links-in, as well as industry lists and local online yellow pages.
Web Metrics: The main tool for establishing baseline information which can then lead to measurable improvements is the web metrics or analytics system. The most popular of these tools are Hitslink, WebTrends and Urchin, (now called Google Analytics). This tools provide invaluable assistance for delivering new paying customers, new prospects and leads, and new sign-ups for the permission based email house list. They also demonstrate all web sites and search engines which have delivered viewers, as well as the search terms which have been used. These tools simply parse the server logs into meaningful web traffic patterns.
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