Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing the content of your website to be relevant to search engines like Google and Bing for important search terms called keywords and phrases. These words and phrases are what someone would type into a search engine to find a website.
The SEO process is a long-term investment and can take anywhere from 1 to 6 months to see any noticeable results from SEO tactics. This is why research and planning are so critical to the success of your website and SEO campaign. Below is a list of 5 important questions that need to be answered before you implement an SEO strategy.
1. Who is your target audience?
It is important to clearly define who your target audiences are. Knowing your audience will not only help with choosing SEO keywords/phrases and website copywriting, but will attract better “qualified” prospects to your website. Is your audience a business or a consumer? Drill down a level and determine who at the business is the decision maker (owner, office manager, facility manager) or who in the home is the decision maker or influencer of a purchase (male, female, child).
2. What is your geographic service area?
Geography is also very important to the success of an SEO campaign. When selecting the geographic boundary, consider that the larger you make it the more businesses there will be competing for those same keywords/phrases. It will also likely take longer to see SEO results. Is your business targeting the city, state, national or international level?
3. Who is your primary online competition?
Once you have identified your audience and geography, you can quickly define your online competition by performing a couple of searches on Google or Bing. Use a keyword or phrase and location that a potential customer would use to find a business like yours. Identify three to five businesses that consistently show up in the search results.
4. What are the leading products or services you want to promote?
Is your business trying to increase sales for your leading products or services or do you want to focus on promoting a new or underperforming product or service? The good news is you can do both. The amount of products or services will determine which pages on your website will need to be optimized for SEO.
5. How will you measure success?
SEO success can be measured in many way increasing web visitors, new subscribers to your newsletter, a request for information, or purchasing a product or service on your website. Whether it is more visitors, a sales lead or making a sale, identifying your top priority business goals will serve as a tool to measure the success of your campaign.