SEO a Brief Overview of the Basics

Audience, Elevator pitch and Marketing message

Before you begin any SEO / Internet marketing campaign you must select your keywords / phrases. Sounds simple, so what do you need to do? Follow this process as a guide to getting your Keywords right and beat your Competition.

Remember getting high rankings on the search engines is all about knowing what your competitors are doing and then for you to do better!

Lets get stated, bfore you even consider looking for the right keywords you need to make sure that you know your organisation’s marketing message and marketing pitch (elevator pitch). If not correctly known, you may optimize the wrong content and keywords!

Audience

The first step in your SEO strategy should be to define your target audience – see our previous article – SEO Strategy – Define your Audience.

Elevator pitch

Can you define your marketing messages?

In 2 sentences, describe/sell the service/product that you are offering to potential customers.

An elevator pitch is often a single and key part of your marketing program. It should be both succinct and compelling. An effective elevator pitch could include:

  • A description of your offering and why it is needed (benefits)
  • An explanation to why you are the right supplier (key differentiators and skills)
  • And a hook to generate interest

Marketing message

Are your marketing messages clearly communicated on your website?

Your potential customers need to clearly get your marketing message(s) from your website. Your site (meta title, meta description, keywords and phrases, content, and so on) need to be consistent and support your elevator pitch.

Great, you now know your elevator pitch and marketing message. You can now start looking at the core terms that are relevant to the page or pages you want to optimise.

SEO | Where am I now?

You need to assess your landing pages and ensure that they meet the criteria for On-Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

The key basic areas to assess are:

  • Domain Name
  • Document Title
  • Document Description
  • Document Keywords
  • External CSS References
  • Header Tags
  • Body Text
  • Images
  • Links and
  • Document Type Definition | HTML Code Check

A good SEO Tools package will give you an analysis summary for the appropriate landing pages and highlight the areas that need to be reviewed.

Ranking for each search phrase:

Where does your site rank now for your defined search words/ phrases?

Place all your keywords/ phrases into an appropriate set of SEO Tools. Get a ranking against each keyword/ phrase and store these for future comparisons. Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools will have a tracking facility that will manage this for you.

SEO | Competitive Rankings

Now that you have identified the real competition; you need to get a base line. Run a ranking check for each search engine for all of your applicable search terms: your SEO keywords and phrases for competitive research.

You would typically check the rankings for the competition in Google, Bing and Yahoo, and maybe some engines which are used specifically in your country or industry.

See the CreatorSEO Process Guides for more information on what to do next…

SEO Strategy – Define your Audience

So, how do most people go about their SEO?

A lot of people jump straight in to optimizing their websites by:

  • adding content,
  • choosing the right keywords and
  • getting as many links as possible

Then they usually find that they are not getting the hits (visits) they expect or the profile of customers that they were expected! To fix this you need to have a clear SEO strategy.

The first step in your SEO strategy should be to define your target audience.

Your target audience is defined as the group of people you are trying to reach. Your target audience can be companies/people from specific:

  • geographical areas,
  • industry groups,
  • areas of expertise,
  • age groups,
  • gender profiles,
  • marital status, and so on…

Discovering and profiling the right target audience is one of the most important stages in marketing. Incorrectly defining your target audience, usually results in expensive campaigns with minimal return.

Great, you now know your target audience. What are their needs and wants? Once you know these you can look at supplying the solutions your customers are looking for. Knowing these needs and your appropriate solutions, you can now start thinking about your

  • Content strategy,
  • Keyword strategy and
  • Link building strategy

Knowing these things will help us better define a content strategy and prioritize content to bring to the forefront.

Content strategy

You can only generate conversions (Sales, join a group, membership and so on) by ensuring that to bring traffic to your site. To do this, you need to provide on your site the content and or tools your customers are looking for. You need to make sure that the customer needs are covered adequately in your content and should be prioritized.

Having a great site with content optimized is a waste of time unless you are optimizing the right content: the content your customers want! It sounds simple but so many companies and people get this wrong.

Keyword strategy

Ideally you carry out your keyword research once you know and understand your customer needs. Most people look at their existing site and decide to optimize the current content. They add additional content/keywords to ensure you meet your customer needs. After optimizing your existing site you need to review have all the right keywords been covered and are in line with your customer needs. The ideal scenario is for you to do your keyword research first and then write the content.
Make sure the keywords/phrases used and expected by your customers are highly visible on your site.

Link building strategy

Remember getting links is important for two reasons, firstly it helps your SEO rating and secondly (often forgotten) it drives traffic to your site. Inbound links to your site demonstrate that your site is an authority in a particular area, the more site relevant sites that link to you the better for SEO.

Try and get links from sites that have a good page rank but who could also drive visitors to your site. For example, you run a small taxi company, getting the local hotels to put a link on their sites to yours will help your SEO but will also drive business: you are making it easy for potential customers to find you.