Search Engine Optimization - Getting Started Guide
Each Search Engine Optimization campaign carries a set of goals. Ultimately your end goal is to make money, but there are different actions that the visitor must perform in order for you to achieve this goal. This depends on the purpose of your website.
These actions include:
- Get the visitor to click
- Get the visitor to buy
- Get the visitor's information
- Get the visitor to spread the word
- Get the visitor to leave feedback
Depending on what the goal of your site, the content within it will differ. However, one thing will remain the same. RELEVANCE.
In order to achieve success with any ACTION, you need to address the visitors reasons for coming to your site. You need to answer the questions they have...and consider the reason they are searching in the first place. Each action requires a different set of steps when creating your content and we discuss these below:
Get em' to CLICK
You are typically aiming to get a visitor to click when you are looking to profit from Adsense or another 3rd party ad program (people clicking ads on your site), or trying to get visitors to click on your affiliate links. The placement of ads and links determine their overall click-through rate.
For ads, it is best to make sure they are located within the first "fold" of the page, and that you offer them in the "readable" areas. People typically read left to right and ads that are either at the top (center) or to the left have been proven to get the highest click-throughs.
For affiliate links, you should use "call to action" links. They typically get a higher click-through rate than embedded links. An example of a call-to-action link is "Click here to find out more information on product A". Any linking text that entices an "action" is a call-to-action link.
As with anything, this should be tested. Click-throughs can vary on content, audience, and image placement throughout your site.
Get em' to BUY SOMETHING
Have you heard of something called "presell". If you haven't, it refers to the act of selling something before you actually sell it. This means answering all the visitors questions before they buy, offering insight into comparable products/services, and making recommendations.
If you are looking to sell something right within your site, then you need to deliver all the necessary information someone would need to purchase. Put yourself into the potential customers position. If you were buying a digital camera, what questions would you likely want answers to?
How many megapixel?
What can it be used for?
How much should I spend?
Does it come with a zoom lens?
How does it compare to other cameras in the price range?
Does the camera size matter?
What about batteries/memory?
Does it shoot video?
These are questions the potential consumer will need to answer before making an educated purchasing decision. If you can incorporate the "answers" within your SEO efforts, you will get people buying like crazy!
Get em' EMAIL ADDY
Make them an offer they cannot refuse. People will not share their information (their real info anyways), unless you are making an appealing offer on your page. This could be a bonus, a newsletter, a tool, or the ability to connect with you. Be personal, tell a story, and be real. An email list is a relationship so you should treat it like one.
Get em' to TELL THEIR FRIENDS
Repeat visitors are profitable ones. If you create content that is interesting, provocative, and informative and you will have people spreading your content. When people spread your content, they naturally link to your site from others. This is some automatic link juice coming your way.
Also, provide easy ways for people to share with their friends. You can create "share a friend" features on your site which allow visitors to email the links and you can also offer an RSS feed (if you have a blog) which will allow people to put a feed from your blog on their site (more link juice).
Get em' to OFFER COMMENTS/CONTENT
A blog gets comments. Comments equate to free content. The same goes for web pages that allow for content development, or web 2.0 (user-added contributions). If you give the tools for people to create content within your website/blog, then you will look good to Google and the other search engines. It will keep your content fresh and most times it will expand upon your keyword phrase density.
So how do you entice comments? One thing you can do is ASK. More times than not, asking for feedback will get you comments. People love to voice their opinion and all it will take is for you to ask. Another way to entice comments is to provide value within your SEO'd pages. If you can be interesting and get your readers brains going, they will be inclined to offer their own input. Write with keywords in mind, but keep it interesting.