What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a name used to describe the efforts taken to make web site pages range high for popular search terms and phrases (key words). SEO is a broad and deep field of knowledge. Organizations that depend on attracting visitors through the search engines devote a lot of time and energy to getting their pages ranked as high as possible.
Research shows that the higher your page link appears in the search engine results, the more likely the person doing the search will click through to your page. Achieving a page rank in the top two or three listed pages for a top keyword is the holy grail for many marketing departments and SEO experts.
This document is an SEO primer. The purpose is to get you started with some basic concepts that have proven to be effective in getting pages ranked higher. There are many factors that come into play such as the informational value of the the page content, authority of your domain, number of competitors trying to get high rankings for the same keywords, and more. We have included some reference information for further study at the end of the primer.
Good luck on your SEO efforts!
eApps Marketing Department
An SEO Primer
Define what you sell - This might seem simplistic, but the very first thing you need to do is to clearly define your services and products. The Chartered Institute of Marketing provides a great 10 minute guide to defining your Unique Selling point: http://www.cim.co.uk/filestore/resources/10minguides/usp.pdf
Create landing pages - Each service or product, or category of the same, needs to have its own web page, called a “landing page.” This is the page that you are trying to get ranked highly for related keywords. Each landing page must be attractive, informative, and have a noticeable “call to action,” i.e. the thing you want the visitor to do when they land on the page (buy, register, download, etc).
A great book on creating such type of pages for your services and products is “Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions”, by Tim Ash. There are various online resources to help you in this regard, one of which is “6 Essential PPC Landing Page Optimizations,” by SEOmoz: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/6-essential-ppc-landing-page-optimizations
Identify your keywords - For each landing page, prepare a list of keywords that you think the web users that you want to attract are using in their searches. There are many tools you can use to identify your keywords. The Google Adwords Keyword Tool is a good one to start with - https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS
Include your keywords in your landing pages - Select the top 4-6 keywords based on expected number of searches performed. Now, include the primary keyword in the page name (URL), Page Title, Meta Description, and Image Alt Attribute for all graphic images on the page. It is a good idea to have a few fast loading images on your landing pages. You should also name your images to include the main keyword you are trying to attract. Now, add at least 4 instances of your main keyword in the page text. Do not apply the keyword more than 12 - 15 times, to avoid any negative impact by the search engines. You can test how many times the keyword appears in your page, as well as other metrics, by using the “On Page Optimization” tool from SEOmoz - http://mz.cm/IGl2NT
Check your pages - Use an online tool to check the pages before the search engines crawl them. The “On Page Optimization” tool from SEOmoz can be used for this purpose. To find out more about SEOmoz tools and signup for a 30 day FREE TRIAL go to - http://mz.cm/IGl2NT
Submit your pages - Now you should submit your pages to the search engines. Even if you have previously done this, it is still a good idea to re-submit your web site. A handy tool to use is http://www.attracta.com
Check for crawl errors - Once the page is crawled, check Google Webmaster for any crawl errors. You can log into your Google Webmaster account from https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
Monitor your rankings - After you have finished, you should monitor your rankings. There are many tools for this. A good one is SEOmoz, which offers Weekly Crawls & Rank Tracking reports that include Rankings Summary, Improvements and Declines, Crawl Diagnostics such as the number of errors, warnings, and notices, Competitive Domain Analysis and Traffic Data. To find out more about SEOmoz tools and signup for a 30 day FREE TRIAL go to http://mz.cm/IGl2NT. Another tool to gain insight into your traffic sources and website performance is Google Analytics: http://www.google.com/analytics/features/index.html
REFERENCE INFORMATION - for further study