Search engine optimization (SEO) is not really the core focus of my work, but I do quite often help clients with improving search results and traffic for their Web sites. The process can be incredibly clarifying, because it goes straight to the heart of creating value and connecting it with a market.
1. SEO begins with understanding what the prospective market wants.
Every keyword or keyword phrase – i.e., the words your prospective customers or members might type into a search engine – is a stand in for a community of Web searchers who want something related to that keyword. If there aren’t many people searching on the keywords you feel describe the products or services you offer, you need to take a hard look at your strategy. Can you align to a more viable market or market segment?
2. SEO requires clear, concise communication of a value proposition.
Assuming the market is out there and you are able to catch a few eyeballs in the search engines, you have seconds to convince a searcher to click on your link. What do you say that most effectively and efficiently conveys the value of your offering? What’s going to make them click? You need to be able to hook them with the small amount of language that fits into a Web page title and meta description. A great exercise for any organization to try!
3. SEO ultimately depends on delivering value
Any respectable search engine optimizer will tell you that getting a large number of links from other sites trumps pretty much everything else when it comes to ranking high in the search engines. And why would other sites link to you? You got it – because you provide something of value. Something so valuable, in fact, that people want to tell other people about it.
So there you have it: know your market, communicate value, deliver value. Good strategy in a nutshell – and also a great way to improve your search rankings.
By the way, SEOMoz recently ran a great post on How Do I Build the Perfectly Optimized Page? And you may also want to see Checking in on SEO Essentials.
Hedgehog & Fox
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SEO Nepal says
Search Engines are getting smart enough to catch anyone trying to over optimize the website. The best way is to know your product and be able to present it in a proper way for clients. Being able to predict the market definitely helps.
Yes – it is telling that the SEOMoz article referenced at the end of the post notes that “on page” optimizations techniques count for only about 15% of Web traffic. Trust and links from external sites together account for nearly half – and of course, those only come from understanding your market and providing something your customers value. – Jeff