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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Are You Confused by SEO and Search Engines?

It's always educational to chat with others who are building a business online and find out those things that are most challenging or puzzling to them. One topic that comes up so frequently is Search Engines; Placement and Search Engine Optimization.

I thought it might be helpful to share some thoughts around the topic and some of my own experiences. While no one really knows what Google wants (except Google!) there are some things I have noticed and tracked over time.

Let me first share, however, that you can build a wildly successful business online without a top 10 Organic (meaning not paid) Search Engine listing. I know this because I have done it, so this is not theory. Yes, search engine traffic helps and is a big boost, but it takes time and involves more than good, "elbow grease" marketing.

Search Engine Optimization sounds scary, but it's really just about creating content on your site that uses a "keyword strategy" to target the audience you wish to attract. So, it's starts with getting into the mind of your potential prospect.

You have a business and you want to attract others to do business with you, or join you in your business, right? What word or phrase would your potential prospect type into a search engine in order to find you, if they don't even know you exist?

Spend some time brainstorming the top keyword phrases that your prospect might use to find you. Use your top keywords on your website as you write your content. Or, if your site is already done, you can re-write your content to add these keywords in. The objective is to get Google to "read" your site and determine that it is "worthy" to be ranked on their search engine results.

You want to place these keyword phrases on your site enough that Google reads them and places your site appropriately, but you don't want to make them so redundant by repeating them too much that your reader loses interest.

Each page of your site is independent and can have its own keyword strategy, so spend some time with each page. This does not have to be an overwhelming process, though. Take a page a week and spend an hour or so working on it. Over time, these efforts will pay off as you fine tune your site and "gain favor" with the "Google Gods!"

Each time you update a page, you can re-submit it to Google using their "Submit Your Website" feature. You don't have to submit your site more than once, as Google will revisit over time, but it can boost the process when you add content. Or, if you do a complete site overhaul, be sure to re-submit.

As you are working on your Search Engine strategy and rankings, make sure you are taking time daily to promote your site as well. You can do this through Social Media sites where you can create a link back to your site. Any time you have the chance to include your website link in something you are doing online, this creates exposure for you immediately, and it lets Google know your site is "busy" out there. Make sure you are only posting appropriate links, however.

This is how I was able to generate lots of traffic; build my list and grow my business successfully long before Google even knew I existed. And, quite honestly, it's a much better way to develop relationships. My strongest business alliances have come through people I "met" while out and about online.

Up next – we'll be talking about good places to create these links using Social Media; Blog Comments; Video and more! Don't you love the Internet? It really does weave a "web" of opportunity when it all comes together.

EXPECT Success!

Jackie Ulmer

1 comment:

Jhanna Dawson said...

This is so good to read, Jackie. Yes, I've always been confuzzled by SEO and search engines! It's great to learn about this and be able to teach it to my team.

Thank you!