Understanding and turning search engine optimization (SEO) into a competitive advantage is critical for all organizations, especially those eager to outpace their competition using technology. In today’s digital world, being found by major search engines can be the difference between success and failure. Here are five tips that will put the power of SEO to work for you, increasing your Web site traffic and providing you with a key advantage over your competitors.
1. Develop good, high-quality content
Before you pull visitors into your site through SEO, you should first have a foundation of first-rate content that has relevant benefits to your visitors. Implementing SEO practices before making your site a useful stop for consumers means they will likely leave just as quickly as they came.
2. Use searchable, logical keywords
Now that the foundation is laid, you need to examine your keyword density – the main words that Web surfers will use to find your site. It’s important that you not put too many keywords onto your Web pages, as some search engines label sites with an excess of keywords as SPAM. When it comes to keyword density, about five percent of the Web site’s content should be devoted to keywords.
To build up your keyword density, replace generic terms with keywords specific to your industry. For example, my company’s homepage contains the header “Compare CRM Software,” rather than a more generic phrase like “Compare Competitors.” This helps get the right message to customers and search engines alike.
3. Build relevant external links
Getting other influential Web sites to link back to you can equate to as much as 70 percent of your SEO efforts. Here are a few current best practices companies employ when it comes to building external links:
- Relevant content: Develop articles and other content that others will want to display and link to on their sites.
- Pay for it: Serve as a sponsor on an applicable site.
- Say please: Ask nicely; hopefully they will link to your site because they want to support you.
4. Build relevant internal links
Building relevant internal links is a much easier process, yet it is still important. When you include numerous internal links on all of your Web pages that direct visitors to other places on your site, you are essentially giving search engines suggestions on the most important pages on your site.
You should keep these tips in mind when building internal links:
- Use HTML for inbound links: Search engines don’t like Flash and Java; stick with HTML links.
- Link from your most important pages: Search engines give more credence to links on home pages than those farther down in the site architecture.
- Link to pages using relevant keywords: Consider what you are using for your anchor text. For example, rather than saying, “For more information, click here,” place the link within a sentence containing the name of the product or another keyword.
5. Track and review your data to continuously improve
In order to continually improve your SEO processes, you will need to understand the consumer behavior on your site. In my company, we’re constantly looking at what keywords are bringing people to us, where the traffic is coming from, what pages they are visiting and what actions they are taking. This helps us determine how we can further improve our SEO efforts.
James is a sales and customer relationship management thought leader, and the co-founder and CEO of Avidian Technologies. Prophet CRM, developed by Avidian Technologies, is the leading contact management and CRM software built inside Outlook. The company is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA. For more information, please visit www.avidian.com.