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Take Stock of Assets that Will Enhance Your Existing Web Site

If you have an existing Web site that you want to optimize for better search engine results, you should start by inventorying your assets — ask yourself, what do you have that can possibly enhance your Web site? List all of your potential assets, not just those that are already online. Be creative and very open-minded at this point. Take stock of all of the following:

  • Written materials you or your company has produced — brochures, catalogs, articles, user manuals, tutorials, online help, customer correspondence, and so on.

  • Videos of interviews, television spots, commercials, award acceptances, speeches, company events, or other.

  • Audio recordings of radio interviews, original music, or other.

  • Photos of products, people, events, buildings, properties, or other.

  • Images that go along with your products and services, such as logos, statistical charts, diagrams, illustrations, and so on.

The items you gather may become site assets, but for now they’re just ingredients waiting to be used. Looking to the materials your business produces outside your current Web site, you can probably find a lot of original content that, with a small amount of reformatting or updating, could enrich your online site.

To help you decide which elements to put on what pages, you need a combination of research and planning. The research half involves keyword research — activities that give you lots of guidelines for your SEO work. The types of guidelines you may come up with through research include

  • Your site’s main purpose (research, e-commerce, or a mix of both)

  • Your site’s main keywords

  • How much content you need to be competitive

  • What kinds of content you need

  • Which existing pages already rank well (so you don’t want to change them)

  • How your site should be organized to best compete in your Internet market

Armed with this research, you are ready to enter the planning stage. Based on the guidelines you developed, you can determine what areas of your Web site need work. Or if you’re building your site from scratch, you can lay out a big-picture site plan like a storyboard or a flow chart. Put your ideas for each page on paper. This organized approach lets you pair up items from your inventory of available content with your site’s needs and move through the planning stage.

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