Determining Your SEO Plan of Attack

By Peter Kent

Make sure you know what you’re facing when you determine your SEO plan of attack. You can more or less forget those thousands of search sites and focus on a handful. You have six essential factors to play with: keywords, content, page optimization, links, submissions, and time.

Forget about time — get started right away! As for the other factors, how do you proceed? It depends to some degree on your budget and the competitiveness of the area you’re working in.

  • Do a keyword analysis. Regardless of competition or budget, you have to do one. Would you study for an exam without knowing what the exam is about? Would you plan a big meal and then send an assistant to the grocery store without explaining what you need? If you don’t do a keyword analysis, you’re just guessing; you will definitely fail to pick all the right keywords.

  • Create readable pages. If you want your site to appear, you have to create pages that the search engine spiders or bots can read. You may be surprised to hear that millions of pages on the web cannot be read by search engines.

  • Create keyworded pages. Having readable pages is just a start. Next, you have to put the keywords into the pages — in the right places and in the right format. The more keyworded pages, the better, too.

  • Consider Local. If your business sells locally, rather than web-wide, you really should really find out what you need to do to your site to get it to rank when people search locally.

  • Get listed in the search engines. When your pages are ready to be indexed, you need to do two things:

    • Let the search engines know where those pages are.

    • Get the search engines to include the pages in their indexes and directories.

  • Get other sites to link to your site. The number and type of links pointing to your site affect your rank.

The preceding strategies are the basics, but you may want — or even need — to go further:

  • Register with other places. You may also want to register at specialized sites that are important for your particular business.

  • Register with the shopping indexes. If you’re selling a product, it’s a good idea to register with the product indexes. In fact, most product searches are probably not even carried out through the general search engines.

But there’s more. If you’re in a very competitive market, you may want to really push two techniques:

  • Create large amounts of content. Make hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pages of content. (It may take a major effort, of course, and months, even years, to make it work.)

  • Go after links in a big way. You may need hundreds, perhaps thousands, of links to rank well if your competitors have done the same.

In some cases, you may also want to consider the following techniques:

  • Social networking: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, MySpace, and so on. Social networking can be a powerful marketing technique for some businesses.

  • Video: You can use video in various ways to bring visitors to your site, too, and in some cases to help push your site up in the search ranks.