GOOD SEO RESOURCES
It doesn't matter how great your company could be if no one can find it. You will need marketing, public relations, and advertising of course, but your most powerful promotional tool will be on a search engine.
The first thing you have to know about search results is that most people don't go past the first page of results, and very few even bother to scroll down. Consequently, your goal is to rank on the top of the first page of search results for specific keywords.
Those last two words are the key to your Search Engine Optimization strategy. If you are a astronomy supply store, you'll have to compete with a million other stores for the "telescope" and other common keywords. You can't afford to fight losing battles for your business, so optimize your page for the aspects of your company that make you stand out. Instead of concentrating on what you have in common with other stores, optimize your site for what sets you apart, like "universe maps" or "moon pies."
After you decide what it is that will make your company distinctive, it's time to deploy the SEO big guns to get to page one. But you don't have to do it alone.
Here are 10 resources you can rely on when you need to let the world know who you are.
1 Intro to SEO. You won't find a better place to start than our SEO Tutor software, which simply spells out the steps you must take to optimizing your website. SEO Tutor not only tells you how to achieve the tasks, but tells you why it’s important to do so.
2 Advanced SEO. After you get your feet wet with a few practice exercises in SEO, it's time to dive in head-first. Reading is one thing, but video instruction brings in an added dimension to discovery and retention. Start with 100 minutes of Ultimate SEO that you can stop and start as your schedule allows.
3 SEO Strategy vs. Tactics. With all the new technology and terminology, it's a relief to spend some time with two terms as old as civilization. Your strategy is what you are trying to achieve, and your tactics are the roadmap to get you there. Keep this article on What Strategy Means handy as your goals evolve.
4 Organic and Natural SEO Techniques. It is difficult to explain what Organic or Natural SEO involves until you have tried everything else. Essentially, Organic SEO means creating a website that ranks highly simply because it is full of valuable information and media. You could stumble into natural SEO results, like many people do, or be more deliberate by studying Organic SEO methodology.
5 SEO vs. PPC. Advertising within search engines by means of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns can help a business leap over all the other results of hard-won SEO rankings. There is certainly a time and place for PPC, but it must be used cautiously to avoid alienating your target audience. A three part series on the best use of PPC and SEO, and when each is better, should act as a framework for your own analysis.
6 Measuring SEO effectiveness. Alexa is like golf. The lower your number, the better you are. Just like in business, you want to be number 1, and Alexa can help you understand how to get there. Alexa is a ranking analytics system that will give you a better understanding of where you fall and where your site's ranking is headed.
7 Google Tools for SEO. The search world belongs to Google, and we just live in it. Bing and Yahoo are significant as well, and mobile technology could dethrone Google, but for now you have to know what Google wants in order to rank well. Google's Webmaster Tools is your starting point to finding out how your website is performing along a range of measures.
8 Alternatives to Google Tools. SEO Tutor, who you met way back in Resource #1, has a host of options. In addition to our step-by-step action plan, SEO Tutor offers in-depth reporting and insights about competitors in your industry.
9 Offline SEO. After spending all this time on SEO, you may have forgotten there is a world beyond your multiple screens. Building Offline SEO offer some great advice on what sounds like an oxymoron. Offline SEO really means bringing people to your site by driving them to a search engine with your hand-picked keywords.
10 The Future of SEO. The ability to predict the future, even by a few minutes, is a tremendous advantage in the field of technology. By the time you read an article like this, often the technology has already evolved a new set of terms and capabilities. HTML5 and Web 3.0 are coming in the near future and these seismic changes in cyberspace will bring with them unpredictable challenges. A good place to start framing your expectations is the slide show of Future Vistas for SEO from the Brighton SEO Conference last month.
SEO is the new alchemy - half science, half art with the ability to turn boring webpages into click-through conversion gold. The important thing to remember is that search engine developers are constantly tweaking the crawlers to find and eliminate link farms and content mills. These attempts at fooling the search engine into giving higher rankings for spam-like sites are collectively called "Black Hat" SEO. With all the free and inexpensive resources available for "White Hat" SEO, there is no longer any reason for a reputable company to risk their rank and reputation with those sorts of games. Just keep this resource guide handy for the next time your ranking needs another booster rocket.