Build a great website and the visitors will come - correct? Unfortunately not - building a great website is only half the picture it is important to have a clear strategy for marketing it from the start. Your online marketing strategy might include any of the following; search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), affiliate marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, banner advertising and linking up with other website to drive traffic.
SEO is first on the list for a reason, getting it right will usually mean that the search engines become your main source of traffic, and in the UK getting it right means getting on the first page of Google (Google currently accounts for 87% of the UK search market). My advice is not to rule out any marketing activity, but assign a priority to each and focus on the highest priority first. Your priorities will depend on what you are trying to achieve, customer retention or attracting new business.
So how do you get it right with Google? There are three main areas when it comes to search engine optimisation, you need to make sure you address each one in order to get results:
- Technical Aspects: Semantic HTML, separate content from style, keyword rich URLs and ensuring the site is indexed properly by the search engines.
- Content: Produce great content and use key word research to identfiy relevent ket phrase.
- Links: Both internal (how your site links to internal pages) and external (who links to you and who you link to) links are vital. Not all links are equal, a small number of high quality contextual links are better than lots of low quality links. Remember that context is key.
There is lots of information available online that will provide you with all you need to know about search engine optimisation, I have listed a few good sources of information below:
- How Does Google Work from freshbusinessthink.com - This interview with David White CEO of Weboptimser gives an overview of the key issues.
- The Anatomy of a Search Engine by Sergey Brin and Lawenrce Page - this paper by the founders of Google outlines the foundations of how Google works.
- How Does Google Work and Google in China YouTube video featuring David Vise, the author of the Google Story.