What is the real purpose of SEO, anyway? Ask anyone and the answer is bound to be something along the lines of, the goal of SEO is to increase your search engine rankings or, for those who have given it a bit more thought, it’s to drive more traffic to your website.
While those answers are technically accurate, the truth goes a whole lot deeper than that, and one company’s truth is not necessarily another’s. Every business has a unique profile, way of doing business and service or product offering, and it also has unique search engine optimization needs.
To define your SEO goals and objectives, it helps to first determine your expected outcome from all of your marketing efforts. Driving plenty of traffic to your website is really just a starting point from which to branch out, because increased traffic that doesn’t bring you any benefit is worthless. Below are four basic examples of search engine optimization goals that you could aim for.
If you want to use your website to push sales of your product or service, then you need to consider keywords that focus on your niche with purchase intent. This means, your website should be populated with nitty-gritty info, like product comparisons, product reviews, individual product detail pages, and pricing pages that make it as easy as possible for people to find the products on your website. For help on writing good product comparison page’s check out this article from pro blogger.
In an ecommerce scenario like this, the initial focus is not necessarily about building long-term relationships – although a percentage of customers will possibly use you for future purchases. The focus of your content should focus strongly on optimizing product and category descriptions to bring in new business.
Lead-generation is also very sales-oriented, but it’s targeting long-term relationships with customers who will use your services and products for several months or years. A simple order-form type website won’t do here; rather, you want to focus on the long-term benefits of your product or service, and on relationships built with clients.
To get lead-generating SEO optimization basics right, you want to concentrate on developing informative content, deep diving into key challenges your lead faces, how your solutions can help, and focus on keywords like “case studies”, “how to”, and other article quality copy that prove your knowledge.
There are many reasons to focus on branding – your primary business isn’t done online; you might be a multinational with varied interests; you are a service-oriented business that can’t define set price-tags, or a host of other reasons. In this case, your website is going to be far more about increasing awareness of your business and its goings-on.
Here you might focus your search engine optimization techniques on branded search, and on sharing information about your operations; for example, whether your business is involved in social improvement projects, or what news outlets or industry experts are saying about you.
Engaging and informing customers
Engagement and information sharing is the SEO long game. Customers may not use your type of product or service regularly, but due to its unique nature, they want to know as much as possible about it before committing. There are incredible examples of this type of SEO to be found on high price tag travel websites, realtor pages and luxury goods sites.
The purpose here is to prove your expertise on the subject, educate your potential customers so that they really know what they can expect.
Of course, these are just some of the goals of effective SEO, and you might have others. These four, however, are the most prevalent and a good place to get your feet wet with some SEO optimization basics.
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What are the goals and objectives behind your search engine optimization efforts? Leave a comment, I read every one.