SEO 101

An Often Forgotten – and Critically Important – Part of the SEO Process

Search engine optimization is no longer just a game for online marketers. These days, everyone from local grocers to multinational corporations is in on the act. That’s because each of them knows the same thing that the rest of us do: that having one of the best positions on Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft’s Bing has the potential to double, triple, or quadruple any business’s revenue almost overnight. Regardless of what you sell, there’s no substitute for some prime online real estate.

But, as all of these marketers get busy generating keyword rich content, optimizing their page headings and alternate text, and generating incoming links to their websites, they often miss the simple, yet crucial, piece of the puzzle: paying attention to the results.

Strange as it may seem, many of them – including more than a few professional web designers – never get beyond putting their company’s name into a Google search box and seeing where it comes up. It’s a good piece of information to have, but it’s certainly not the only one that matters. Savvy marketers will also want to know things like how many visits they are actually getting, whether or not potential customers are returning, how long they are spending on the site, the value per visitor, and so on.

Good metrics make for good search engine optimization, but it’s something that too many business owners and advisers miss the boat on. Here are four tips to help you keep your SEO campaign measured and on track:

Use good SEO anlaysis tools. There are all kinds of software programs and plug-ins available to help you keep track of what’s happening on your website, ranging from the simple and cheap to the complex and expensive. This isn’t an area where you have to spend a lot of money, but be sure to buy what you need, since getting the right information is crucial to making the right judgments.  SEO Quotient specializes in web analytics to measure past performance, monitor current performance and predict future performance.

Know what SEO metrics you’re looking for. At the end of the day, any visitor that earns youprofit is a good one, while all the hits in the world won’t mean much if they don’t buy anything. For that reason, it’s important that you track more than simply your search engine position, or the amount of visits you get – learn to spot the numbers and data that point to sales, and then keep a close eye on them.

Remember to remember. A good rule from for checking out your website metrics and search engine optimization progress is to not rely on your memory. It’s an easy thing to forget, or just put off, when you’re busy with dozens of other details. So, make a regular appointment – either with your web marketing team or yourself – to check in at regular intervals and see how things are going.

Adjust your sights. What’s important this week, in terms of search engine positioning, might not matter down the road. Don’t just look for how you’re doing with the key words and phrases you’ve already identified – look out for other profitable ones on the horizon. If you can spot a market opportunity before anyone else, you might be able to gain a step in the race to the top search engine spots.