The 3 golden rules of SEO

Like any other marketing campaign that you have ever or will ever implement, there is a certain amount of work that should be done before you can start optimizing your website and building inbound links to increase search engine traffic. Without having enough background information or doing proper research beforehand, you are essentially wasting your time on SEO activities.

Here are 3 things you need to understand before starting an SEO campaign:

Who Your Audience Is
If you think that your target audience is “everyone”, you’re in trouble. You really need to have a firm understanding of who is or will be most interested in the products or services that you offer. Once you know who they are, the next step is to find out what their behaviors are, particularly their online behaviors. How do they spend their time online? What sites do they visit? This information will help you understand the best places to build links.

Who Your Competition Is
This is another area in which businesses tend to be unrealistic. If you are an antique furniture re-seller you are not competing with JC Penny or Ikea. Consider geographic and business size factors. Once you’ve narrowed it down to competitors within your specific niche, see what they are doing in the online space. Helpful tools like Compete and Website Grader give you intelligence regarding competitor’s websites and how they advertise and market themselves.

What Conversion You Want
SEO works to get traffic to your site, but the rest is up to the website itself. Is it conversion friendly? The first step is to know what your conversion metric will be. Do you want a visitor to buy directly from the site? Fill out a form? Call a salesperson? A site can be well optimized, but if there are no clear calls to action it won’t perform as well as it should. The kind of conversion that you are looking to achieve will influence the keywords that are chosen, which essentially are the foundation of an SEO campaign.

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