Undoubtedly one of the most popular topics in Internet Marketing today is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the name given to improving website content and Web visibility for higher placement in the search engines. With a little research and elbow grease, a business can easily create and optimize a website in one day or less specifically for generating leads from popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
The technique is called “SEO in a Day” and in this article I will show you how to choose the right keywords, install and optimize a website, create high-converting, keyword-optimized web content, and acquire hyperlinks from relevant third party websites.
Before a business spends an extensive amount of energy on diligence or RFP-writing, they should consider this “SEO in a Day” strategy as an affordable jump-start campaign to get their feet wet with search engine optimization. If the results don’t meet expectations, the business will at least have knowledge of what’s involved in Search Engine Optimization and be more equipped to choose a provider by knowing what questions to ask.
Step One: Keyword Research
Choosing keywords is by far the most important step in any SEO or Sponsored Ads campaign. Before using any of the tools mentioned here, a business should spend a reasonable amount of time (maybe a few weeks) asking customers how they would search the Internet to find their product or service. If Sponsored Ads data is already available, and a business already knows which keywords produce leads, assembling a keyword list is simple.
I recommend starting with 30-60 very specific keywords (i.e.: 21” blue widget versus “widget” by itself). Make note of where the business website ranks for these keywords prior to doing the optimization, so that delta and tracking reports can be generated.
Popular keyword tools include: KeywordDiscovery.com, WordTracker.com, SpyFu.com, KeywordSpy.com, SEMRush.com, and of course my favorite, the free Google AdWords Keyword Tool.
When done, you should have a sorted list of 30-60 keywords sorted by a hybrid of relevancy and search volume. This list can then be converting into a Content Tracking Spreadsheet with columns for SEO focal points (title, description, heading/h1, page name, and so forth).
Step 2: Installing & Optimizing WordPress
Thanks to Name.com’s new Rapid Blog option, one can purchase a domain name (hopefully with the brand and top keyword in mind) and install a WordPress website with Google (Gmail) email integrated in less than 15 minutes.
Up to this point, we have a list of 30-60 highly relevant search phrases and an empty WordPress website. The goal now is make our WordPress website search engine-friendly and create some pages to compliment the keywords we are targeting.
When optimizing WordPress, there are a few easy-to-install plugins that do a great job fixing some of the common webcrawler obstacles. These plugins include:
· All-in-One SEO Pack
· Robots Meta
· Top Level Categories
· Canonical URLs
· Google Analytics for WordPress
· Dagon Sitemap Creator
Use of the above plugins is fairly intuitive. Simply navigate to WordPress’s Settings and configure each plugin as per the respective instructions contained within them.
You’ll also want insure that your Permalink configuration (also under Settings) is using the structure shown below:
Step 3: Content
A business website running on WordPress does NOT need to look like a blog, even though WordPress was originally created as a blog tool. Thousands of businesses are searching for “custom WordPress theme” (according to Google at the time of this writing, 5,000 per month actually) and finding coders who can help them create a theme that meets their business needs.
Many pre-existing themes can be found in Rapid Blog and across the web that can be “Activated” in 5 minutes or less.
With a little cleanup after the installation of the custom WordPress theme and the addition of few basic Pages (not to be confused with Posts), such as About Us, Contact (important for lead-tracking), and Services, a business can have a fully optimized website live and ready for business in under a day.
Using the Robots Meta plugin, one can easily submit their website and page list to Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo! Site Explorer and Bing Webmaster Tools. Also under Settings, the business will need to change the Privacy Settings to allow the search engines to find the website.
The addition of 30-60 keyword-rich pages (“Posts” in WordPress) with professional imagery, video and other engaging content, the website can contain an arsenal for keyword positioning in the search engines. Just remember to not “over-optimize” when writing page copy and to really be thinking about what the user will want to see and read to compel them to click a Learn More or Request a Quote button.
Step 4: Links
On the website, using short WordPress titles (headings) containing the targeted keywords will result in an optimized site map page that will help Googlebot and Yahoo!’s Slurp bot better understand the content and keyword themes being optimized for.
Off the website, a business should acquire visibility and hyperlinks to the website from relevant web directories such as Yahoo! Directory and DMOZ and associations related to their respective industry. The businesses should also consider starting ongoing campaign for connecting with their target market by interacting in blogs and Q&A websites (such as Yahoo! Answers or LinkedIn Q&A), as well as through producing articles and announcing company/product launch news in press releases. Twitter and Facebook both offer platforms for potential customers to interact and ask questions. All of these destinations make for a great inbound link strategy.
With a little research and with the help of Rapid Blog, a business can successfully achieve high placement in the search results within 3-6 months using the “SEO in a Day” strategy; even faster with an aggressive link building and social networking strategy. Using WordPress as the platform for achieving higher placement in the search engines could produce some incredible results without paying thousands of dollars to an SEO agency.
For more information about WordPress, visit WordPress.org.
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