Before You Do SEO, Make Sure You’ve Done These Three Things
The nature of competition on the web is so stiff these days that many are looking for any way whatsoever to get ahead of their competitors. Perhaps the most common way to gain an advantage over competitors in the world of online brands is through SEO, as it offers a variety of pathways to success. SEO is complex, but does work with persistence and effort. Not everything revolves around SEO when building a brand online, however, as some elements must be taken care of first. Below, we will discuss three simple things that must be acknowledged and perfected before you can begin relying upon SEO for web-based success.
Evaluate Your Business Model
The simple nature of doing business online at first can trick some brands into thinking that a sound business plan might not be necessary. Whether your brand is one that exists in the physical realm and is moving into online markets or is a brand that is beginning on the web for the first time, a solid business plan is crucial. Your brand still needs to be able to generate more revenue than it costs to operate in order to be viable, so be sure to evaluate your current standings. How many page views per month is the site receiving, what is the anticipated profit margin and how well are you currently doing at converting customers and visitors? Pinging search engines for these answers and more will help you to further evaluate your business model and be in a good position to begin SEO.
Understand Your Market
Before you can truly begin using SEO to your advantage, you must first be sure that you understand the market and audiences you plan to target. For instance, a market that is highly competitive and that contains dozens of brands all vying for attention may be a difficult proposition if you do not have ample time and money to invest. Do not fret, however, because there are always ways to target new audiences with similar products and branding. SEO allows brands to delve into niche markets in ways brands and businesses could not in the past, but in order to do this effectively, you must first research who exactly will be in your target audience and where they can be found.
Inspect Your Site
With a detailed business plan in place and a proper understanding of your target market, all that is left is to make sure that your website is appealing to your audience before beginning SEO. While some elements of SEO deal with aesthetic elements, it is by and large a subjective process. You can poll your visitors and subscribers on various design elements to gauge opinion, or you can procure the services of a web design company to guide you through the process. While functionality of a website is paramount, the layout and feel of a website will determine within the first few seconds how an individual feels about your brand. Once you have established a design/layout that is appealing to the masses, you can then begin pinging search engines with more technical signals that relate to its SEO potential.
SEO is a crucial component of content marketing and product promotion. Without it, very few people would be able to find your brand. Before you begin fretting over this element, however, be sure to have an online business model in place, a proper understanding of your target audience and a website that will please the masses in its design.