The search marketing scenario is fast evolving and progressing . We have seen many developments in the search engine industry with Google and Bing both trying to put in their best to make search more sophisticated, faster, fun and better in all respects by updating their algorithms and the SERP presentations. One major aspect has been the importance to local search and an increasing importance to all other options made available by the search engines. The Real Time Search has also been the necessary added ingredient of the pie without which the flavor of search lacks the zing thing.
If you have a website and you are interested in having a quality presence on the search engines then it is highly essential that you review your site as per the developments taking place and check if your site has all that is necessary for a site to be present on all the search options of the search engines . This review should be done even if your site is already ranking for the targeted keywords since a long time.
A Quick Checklist For the Review:
As the search behavior of the people is changing and people are more aware about search and more specific about what information they are looking for, check if the site ranks for long tail keywords as well . Check the key phrases used by people by using the keyword suggestion tools and check if the site ranks for the much needed permutations and combinations of keywords and phrases. If it is not ranking for them then the site needs to be maybe redone content-wise or it may just need a bit of tweaking here and there . It all depends on the content volume and quality of the website.
2) Search Options:
Ensure that the site has a ranking on all the search options at least the ones relevant to your site content , i.e videos, images, blogs, discussions, Places(local Search), Updates (Real time search),shopping,etc.
3) Local Search:
Though the Places option has been mentioned in point no. 2 the inclusion of the site in local search results is of utmost importance and the methodology for getting listed and rank higher is different than ranking in SERPs. It is also important that the contact page of you site has all the addresses where your business has a presence and all this should be done by integrating the Hcard on the page.
4) Real Time Search And Social media:
Social media is the hub where the WOM is generated. Check if your business has a presence on the social media sites especially Twitter, Facebook and the topical communities and forums related to the main line of business . Having an active presence on these sites with regular postings of tweets, updates and comments you actually put forward the ideology of your company and in a subtle way also propagate and promote the products and services that you deal in.
These sites are crowded with your potential customers and existing customers, hence monitoring what is being said about your company and voicing what you want to say you not only respond to the queries and comments of your existing customers but also offer information to potential customers by interacting with them. Hence it is again of vital importance that this social media interaction which is an art involving the understanding of psychology using the tech savvy attitude to put the best impression forward should be handled by a very responsible person who understands and feels for the vision, mission and success of the company. As now ‘THE WORD OF MOUTH’ has become ‘THE WORLD OF MOUTH’
Check if your company has a blog. Check if it is being updated regularly. Check if the blog URLS SEO friendly. Check if the comments are being responded to. If the answer is no then you are losing out on the main purpose of having a blog. Take the necessary action and make your blog the spokesperson of your company . A company blog reflects the identity of the company.
6) Web Design:
Check if the design, content and navigation is attractive , compelling and attractive enough to enhance the interest level of the visitor so that the visitor goes ahead to read more about the company, products and policies and gets convinced to take a favorable decision to buy or to contact you.
7) Web Culture Of Your Team:
Check if every person in every team whether marketing , technical or operations understands the benefit of web presence and becomes a part of it. Every employee in the company should easily relate to the virtual office (the website) of the company the way they relate to systems and procedures in the offline office. After all the virtual office or store is nothing but a reflection of your offline real presence.
SEO has a wider and broader meaning more than ever before now. SEO is not only about rankings it is about creating an overall positive online presence presenting the true image of the company , establishing the brand of the company and at the same time of course getting high rankings for maximum no. of generic and specific targeted keywords on organic search and all other search options too. Hence, SEO is a very specialized job for which experience is more important than SEO certifications and qualifications.
Companies who have seen the search engines grow in the past decade along with the world wide web are the companies who have the requisite knowledge and experience for this. As you cannot learn swimming virtually, you have to jump into the water and practice to become a good swimmer. In order to become a good SEO you need to actually work on sites over a long period of time experiencing all the ups and downs of working for a qualitative search engine presence.
Cross check your site for all the above mentioned points in the check list for 2011 and work your way to a richer , positive and qualitative web presence to unleash the power of the web and enhance business prospects. This exercise should be done on an ongoing basis periodically , even though you have good rankings, as there is always scope for improvement .