Marketing Matters: Start SEO Planning Early
Most companies begin looking for Search Engine Optimization services with a narrow focus: achieving top rankings for certain keywords. The question is this: how can those companies be sure their "chosen" keywords are actually appropriate to their marketplace or will successfully generate qualified visitors that convert to sales once they reach the website?
In some cases, the answer is simple, but the extensive keyword research done by an SEO professional may in fact produce a very different set of keywords that prove to be more effective and perhaps were not considered by the client initially. The nuances of search engine algorithms, related synonyms and topics, actual user behavior and the competition within the marketplace all factor into the results returned in searches. For this reason, your SEO vendor should provide advanced analytical and strategic marketing skills.
SEO Is Evolving
Currently the industry is moving to the term Search Engine Marketing (SEM), a more encompassing view of all tasks an SEO professional should perform, yet revolves around the basic tactic of optimizing websites for search engines (SEO). The value of taking on an experienced SEO consultant can extend far beyond top rankings, which often occur naturally with a well-researched and planned SEO strategy.
SEO professionals brought into a website project early in a consulting role will help ensure the site is properly optimized for both users and search engines. The Internet marketing consultant evaluates the overall landscape, makes recommendations for improved site performance and marketing copy, recommending adjustments to the strategy as trends develop within the lifetime of a website.
The knowledge and skill of an experienced SEO professional will be most effective from the beginning of the website development process. Too often, search engine marketing is only considered as an afterthought, commonly creating obstacles that need work-arounds or significant website changes which could have been avoided if SEO was part of the planning stages.
However, all is not lost - with today's abundance of pay-for-placement options, it is possible to experience high-quality traffic and become a force in the marketplace. But buyer beware - your marketing budget should be a significant amount for your industry and tracking methods need to be in place to properly assess the response and conversions of your campaign to effectively maximize ROI.
No matter what the approach, the ongoing maintenance of SEO and Internet marketing tactics is critical to the overall success of a website, as techniques and opportunities change so rapidly within the search engine industry.