A few things you need to know before you can SEO

A few things you need to know before you can SEO

4th November 2010

Search engine optimization is a business that’s still growing. Awareness within companies of the existence of SEO is still growing. More and more companies realize the potential value and want to jump on the bandwagon. But I have to warn you: SEO is not a solution by itself. It is rather a means to reach your online goals. Before you start with SEO there are a few things you should know. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before starting with SEO.

What is the goal of your website?

The goal of SEO is not solely to get more visitors to your website. Your website has a purpose within your organization. Whether it’s to generate more online sales or to create a professional image of your company for potential clients, something has to happen with a visitor to become a valuable visitor of your website. They have to reach a certain goal. The goal of SEO should be to attract more visitors that reach more goals on your website. Therefore you have to know what the goal of your website is before starting with SEO. And most of all you need to be able to measure and analyze the effectiveness of your website.

Who is your target audience?

Your website not only has a goal, but it also targets a specific group of people. Before you can start with SEO you need to know who these people are. If you want to know which topics you want to optimize your website for, you need to know who your target audience is. Without knowing who you target you won’t be able to know what those people are searching for. You have to know which words they use to describe your product or service, how and where they search and especially why they search. You can only realize this by defining the characteristics of your target audience.

How do you differentiate from you competition?

Each member of your target audience makes decision based on different factors. To know which keywords to target you need to know how you stick out from your competitors. Ask yourself: What are you good at? When you know what you’re good at (compared to your competition) you know what to optimize for. You shouldn’t optimize for ‘cheap [product]’ when you try to sell a product based on your service-level.

Also read: The basis of keyword research

Within your company who is responsible for the website?

Search engine optimization is not a process you can outsource completely. It involves making changes to your website, either in the code, the structure or the content. And you don’t want an external party to be responsible for your complete website. You can describe your products the best. Therefore you have to make sure someone in your company is ultimately responsible for the website. You don’t want your SEO company giving expensive advice that’s not going to be implemented in your website.

These are just a few questions you need to answer before should ask a SEO specialist to come over and talk about the possibilities. If you don’t know these answers maybe you should come up with an online marketing strategy before starting with SEO.


Written By
Jeroen van Eck is a consultant search engine marketing at the online marketing company E-Focus in the Netherlands.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.