SEO Optimization: It's Perfectly Natural

What You Should Expect From Search Engine Optimization

Tom Shivers

When your site begins ranking high in the natural or organic listings of the search engines, you can expect that:

  • More people looking for your business can find it easily.
  • You generate more business, depending on how well your site is tuned to communicate with your online audience.
  • Other websites begin linking to your site as the place to go.
  • Your PR efforts reap dividends as journalists find your site and "feature" you.
  • Momentum builds over time and your site can begin ranking high for multiple related search terms.

Your target audience easily finds your site.
It's obvious that people who are researching, have a need or want for something are going to use a search engine because it's convenient? Most of these searchers will not go beyond the first page of results on a given keyword and some will not go even "below the fold" (the first panel of results displayed) if they find a website that has what they are looking for. Make it convenient for your target audience to find your site - and stop paying so much for clicks.

Generate more business.
Most businesses think that getting more traffic to their website will result in more business, but that may not be true if your site is not tuned to your prospects' wavelength. What motivates your target audience? What problems are they trying to solve? What is their psychology?

Many organizations have misconceptions about generating business through their website and selling online. They try to sell based on their corporate structure, rather than taking the time to build decision paths for prospects' questions and concerns and leading them only as far as they want to go in their buying process. In short, they fail to engage their web visitor and build a relationship. When your website is tuned to communicate with your target audience, the conversion rate increases and you generate more business.

Other websites begin linking to yours.
Inevitably, when your site is easy to find and communicates well, it becomes a link-worthy site. Your customers and prospects begin spreading the word about your site and linking to it as the place to go to. With no additional effort on your part, links to your site begin showing up all over the Internet. This is "word of mouth" advertising - and it's what all marketers crave.

A link-worthy website will gain higher search rank.

Journalists notice your business.
A client once told me how his business was written about in various magazines and newspapers every 3 to 6 months. He said journalists would call to interview him on various community aspects of his business, saying they found his website by doing keyword searches and that his site provided relevant information for their stories. Of course, these search terms were also important to his business.

You can experience the same thing from your website if it is easily found by your target audience, communicates effectively and has some appeal to journalists who need a good story (or even good background information).

Momentum builds over time.
A great deal of work is usually required up front to get a site ranking well in the search engines. But, because search engines take time to update their databases of results, solid organic optimization is a long-term marketing strategy, and it can take 3 to 6 months to see good results from an SEO campaign. When a campaign has been started on a strategic long-term objective and is maintained properly, it gains momentum.

No matter where your site is now, know that a well-thought-out SEO campaign can move you further along the normal growth stages. These include:

  1. Average presence - Your site can be found if prospects have the time and energy to make the effort.
  2. Above-average presence - You're more easily found and offer some of what your visitors are seeking.
  3. Contender - Your site creates a buzz in the industry; your products/services are well-known and the site delivers traffic, sales and PR mileage.
  4. Player - You're well on your way to becoming the "800-pound gorilla" in your market. Keep up the good work.

If you're ready to take your marketing and organic optimization efforts to the next level, it may be time to

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