What Is Your SEO Plan?
The first step that advertisers and marketing professionals need to take to apply optimization techniques to a website is to articulate the objective and characterize the visitor, the desired visitor experience and outcome. The optimization plan should evolve out of this.
The word optimization by itself suggests that the plan should balance the initiative and the budget so as to get cost effective results. If the stakes are high, it may sustain higher advertisement and paid listing options. How much would you like to spend on this exercise? If the budget is limited, the expensive options of several advertisements, linking programs, directory listings will have to be forsaken and attention given to getting the best results from limited but focused efforts. The key metrics to this program is to assess the ROI it delivers: marketing dollars vis-à-vis measurable benefits to the organization.
The Biggest Bang For Your Buck
Search Engines provide you an effective vehicle for promotion of your website. There are no doubt other channels available. ‘Directories’ is often included in the generic term ‘search engines’ although they are distinct in their characteristics and function.
Advertisements through banner displays at popular and often visited sites and “portals”, reciprocal links, affiliate links and programs that direct visitors from one site to a targeted site (with a payment associated with such arrangements) and publicity through other media are other well known avenues of promotion. Mass email campaigns, publishing and distributing internet newsletters, ‘permission marketing’ using list servers and internet based marketing promotions including coupons and sweepstakes are other forms of online advertising.
The key determinant is what value the initiative offers you in return for the investment. Metrics are somewhat more difficult to establish for search engine optimization compared to other direct forms of advertisement. Some suggested measures for determining ROI are discussed in a later section.