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How to Begin a Search Engine Optimization Campaign

Search engine optimization or SEO as itís often called by savvy marketers is the science of optimizing your website so it appeals to both the search engines and visitors. Websites that are indexed and ranked by search engine spiders attract visitors. A well-optimized site will convert visitors into buyers and⁄or subscribers. Some folks think that SEO is all about trying to outsmart Google to gain first page rankings however that is far from the truth. The main purpose of SEO is to appeal to your visitors so they will keep returning.

There are many moving parts to SEO and one has to always keep up with the latest updates to stay current, however their are some basic components that form the foundation of every successful SEO campaign. Most savvy marketers may already be familiar with these components however itís worth repeating them here for those that wish to begin SEO.

Here are the seven major components of a successful SEO campaign:

1. Keyword research

Keywords embedded in your web pages are what search engines use to find your content. I usually use Googleís free keyword research tool to discover keywords people are searching on each month. It generates a list of 100 related keywords to use for your site. There are other paid tools available however Googleís keyword research tool provides sufficient relevant information.

2. Site architecture

How your website is structured affects SEO. For example your main navigation links should correspond to your main topics whereas your sub-topics should be part of your sub navigation. All pages should be linked to one another so the search engines can easily crawl your site. Make sure you include a regular site map plus a Google site map so Google can find and index all your pages.

Google rewards sites that are tightly themed. Avoid placing unrelated content on your site. Other factors affecting site architecture include page loading times, duplicate content, html⁄css errors, and including too many images on your web pages.

Use your site analytics to identify what factors are hindering your siteís performance then go about fixing them.

3. Web Copy

The reason most websites donít convert well is due to ineffective web copy. Visitors will decide to do business with a company by the way the words are written on your pages. For instance if a visitor canít quickly understand the main purpose and benefits of your website when visiting the home page theyíll leave for your competitors.

Your main keywords should be woven throughout your web copy so search engines can find your website. They should also be included in the meta tags, navigation links and anchor text (hyperlinked text).

When writing web copy place yourself in your visitors shoes so you can write from their perspective instead of your own. This will increase your conversion rates.

4. Link Building

This is often referred to as off site optimization because your getting other websites to link to yours. The number and quality of links pointing to your site will affect your rankings. There are many ways to build links however here is a short list to get you started:

Research competitors links and use them to link to your site
Submit your site to directories related to your niche
Write relevant articles and submit them to article directories and ezine publishers
Write and submit guest blog posts
Create videos and submit them to video sharing sites
Engage in conversation on blogs and forums related to your web content

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Social Media Marketing All-in-One For Dummies

Social media continues to evolve at breakneck speed, and the savvy marketer needs to keep up. This bestselling guide to social media marketing covers the newest vehicles, including Groupon and Rue La La, location-based services like Foursquare, and new social networking sites like Google+ and Pinterest.

Checklists, case studies, and examples will help you decide the best places to spend your marketing dollars, and you'll learn about valuable social media tools and analytics methods that can help you assess the success of your efforts. It is the perfect guidebook for the social media strategist, website manager, marketer, publicist, or anyone in charge of implementing and managing an organization's social media strategy.

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