Many website owners create their first site simply because ‘it was a good idea at the time’. The site is put together with little thought as to why, with little direction, and certainly with little or no thought of search engine optimization.
Trying to undo several years’ worth of aimless site building can be a nightmare from a search engine optimization view point. In fact at times the quickest option is to scrap the lot and start all over.
My first piece of advice to anyone looking to create an online presence is to treat it a like a new business. For any individual looking to commence a business, there are several steps you should take first and one of those is research. Researching your market, your competition and your location. Starting a website is no different.
Research Your Market: Who are your customers and where can they be found online? What sort of products/services are they buying and what prices are they prepared to pay. These are all standard questions when researching for a bricks and mortar business and they apply equally well to an online business.
Research Your Keywords: Once you know who your target audience is and what products/services they are likely to buy, you can start to research your keywords. Keywords are the lifeblood of any SEO program. Get them right and you have won half the battle.
Research Your Competitors: As with any bricks and mortar business, knowing who your competitors are, where they are and how they do business is equally important for your online business. You also need to research the range of keywords they are using in their optimization programs if you are going to be able to compete successfully.
Research is half the battle. Done thoroughly the data collected can help make the critical decisions required to succeed. Your SEO strategies will depend on this data to help bring in the prospective customers.