My Three “R”s of SEO

“The Three ‘R’s” is my basic philosophy on SEO strategy. It’s where I begin when starting any new content or search optimization project.

Reach
Optimize your site for specific key words and phrases that address your specific target demographic. Your key words and phrases should be common and standard terminology in the industry for your product type. They should be words that someone would actually use to search for your product. If you have more than one target demo – like wholesale contractors and homeowners – with two very different information needs, you will have to optimize your site along two distinct paths to reach these two demos effectively. The bottom line here is that your optimization efforts have to focus on reaching the right people.

Relevance
Based on your key words/terms, create content that is relevant and valuable to your target demos. It must address their specific information needs, be differentiated from that of your competition, be considered valuable by your potential customers, and be accessible as they need it. Things like “How Tos” for your home owners and project calculators for your contractors might be examples. Here, the focus is on providing the right people with the right content at the time they need it.

Relationship
You have to build a relationship with your customer. Weather you go the “trusted advisor” approach by consistently adding new and valuable content and making your customers aware of it, or the “community host” approach by actively cultivating a rich online community, the relationship aspect will be integral in establishing your brand over the long term.

What do you think? What’s your philosophy?


SEO – Don’t forget about your collateral

There’s something people often forget about when doing SEO – search engine optimizing printable online collateral such as brochures, datasheets, or PowerPoint presentations.

PDFs and PPT files regularly appear in your Google search results along with web pages. Why? Google crawls PDFs and other file types and indexes them like web pages.

Why should you care?
Any PDF or PowerPoint presentation on your site can potentially effect your overall search results. Additionally, ANY ONE in your organization who produces brochures, documentation, presentations, or any other collateral you post to your site can impact your search results. It’s not just your web content people that have to be knowledgeable about search engine optimized content any more.

Negative Implications?
Depending on the key words used in a search, your competitor’s search optimized Widget instruction manual could come in above your poorly optimized whiz-bang Widget campaign landing page.

Positive Implications
You can really expand your overall search visibility by making sure all of the documents and collateral on your site adhere to basic principles for search engine optimized content. If you look at every document as a potential search result, you’re crazy not to make sure those docs are are optimized for specific key words or phrases.

The Philosophy

The way people find information has dramatically changed over the past two years. We are in a time of right-now information consumption and the search engine is increasingly becoming the only well from which we all drink.

While content has always been king with online marketing, changes in user behavior and search engine algorithms have raised the importance of generating and delivering good, user-centered content even higher.

People are utilizing search engines more as a FIRST step in finding products and info. The days of the portal and publisher sites that feed topical content on a fixed schedule are gone. Those wells have dried up for us marketers. Now, people want good, accessable information that is relevant to their needs at the very instant they need it. And we have to make sure it is our content they find – not our competitors.

Go to Google. Enter your search. Get your info. Drink up.