By Richard Gregory from Latitude, Search Marketing Agency


1) Use available tools

There are a number of useful tools out there today to help with all aspects of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and search marketing. The use of Google webmaster tools, and rank checking software are a definite must. Google trends and Google adword keyword suggestion tools are great resources for keyword research. Other handy tools include SEO plug-ins for the firefox browser, spider simulators and keyword density tools. Many of these tools are available online, www.seochat.com/seo-tools is a good place to begin exploring. There are often multiple versions of particular tools; it is worth spending a little bit of time trying each tool to determine which tools you find most beneficial.


2) Stay Up to Date

The SEO industry is changing all of the time, so it is important to stay up to date with the latest developments. Reading SEO blogs and browsing SEO discussion forums are a great way of staying informed of the latest developments. By doing so, you will also learn a lot, be it a new link building idea or a new handy plug-in which may save you a lot of time. Recommended blogs include: www.seomoz.org/blog, www.wolf-howl.com , www.bluehatseo.com, and www.mattcutts.com/blog.


3) Wider Picture

Look at your search marketing campaign from broader picture, what else could you be doing in online marketing that will have a positive impact on your backlink profile / traffic / rankings? For example, if your site has a blog, are you using blog pinging services (Google’s own service or services such as Weblogs and Feed burner). Are you utilising local search, universal search elements? For example, are you including unique image alt tags, increasing the chances of appearing in Google image search? If you publish news articles, does your site have a Google news sitemap? How appropriate is your site to social media outlets, such as stumble upon, digg.com and reddit.com?


4) User Experience

Obtaining top rankings for your selected keyword is great, but unless this traffic is converting into sales / leads this traffic is worthless. Be sure to keep the user experience in mind when altering site structures. Is it easy for users to find what they are looking for? Web users are becoming more and more savvy, if they can not find what they are looking for in seconds, they are likely to try looking elsewhere. Is the navigation consistent throughout the site? Analyse your site analyitics to find big exit points, and focus on ways of reducing the number of people leaving the site. Maybe the user journey from homepage to sale is unnecessarily long, and can be reduced. Software is available which allows you to track the mouse movements of individual users (www.clicktale.com), which can provide a great insight to user experience.