Before Launching Your SEO Campaign
By Kalena Jordan of Search
One of the most important aspects of a search engine
optimization campaign is also one of the most
overlooked - preparation!
As I'm always explaining to my SEO101 students, there
are some important steps to take in advance of
launching your campaign that will make sure it has a
better chance at succeeding.
Before You Start
Before you start any search engine optimization
campaign, whether it's for your own site or that
belonging to a client, you need to answer the following
1) What is the overall motivation for optimizing
this site? What do I/they hope to achieve? (e.g. more
sales, more subscribers, more traffic, more publicity
2) What is my/their time-frame for this project?
3) What is my/their budget for this project?
4) Who will be responsible for this project? Will it
be a joint or solo effort? Will it be run entirely in-house
Answering these questions will help you to build a
framework for your campaign and establish limitations
for the size and scope of the campaign.
Next, you need to establish the project requirements,
so you can tailor the SEO campaign to you or your
client's exact needs. You need to know things like:
1) What technology was used to build the site?
2) What are the file extensions of the pages?
(i.e. .htm, .php, .cfm etc)
3) Does the site contain database driven
content? If so, will the URLs contain query strings? e.g.
(containing "?" symbols), or does the site use
parameter workarounds to remove the query strings?
(the latter is search engine friendly).
4) Are there at least 250 words of text on the
home page and other pages to be optimized?
5) How does the navigation work? Does it use
6) Approximately how many pages does the site
contain? How many of these will be optimized?
7) What is the current link popularity of the site?
8) What is the approximate Google PageRank of
the site? Would it benefit from link building?
9) Do I have the ability to edit the source code
directly? Or will I need to hand-over the optimized code
to a site admin for integration?
10) Do I have permission to alter the visible
content of the site?
11) What are the products/services that the site
promotes? (e.g. widgets, mobile phones, hire cars etc.)
12) What are the site's geographical target
markets? Are they global? Country specific? State
specific? Town specific?
13) What are the site's demographic target
markets? (e.g. young urban females, working mothers,
single parents etc.)
14) What are 20 search keywords or phrases that
I think my/my client's target markets will use to find
the site in the search engines?
15) Who are my/my client's major competitors
online? What are their URLs? What keywords are they
16) Who are the stake-holders of this site? How
will I report to them?
17) Do I have access to site traffic logs or
statistics to enable me to track visitor activity during
the campaign? Specifically, what visitor activity will I
18) How do I plan on tracking my or my client's
rankings in the search engines?
19) Do I or my client have the ability and
resources in place to respond to increased
traffic/business as a result of the campaign?
20) What are my/my client's expectations for the
optimization campaign? Are they realistic?
Answers to the first 10 questions above will determine
how search engine-compatible the site currently is and
the complexity of optimization required. For example, if
the site pages currently have little text on them, you
know you'll need to integrate more text to make the
site compatible with search engines and to be able to
include your target keywords. If the site currently uses
frames, you will need to rebuild the pages without
frames or create special No-Frames tags to make sure
the site can be indexed.
This initial analysis will help you to scope the time and
costs involved in advance. For those of you optimizing
client sites, obtaining accurate answers to these
questions BEFORE quoting is absolutely crucial.
Otherwise you can find yourself in the middle of a
project that you have severely under-quoted for and
that's very frustrating.
The remainder of questions are to establish in advance
the who, what, where, when, why and how of the
optimization campaign. This will help you determine the
most logical keywords and phrases to target, as well as
which search engines and directories to submit the site
to and which sites to pursue reciprocal links with.
You're Now Prepared!
So now you are clear about your motivations for
optimizing the site, you know more about the target
markets, you know how compatible the existing site is
with search engines and how much work is involved in
the search engine optimization process. You're ready to
tackle the job!
As well as running her own SEO business Web Rank, Kalena
Jordan manages Search
Engine College, an online training institution
offering instructor-led short courses and downloadable
self-study courses in Search Engine Optimization and
Search Engine Marketing subjects.
Can you believe it's July already? Half the year is over
and it still feels like February.
Perhaps that's because I've been so busy. Everything
since the birth of my son has been a blur. I can hardly
keep up with my own In-Tray, let alone what's been
happening in the search industry. They say you lose
brain cells during pregnancy so I guess that's my
Anyway, this month we've got an article about how to
prepare for your SEO campaign, PLUS a special
discount deal on our search engine marketing courses
at Search Engine College, exclusive to Search Light
Speaking of SEC, we were pretty chuffed this month to
gain endorsement from Overture for our Pay Per Click
courses, with ALL students receiving an Overture
account to the value of USD70. You can read all about
Enjoy this issue and remember to visit our daily Search
Engine News Blog for the latest industry news and
Till next time - wishing you high rankings...
|Overture Partners With Search Engine College|
| ||Recently launched online marketing training school Search
Engine College received a boost of credibility
recently via official endorsement from the pay-per-
click search giant Overture.
In a press release distributed to media this month,
Overture pledged sponsorship of the College via the
provision of an Overture Australia account to the value
of AUD100 (approximately USD70) for every student
enrolling in SEC's Pay Per Click search marketing
Ms Mel Bohse, managing director of Overture Australia
said, "Sponsoring SEC's Pay-Per-Click courses involves
Overture Australia providing all students with AU$100
to begin learning the art of search marketing in a real
"They'll use the AU$100 to begin an actual search
marking campaign for their company, using Overture's
technology. SEC's highly qualified tutors will guide the
students through each step in the process, helping
them realise the substantial return-on-investment
benefits that can result from search engine marketing."
"By partnering with Overture to deliver the Pay Per
Click training courses, SEC is able to teach search
engine marketing in a real world situation", said Chris
Dimmock, Search Engine College Tutor for the Pay-Per-
Click marketing courses.
"The students will have a live Overture Precision Match
account, set up in their company's name and will be
running real campaigns for their companies with the
$100 provided by Overture. Overture's involvement
literally moves the course from theory to practice."
The College is still accepting student registrations for
their first round of Pay Per Click courses, commencing
|LookSmart Withdraws "Free" Clicks|
| ||Embattled search firm LookSmart has announced the
end of the so-called "free clicks" they were providing
customers of their LookListings pay per click advertising
For the past two years, customers had been receiving
free clicks each month in exchange for directory listings
purchased before April 9, 2002. The directory listings
were originally purchased by customers for what
LookSmart then described as a "One Time Fee", only to
have those listings automatically converted to pay-per-
click accounts when LookSmart changed their financial
model in 2002.
The compulsory conversion of customer accounts to
their pay-per-click model resulted in a a class action
lawsuit being filed on behalf of customers. The
expiration of free clicks on 14 June was in accordance
with the terms of the settlement
of the lawsuit.
|Google Buys Into Chinese Search|
| ||Google is apparently one of several investors that
bought a stake in Baidu.com, China's
largest search engine, last week.
The move is ironic given that searchers in China were
at one stage banned by the Chinese Government from
Baidu, set up in California in 1999, is now Beijing-based
and is China's most popular search engine. Baidu was
provided a third and final round of finance last week by
a consortium of Chinese and foreign companies led by
Venture Capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
|Exclusive Offer for Search Light Subscribers|
| ||As a valued subscriber of The Search Light, we
are pleased to provide you with an exclusive discount
coupon for redemption towards the course/s of your
choice at Search Engine College.
The coupon will give you a 15% discount on
your next purchase at Search Engine College and is
valid until 16th July.
CLICK HERE to receive your coupon!
|Class Action Suit Building Against SEO Firm|
| ||Law firm Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo, LLP from San
Francisco is investigating a potential class action
lawsuit against search engine optimization firm Traffic-
Power.com operating out of Las Vegas, Nevada. The
suit is apparently based on numerous consumer
complaints about improper business practices.
The SEO Consultants Directory have been
commissioned by a Consortium of anonymous business
owners, past and present Traffic-Power clients and a
few industry representatives to research, assemble and
publish a collection of online documents that refer to Traffic-
Power.com. The documents are extremely detailed and
include details of Traffic-Power's estimated revenues,
executive staff and photographs of a toga party held
to celebrate the company's achievement of $100K in
revenue earnings in a single week and over $300K in a
four week period.
Current and former clients of Traffic-Power are being
encouraged to read the documentation and get in
touch with the law firm
directly for further information.
|Overture Launches Paid Local Search|
| ||Pay Per Click search firm Overture has launched
Local Match, its new sponsored search product
which delivers local search listings to consumers
searching online for local products and services.
Local Match enables advertisers to precisely target
customers who are searching the Web to find products
and services from a local provider.
Specifically, advertisers have the ability to pinpoint a
geographic area surrounding their business (between
0.5 to 100 miles) in which they would like their search
listing to be shown.
CLICK HERE for your 15% discount coupon for Search Engine College courses!