Sometimes, when a business owner asks for advice on how increase online sales or leads, the advice goes along the lines of “make your site better for visitors.” Which, of course, is good and true advice — but unfortunately doesn’t tell you much about how to make your site “better.”
Fortunately, a roadmap is now available.
While attending the Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference recently in Houston, TX, I had the privilege of hearing Matt McGee’s presentation on his SEO Success Pyramid.
By working your way up to the top of the pyramid, you’ll naturally build a website that’s good for human visitors and search engines. One tip Matt gave during his presentation is to take each layer of the pyramid and work on that layer all the way across as a whole, rather than attempting to take it on individual brick-by-brick.
The steps of the first layer take place before you even start designing your website. Commitment, Planning, Product/Service, Education, Planning: these “bricks” have nothing to do directly with building a website. Rather, they deal with the basic foundations of your business itself. Without a strong business foundation, putting the effort into building a website is a waste.
The second layer covers the first steps to building your online presence. Design/Usability, Keyword Research, Analytics, Tools: these are the basics you’ll need in place to create, optimize and evaluate the performance of your site. Without these, your site is not prepared to move ahead to the next steps.
The third layer is what Matt calls the “nuts and bolts.” Crawlability, Content and Links: anyone who’s familiar with search optimization will recognize these as the three main components of an optimized site. With these in place, you’ll have a site that’s friendly to both your human visitors and to search engines — and one that’s bound to do well with both.
The fourth layer takes your online presence to the next level: reaching out. With your business on firm footings, all the core components of a strong website covered, and basic search and conversion optimization taken care of, you’re ready to become even more active in engaging your customers. Social/Local Findability and Reputation Management make sure you know what’s being said about your business and that you’re a part of the conversation.
The top of the pyramid is the Holy Grail: Trust. When you have all the other things in place, you’ll have a business and a website that is trusted by both customers and search engines. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.
For more information about the SEO Success Pyramid, read Matt’s article about it. Highly recommended!