There are estimated to be at least several hundred other criteria that could also be examined before
your site is ranked by a search engine. Some of the criteria listed also have multiple points of view.
For example, when looking at link context, a crawler might take into consideration where the link
is located on the page, what text surrounds it, and where it leads to or from.
These criteria are also different in importance. For some search engines, links are more important
than site maturity, and for others, links have little importance. These weights and measures are con-
stantly changing, so even trying to guess what is most important at any given time is a pointless exer-
cise. Just as you figure it out, the criteria will shift or change completely.
By nature, many of the elements are likely to have some impact on your site ranking, even when
you do nothing to improve them. However, without your attention, you’re leaving the search rank-
ing of your site to chance. That’s like opening a business without putting out a sign. You’re sure to
get some traffic, but because people don’t know you’re there, it won’t be anything more than the
curiosity of passersby.
Setting SEO Goals
Okay, so you understand how important it is to put time into SEO. Now, how exactly do you go
about it? One thing you don’t do is begin trying to implement SEO strategies without some sort of
goal for what you want to accomplish.
One of the greatest failings of many SEO plans, like all technology plans, is the lack of a clearly defined
goal. The goal for your SEO plan should be built around your business needs, and it’
s not something
every business requires. For example, if you run a simple blog, SEO might be more expense than it’s
worth. But if your plans for that blog are to turn it into a brand, then the simplest of SEO strategies
might be just what you need to build the traffic that begins to establish your brand.
If you have a larger business, say a web site that sells custom-made silk-flower arrangements, one
way to increase your business (some estimate by more than 50 percent) is to invest time, money,
and considerable effort into optimizing your site for search. Just don’t do it without a goal in mind.
In the case of the silk-flower web site, one goal might be to increase the amount of traffic your web
site receives. Another might be to increase your exposure to potential customers outside your geo-
Creating an SEO Plan
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