Simplifying Search Engine Optimization

Jesse Hopps

While direct marketing still reigns supreme in the world of demand generation, many mid-sized organizations have significantly improved their ability to generate quality leads with search engine optimization techniques. If you haven't already, investigate this opportunity to support sales with a steady flow of qualified leads.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Considered by many to be a subset of search engine marketing, SEO is a term used to describe a process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines, usually in "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. Many site owners and consultants engaging in SEO attempt to pursue qualified visitors to a site, and the quality of visitor traffic can be measured by how often a visitor using a specific keyword phrase leads to a desired conversion action, such as making a purchase, viewing or downloading a certain page, requesting further information, signing up for a newsletter, or taking some other specific action.

Key Benefits of Search Engine Optimization:

  • Increased Lead Generation - by driving traffic to your website, SEO campaigns can provide an inflow of qualified sales leads. Contact forms, whitepaper/case study registration forms, and online shopping carts can be leveraged to gain contact information (leads) of your website's visitors.
  • Improved Brand Awareness - even if users do not end up clicking through to your website, ranking high in search pages provides an excellent opportunity to increase visibility and awareness for your brand.

Types of Search Engine Optimization:

  • Natural/Organic Search Optimization - this refers to optimization techniques that increase a website's page ranking and traffic, based on commonly searched keywords relevant to the organization or products. Many web design firms or SEO consultants offer inexpensive solutions for improving your online visibility, and can partner with you to keep your rankings high.
  • Paid Search Optimization - many search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, auction off 'pay-per-click' advertising campaigns which allow organizations to generate web traffic based on sponsored keyword terms. Most organizations find this method of lead generation to be easy to implement, monitor, and track results from search-word campaigns.

Use Demand Metric's SEO Maturity Assessment to help you measure your organization's search engine optimization maturity across 4 key success drivers.

Action Plan:

  1. Understand Google's Parameters - download Google's Webmaster Guidelinesdocument to provide your webmaster with the information they need to ensure your website will be properly indexed by the search engine. Additionally, get a grip on their proprietary PageRank methodology which is the formula they use to determine how 'important' your site is. Ensure that:
      • Keywords are in each title tag
      • Keywords appear in visible text
      • Links are popular (previous traffic)
      • Keywords are in all headings tags
  2. Create Meta-Tags for Each Page - when search engines like Google index your website, they will analyze the Page Titles, Page Descriptions, and keyword Meta-Tags. Ensure that each page copy includes your keywords a minimum of 3 times, and pay special attention to page titles & descriptions.
  3. Analyze your Content Structure - don't use frames or Flash as search engines generally do not pick up these designs very well. Be sure to avoid using graphics for text headers, as these won't be indexed. Have keywords appear in the text at the top of the page.
  4. Evaluate your Link Strategy - try to increase the amount of links that point to your website, as this is one of the key criteria for search engines to rank the 'importance' of your website. Also, use the same URL for all external links. Provide cross-links within your website, so that web crawlers can index all of your pages, not just the main ones. Provide a site map of text links.
  5. Maintaining your Website - ensure there are no broken links or pages under construction. Regularly update content, such as press releases, or other collateral. Use links on your homepage to highlight fresh content. Create a schedule for updating your website on a minimum monthly basis.
  6. Submit to Search Engines - have your Webmaster submit your website to Google, Yahoo, MSN,, or any other relevant search engines for your industry. To determine if this has been completed, enter your company name in the search box. If done properly, your website should be the top result.


Getting your website to be recognized by search engines does not have to cost an arm and a leg. Make sure customers can find you if they need your product/service.