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The Art of SEO by Jessie Stricchiola, Rand Fishkin, Stephan Spencer, Eric Enge

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Chapter 3. Determining Your SEO Objectives and Defining Your Site’s Audience

Setting SEO Goals and Objectives

SEO, once a highly specialized task relegated to the back rooms of a website development team, is now a mainstream marketing activity. This dramatic rise can be attributed to three emerging trends:

  • Search engines drive dramatic quantities of focused traffic, comprising people intent on accomplishing their research and purchasing goals. Businesses can earn significant revenues by leveraging the quality and relevance of this traffic for direct sales, customer acquisition, and branding/awareness campaigns.

  • Visibility in search engines creates an implied endorsement effect, where searchers associate quality, relevance, and trustworthiness with sites that rank highly for their queries.

  • Dramatic growth in the interaction between offline and online marketing necessitates investment by organizations of all kinds in a successful search strategy. Consumers are increasingly turning to the Web before making purchases in verticals such as real estate, autos, furniture, and technology. Organizations cannot afford to ignore their customers’ needs as expressed through searches conducted on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

Search engine optimization is a marketing function, and it needs to be treated like one. SEO practitioners need to understand the services, products, overall business strategy, competitive landscape, branding, future site development, and related business components just as much as ...

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