Customers are listed first, as I believe your primary responsibility in any communications activity (and any media) is to your customers first and foremost. When creating your website (or updating it) think carefully about what your customers want and their online information needs. What are you prepared to share with them publicly and what information helps them do business easily with you. Customers can be the people who buy your product, but they may also be people who have other interests, such as journalists or market analysts. Design your site with people in mind (user-centric design) making it easy to navigate, exciting to look at, brimming with news and reasons to go back to it. Make it bright, fun, informative, compelling, news-worthy and friendly - your primary audience will quickly recommend it to others.
These are your next audience, just like customers they are busy and they really appreciate you using good editing techniques to digitally 'signpost' the information they need. Again, try to make their job as easy as possible, so they can work for you.
Start with your site itself - make sure you have a meta-tag to tell the search engines what you provide, spell it out for them so they know what you can offer their readers. Register your website with Google and Bing, so they know what to say about you and what your pages offer.
This could create a strategic discussion in your business and give your brand managers some food for thought - you may need a room, some coffee and to put some time in the diary to deal with this one. You could even ask some new customers how they found your website to settle any disputes. The outputs you want from this heated debate are the link between your brand and organic search. Next you need to sprinkle these 'hooks' across your user-centric site to help drive SEO and ensure people who are looking for these items online are directed to your website, helping the search engines service their requests. Make sure these electronic 'middle-men' are doing their job to direct these enquiries to you.
So - that's the challenge or the art of SEO - in many ways it's back to the basics of all communications, think about your customers, who are they, what do they want, how do they find you, how can you help. The key point is not to let the search engines dictate your design or limit your creativity for your customers, but make sure they are your next port of call. Good luck with your next web project and don't forget to focus on design first - give your customers a reason to return to your site, provide the news, content and information they need, before you start to think about SEO. Learn more at http://www.6wseo.com or contact Chad Lieberman directly at 212-600-0775.