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Winning at SEO is about web presence, not meta tag games

Great post (and well-deserved link bait) by Todd Mailcoat on how to create a strong web presence, and how a strong web presence impacts SEO. Todd writes
SEO is understanding the fundamentals of strong web presence principles, and being able to implement them within the constraints of a given project. SEO is not meta tags and keyword stuffing. You won't get the right answers and results until you ask the right questions.
Amen. Todd's post covers 18 key points, offering a bounty of links to useful web articles and tools.
  • Do we have a brandable domain?
  • Who should we host with that will be reliable?
  • Do we need pretty urls and will you use subdomains?
  • What is our website's business model and how are we unique?
  • Who is our target demographic and what will they search for?
  • What will the information architecture be like? What are the important top level keywords?
  • Which platform should we use?
  • How do we create a professional design?
  • How do we prove high credibility?
  • What ideas can we use for linkbait?
  • If we can't create great bait, how do we buy, barter, and beg for links?
  • Where else can we advertise?
  • What will we use for tracking and analysis?
  • What will help increase conversions and/or actions and how can we provide users incentives to stay or return?
  • How will we keep administration simple for the entire staff to use?
  • How can we manage our reputation?
  • How do we make the site "cluetrain friendly" and build a strong community environment?
  • How do we scale and specialize for effective use of time?
Well worth spending the time working through Todd's long post.
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