Two Key Elements of Your SEO Plan

I’ve found that to succeed at anything, you must push beyond the proverbial envelope. Sometimes in so doing, we make mistakes. In fact, I’m convinced that failure is a prerequisite to success.

Last week I mistakenly reported that in October, Yahoo received 55,138 rather than 55,138,000 unique visitors per month and that Ask Jeeves received 12,984 rather than 12,984,000 unique visitors per month.

My core competency is search engine optimization (SEO), not journalism, but I’m honored to be able to share SEO data with ClickZ readers. This data not only increases exponentially, it can also change very fast. It’s almost like water gushing out of an open fire hydrant at 500 gallons per minute. But I hope you will benefit from my articles, as each offers at least a few gallons of helpful information.

Last week’s article was a review of Ask Jeeves’s editorial guidelines, highlighting key information and data points to help you get listed properly in a very important search engine, Ask.com. On occasion, I will write similar articles featuring other important engines and directories, highlighting the information and procedures that I feel are most important to maximize your SEO plans.

This week, I’d like to quickly assess two key and integral elements in any SEO plan: Yahoo Business Express and LookSmart Express Submit listings. The editorial review provided by each of these services yields a timely evaluation of your submitted site by professional editors, who will list your site in these directories if you meet the clearly stated guidelines. LookSmart will review your site in two business days, and Yahoo will review your site in seven days.

I like to see these directory listings, manually performed, in all SEO plans because it provides two very important benefits:

  • A high-quality listing with deep, targeted links. LookSmart and Yahoo have skilled human editors who review your site and ensure it goes into the most relevant categories.

  • Both LookSmart and Yahoo have enormous reach. Yahoo reaches 65 percent of Internet users in the United States, and LookSmart reaches 83 percent with a network including MSN, Excite, and AltaVista. The great exposure of this reach is the reason why I’ve always felt that LookSmart and Yahoo are a must in any SEO plan.

Here are several testimonials received from clients regarding these key directory submissions when properly performed:

“Our sales have doubled. It has been one of the smartest decisions our company has made!”

“They’ve sent us over 10,000 visitors to date.”

“Increased sales and traffic by up to 75 percent.”

“Our search engine traffic jumped from 19 percent to 51 percent in less than two weeks.”

“Valuable online marketing tool. Within a couple of days, traffic to our sites and e-commerce orders increased over 300 percent.”

“We are receiving very qualified traffic with high conversions.”

“Best investment I ever made online.”

Whether you produce your own SEO plan or hire a professional, make sure you include these two directories and pay the onetime editorial review fees for their Express models. Most recurring and professional SEO plans will include the Express model within their basic package.

While fees for Yahoo Business Express and LookSmart Express Submit are inexpensive, they do require that you do your homework before submitting. These links take you to the pages where you can read their “site guidelines” prior to submitting. It can be a time-consuming task and can require follow-up, but again, it’s well worth the effort.

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