With around 65,000 new websites launched every day, Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is becoming more and more competitive. The need for businesses to have successful online marketing campaigns has increased beyond comprehension. Good marketing of your site could be a cost effective way of making your business successful, whilst a bad internet marketing strategy could see you waste a lot of money, and worse even go under.

This first installation of The Ten Steps of SEO looks at Initial Analysis. A lot of companies over look market analysis, and do so at their own peril. I always advise people to treat their online marketing campaign as they would any other marketing campaign. Analise the market before committing big budgets, and never, ever, go in blind.

Is there a market for your products/services?

As obvious as it may seem if there is not a market for your business then you stop right now. You will struggle to force a market. Ask yourself what your USP’s (Unique Selling Points) and if people are really going to buy from you. People buy for 2 reasons, they either need something or they want it. Do your customers NEED your product? If not is it going to be something they want?

What products & Services is your competition offering?

I don’t look too much into the competition at this stage, as this is something I look at a lot more in detail at a later stage. However have a quick look at who your competition is and what products they have to offer.

Who is your target Audience?

Identify as early as you can who your target audience is. Different target demographic will require different approaches, so think about who your site will be aimed at.

What is your route to market?

Now you know who your target audience is you must now decide what will be the best way to get your website in front of people. Social media is a great way of driving traffic to your site but the levels of success may vary depending on who your site is aimed at.

Put together a marketing strategy

Now you have gathered all of this information, put something down in writing. Put together a marketing strategy, it will help you keep focus of where you are going, and not to mention put you in a positive, proactive frame of mind.

To Summarise, make sure there is a market out there for you business. Look into who your site will be aimed and how you will target them. Put together a marketing strategy.

Finally, don’t be afraid to walk away. The whole purpose of this exercise is to clarify whether or not there is a market for your website, and whether it is worth you investing your time and money into SEO. If at any point you feel that there is not a market out there, this exercise has been a success.