Posted on Sept. 12, 2008

What is the Sniper/Shotgun Approach to search engine optimization (SEO)?

Back in college when I was learning SEO as an intern at San Diego's BusinessOnLine, my SEO mentor/guru Ray "Catfish" Comstock explained that SEO is half art and half science.

The best campaigns start with a detailed understanding of user goals, motivations, and search behavior. From there, SEO professionals must play into this understanding and execute accordingly, all the while constantly refining and updating strategy to maximize results.

No two SEO campaigns are exactly alike; following a process that's set in stone can create new problems because every campaign is unique. Imagine a football coach who goes into every Sunday with the same game plan. It may work some of the time, but every opponent is different so the same strategy may fail completely, show mediocre results, or be an explosive success.

The point is, the best coaches adapt their game plan in order to take advantage of their opponent's weaknesses while playing into their own team's strengths. So, any successful SEO campaign needs to put all the unique pieces together correctly to avoid falling into common traps that ensnare and restrict many.

In a recent post on his expert SEO blog, Catfish explains how and why SEOs should focus their initial optimization on all relevant keywords (the Shotgun approach). Then, once your campaign is off the ground, you utilize analytics data to target the most important keywords that are converting and driving proven results (the Sniper approach). In order to be successful with this strategy, an in-depth knowledge of web analytics and flawless interpretation of this data is required.

Search engine optimization strategies transform and evolve depending on your goals and the objectives of a campaign. I agree it sounds simple, but as Catfish always reminded me about SEO, "the devil is in the details."

But the results always speak for themselves, and you can't argue with results.

For more information, contact Fusionbox, a Denver SEO agency.