Everyone talks about SEO and analytics, and everyone wants to know how to use them. But how do we begin navigating this data and search techniques to improve our work online and make it easier to be found?

Co-founder of Orbit Media Solutions and Web strategist Andy Crestodina presented at this year’s Social Media Masters Summit, and he shed some insight on the topic.

Did you know that 60 percent of all buying decisions are made prior to contacting a sales representative? If you can afford to attract your customers with advertising, do that. If not, stick to good content. This includes search, e-mail and social.

Start with search. Links mean credibility, so the more links you have from credible sites, the more credible your site is.

Use your key phrase in 4 places as a part of SEO best practices:

  1. Once at the beginning of the title <title>
  2. Once in the first header <h1>
  3. Four to six times in the body of the page
  4. Within the links to the page from other pages on your site

Optimize your site for subscribers so that they can receive updates from you easily. Take the time to go back through your blog posts to see how many subscribers and pageviews you got from each post. The winners should tell you a lot about what type of content will get you the most conversions, Crestodina said.

To add further credibility to your site, he said to also use video to allow your customers and subscribers to directly deliver testimonials. When you say it, it’s marketing. When they say it, it’s social proof.

Be selective with which social networks you link to those icons at the top of your website. Is YouTube a place where you keep content updated, or are you more active on Twitter? Think of first impressions when a new visitor clicks on one of those links.

Your about page or mission statement should say something like this:

[our company] is where [our audience] gets [what information] that offers [what benefit]

Take these tips with you, and you will see increased leads for your site and your business.

You can review more of Andy Crestodina’s presentation on SlideShare.