If I begin a search engine optimization (SEO) discussion, some prospects think it’s magic. This is likely due to the digital marketing agencies ‘ relentless chaos.
SEO is not a magic thing. It’s a strategic formula that includes bits of technical websites, keywords, and valuable content— the most important element.
By getting granular, I’m going to simplify things. The following are the basic steps of a standard SEO campaign: Step 1: Technical Audit / Implementation Talking before going to the garage with a noisy engine: the mechanic has to diagnose before tightening. An SEO review is the same.
First, a strong technical foundation is needed. Site speed, site design, clean software, and duplicate content issues were discussed by the Technical SEO, to name but a few.
Renowned agencies will begin by auditing the techniques of the website. This includes resources of the highest level and professional SEOs. Once all is understood, it is possible to create a plan to address all problems. Depending on the size of the website, audits will take between 10 and 50 hours of work. They’re a must before anything else to get things running smoothly.
Request a copy of the report from the department. Just what they are repairing is fascinating to see — and the best reviews explain why.
The next phase is to work on keyword analysis/mapping keywords. It was a lot simpler a decade ago: find what people are looking for — the more granular (what SEOs call long-tail), the better. For example, rating “Bridgestone sportbike tires” or “Ducati Monster Bridgestone tires” would drive much more eligible traffic than “motorcycle tires.” Agencies need to consider looking for a voice when conducting keyword research. These keywords have to be mapped to the website properly, which connects the purpose of the page and the needs of the audience by placing the optimal keywords in the right places.
Step 3: Title Tag/Meta Description Rewrite
Title tags — the main titles you see in search results pages — are simply the headlines of stories and some of the most essential elements for search engines and users. They should be keyworded to attract the curiosity of the reader.
The tiny description beneath the title — typically 160 characters long — is the meta description. Reputable SEOs rewrite all existing title tags and meta descriptions to include keywords and drive marketing messages.
Many clients my agency has dealt with over the past three years have had their meta descriptions automatically generated. This is a huge missed opportunity; you can quickly attract attention if descriptions are created wisely.
My agency recently revamped only the title tags and meta descriptions for a technically sound website after we completed keyword research and mapped those keywords to the correct pages. Within six months (Google took nearly six weeks to fully index all 140 of the new tags and meta descriptions), we saw a 40% increase in qualified traffic that doubled online sales.
Step 4: Existing Content/On-Page SEO Revamp
Next is to revamp all existing content, through traditional editing, adding more valuable info and refining on-page SEO elements. This includes proper headlines, internal links (words that are linked to other pages on the website — this is another strategy that can drive spectacular results), keywords related to the “target” keyword that your title focuses on and calls to action.
Step 5: New Page Creation
When keyword research and mapping is complete, there’s always a need for new pages. These should be created not only to fulfill SEO needs but to provide valuable and educational material for the reader.
Step 6: Aggressive Blog Strategy
My clients thrive due to blogging. This is a huge win for any type of online business and allows you to appeal to all steps of the buyer’s journey.
You can create engaging content simply by answering the questions people have online about your services or products. This feeds the SEO machine because you can target more and more long-tail keywords.
The more content you post, the more search engines like Google say you care about sharing valuable information with readers. This positively affects your overall organic search rankings.
Step 7: Amplification Of Content
Next is amplifying all that content, from your service page to your blog, through social media, newsletter and PR efforts. It’s as simple as:
• Sharing content on your business’s social media pages.
• Guest posting on other related websites that point back to your website’s content.
• Highlighting your best content through paid ads on Google, Facebook or LinkedIn, to name a few.
• Creating an awesome and sharable newsletter.
Many SEO agencies sell link-building services where they get other websites to link to yours, which helps drive your website’s authority (think of each link as a vote for your website: The more, the better, but they have to be from quality websites).
My agency believes strong content naturally acquires backlinks. That’s why we put our efforts into building valuable content and then amplifying it.
Step 8: Ongoing SEO/Content
Ongoing SEO involves monthly (or more frequent) reporting to recognize threats and opportunities and track keyword rankings. This provides opportunities to strategically update content.
Ongoing SEO includes technical updates and audits, and my agency also revisits and refreshes older content with new links/keywords every quarter.
Ongoing content is necessary and can be created through a blog strategy. This is vital if you truly want to garner the most “free” organic traffic available. Blogging is much cheaper than paid ads, and posts last forever and continually build strength.
While they can vary, these are steps of a typical SEO campaign. Ask a prospective agency about these basics if you’re entertaining any SEO work.