SEO: The Key Principles SEO Process
In my last blog we discussed whether SEO had changed post ‘Penguin’ and ‘Panda’. I don’t believe it has changed a great deal, although social media marketing has had a significant impact and needs to be considered as part of your marketing and lead generation activity. So when we look at the SEO Process, this has remained relatively consistent and is outlined below.
At Key Principles, we start by looking at the broader picture and your business objectives. We also undertake a full website assessment so we can see whether there are any specific priorities. From there we can start to consider on page optimisation and then follow up with off page optimisation.
We always start with on page optimisation – this is effectively the optimisation of your website and the individual website pages. Since your website is under your control, it is the obvious place to start.
The SEO Process: On page optimisation
- Strategy – what are your business objectives? What are your key products or services? What is your target geographical area? How might this change over the next 12 or 24 months?
- Initial website assessment – includes factors specific to your website (on page optimisation) and factors external to your website (links in and social media activity)
- Monitoring and tracking – what are you monitoring and tracking? What tracking do you have in place? Is it correctly set up? Are you tracking the right numbers?
- Key phrase research – identifying the best phrases for you to target; the phrases that are most relevant, have enough people searching using the phrase and have less competition. Not always that easy to find but certainly worth spending the time considering and researching as this will be fundamental and underpin all your marketing efforts moving forward.
- Website structure – here we make sure that you have the right website structure with clearly defined subject themes which are likely to be around key service or product areas. The key phrase research will help inform the structure and highlight where any new pages targeting particular phrases are required.
- Mapping target phrases to relevant pages – targeting phrases that are relevant to your business and what it offers, whether a product or service; a target phrase for each page and future pages
- Adding the phrases – including those phrases on appropriate pages of your website and in particular places on the page
- Adding more relevant content as appropriate – are there services or products that need adding to your website? All businesses should be blogging – and if you blog knowing the phrases you need to target, your blogging will be helping you to achieve your business objectives. It will be focused and relevant too.
The SEO Process: Off page optimisation
- Social media marketing – building links to your pages from other websites including some of the social media channels helps search engines to identify the authoritative pages for a phrase. A link to a page is effectively a ‘vote’ for that page. Search engines see your page as an important one when it receives ‘votes’ and then the rank for that page will increase. Check out Julie Joyce’s article on Search Engine Land on Social Media Link Building too which gives a great overview of the benefits as well as the channels.
- PR – this is especially useful for businesses targeting a local geographic area as local press and local support groups can be a great source of promotion. They often provide links back to your website as part of featuring your story.
- Directories – generally out of favour but worth a quick check.
In fact there are various ways of getting links to your website. Some can be rather time consuming and not all links are equal so it is always worth weighing up time against benefit.
And finally we complete website optimisation and website ranking reports before and after optimisation and at regular intervals thereafter. SEO is an on-going process. Adding fresh, relevant content regularly is important, combined with regular updates and activity on appropriate social media channels is crucial as you move forward.
Future blog posts will include details of exactly what each step in the process involves.
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