This is a SEO guide (search engine optimisation) showing how an SEO campaign should be approached and undertaken, from start to finish. If you are wanting individual SEO tips, e.g. Keyword analysis, link building and on-site SEO then check out our menu links on the right.
- Keywords are the words or group or words that will relate to the searches typed into a search engine by users. For example, if you have a drainage website for the York region then your keywords may be “York Drain Unblocking”, “Drain Services York” and “Blocked Drains York” – as this is what a person trying to find a site relating to this might type into Google.
- Figure out your keywords for each page. Your home page usually has the main keywords you want to really focus on, bit don’t forget to make a list of keywords for each page of your site.
- You can use many free checkers and generators to help find keywords for your site. When deciding keywords you must weigh up how much work you would have to put in (optimising your site for that keyword), compared with changing your keyword to maybe a less competitive one that you can optimise for and see results faster.
- Your competition are the websites that appear on page 1 of a Google search results page for your keywords. Research involves looking at these sites and seeing what they have done to get themselves on page 1. Use the free tools out there to do this (Firefox extensions like SEO Quake are great for this, along with META analysers, etc – see Free SEO Tools).
- Once you have found the main competition see how many links are going to their domain (or page if a specific product on a website not relating to the theme, i.e. Whey Protein being sold on amazon). The best way to find backlinks is to do a Yahoo search and exclude the domain of the site you are searching (there are loads of backlink checkers that show the links from the website domain you are searching for). On yahoo type:linkdomain:www.example.com -www.example.com…..replacing “example.com” with the site you are querying the link amount for. (Don’t bother trying this on Google – it gives only a small percentage of the actual amount and Bing has disabled this feature).
- What other keywords have your competition optimised for? Keyword research ties in with competition research in that you can get a great list of keywords from looking on the competitions pages for frequent phrases (again use a meta analyser).
- Keep in mind that the first page of Google for many keywords will have listings on sites like Wikipedia, government sites and possibly major players like Amazon and Ebay. For the majority of people there is not much point trying to look at the links to these sites (the number will be vast).
- So after your competition research you should know: The top competitors (know your enemy), the link quantity you are aiming for (one-way links from relevant, quality sites to yours are weighted highly by search engines) and the keywords you competitors have optimised for in their content, META and Title’s and images/links.
- How well is your site search engine optimised? Do a review of your website using our On Site SEO Techniques Checklist.
- Look at the site structure and the content – do they conform to all the points on the seo checklist?
Current On-Site Status
- Current indexed status? How many of your site’s pages are indexed by Google, Yahoo and Bing? Use the following command in a search engine to see the number of indexed pages:site:www.example.com…replacing “example.com” with your websites domain.
- Current rankings? Where does your site rank on a search in Google, Yahoo and Bing (remember to check both local and .com search engines. Also a local site like google.co.uk will give the option for “World-wide Search” and “UK Search” – World-Wide is used most but check both!)?
- How many links do you have to your site? Use the Yahoo linkdomain query to find out. How do these compare to the competition?
- How is your social media? Do you have any forum posts, external blogs, social networking pages (Facebook Page, Twitter Page, etc). Remember social media is the new web (Web 2.0) – people no longer want to just look at a page of content – they want to interact with it and other users on the subject matter. Link all these media’s back to your site!
Current Off-Site Status
SEO Guide Stage 2 – Strategy and Planning
- From your research determine the on-site and off-site areas you can change, improve and work on.
What SEO type things should I do?
- Internal optimisation or employing an agency or contractor costs money. Work your costs out and create time-scales that you can realistically stick to. We all want a good return on investment!
Calculate Timescales and Costs
- In almost every case = yes!
- In the long run great SEO should increase visitors to your site and if you have followed our advise on display marketing and conversion optimisation then hopefully your sales should also increase. More sales = more profit = good ROI!
Will You Get Enough Return On Investment?
SEO Guide Stage 3 – Implementation of SEO Techniques
- Using the research you did with the On Site SEO Techniques Checklist, find the areas of your site that need improvement and fix them. The basic techniques give your site a good grounding for users to view the site with no errors and in a fast and well presented manner. Search engine spiders can crawl the site easily and effectively giving you the best chance to get your content indexed well.
- Use section 2 of the on Site SEO techniques checklist to optimise your content, title’s, META, internal links and images for the keywords for each page. Please remember – keywords are not site wide – they should be uniquely thought out for each page.
- From your research you should know the links to your site and the amount you aim to get (by viewing the links to the competitors). Now is the implementation. A link building campaign is essential to ranking high for any competitive keyword. See our link building campaign guide for more info.
SEO Guide Step 4 – Continuing SEO
Link BuildingLink building is the process of having another website or just a single webpage linking to your site from theirs. This can be from owners websites, forums, social networking sites and any other webpage that has a link to your own.
- One-way links – The best – Having Site A linking to Site B. Google and other search engines generally rate these higher these days, therefore they rate you higher.
- Reciprocal links – Having Site A link to Site B and Site B to Site A (2-way linking). Still beneficial as the search engines won’t ignore these links and also they serve to increase user traffic.
- 3-way links – Site A links to Site B. Site B links to Site C. Site C links to Site A.
A good link building campaign usually takes 6-12 months initially, depending on the keyword completion. Social media helps with link building as natural links will occur from your interesting, fresh and unique blog posts that are shared on social networks.
Link building also creates more “gateways” into your website, as users can find you from other websites as well as the search engines. The more links we create, the more gateways into your website.
- From your research
- From your research
Optimising New Content
Social Media MarketingSMM stands for Social Media Marketing and is the way we use social media websites to market to the “New Internet”, commonly referred to as WEB 2.0.Social Media Optimisation There are many elements to social media (not just facebook), which we discuss below. In the past few years social media has turned the web upside down. What really matters is that Social Media is here to stay, and it has the power to literally make or break a business. Just think of this; Facebook has over 300 million users. That’s 300 million people all using 1 site! This is something your business needs to tap into! When implemented properly, and with a flare for excellent content writing, a social media campaign can result in massive exposure, higher website traffic and and new natural links to improve those all important search engine results page rankings.
- From your research
Blog and Forum Posting
- From your research
Keeping your Site W3C Validated