This is the perfect topic for starting a young and possibly successful SEO blog. I will go over all of the steps of the process you need to pay attention to if you want a successful SEO campaign.
1. Keyword research
This is probably the most important step of the process since if you mess this up, you’ll have a hard time fixing it later in the game.
Basically, if your website has been active for some time and if you have created your Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytic accounts you’ll have some data to work with.
First, check the GWT (Google Webmaster Tools) for all keywords and phrases that get you to show up in search queries and then cross-reffence them with the GA data. Find the crossover between the easiest and the most rewarding keywords and analyze them by checking competition, manually and by using Google Keyword Tool (it lacks precision but it will do the job). Test both options there, your newly found keywords and your website URL (for all the suggestions Google might give). Just make sure to set your geo location and language correctly. When you’ve picked your targeted keywords it’s time for the next phase.
2. On-site Optimization
When you have your keywords, the most important thing (as far as I’m concerned at least) is to properly optimize your website for them (and for the best user experience as well).
Simply, you need to do everything that Google and the other SE suggest:
make your website faster (good starting point is checking your website in GTmetrix), make it highly visible for mentioned keywords. Forget meta keywords and stuffing your meta description with keywords, that will just dissuade visitors from clicking on your listing in the SERP. Pay attention to the use of your page title and H tags. Optimize content for your keywords, pick inner pages for specific keywords, but avoid keyword stuffing (you can use one neat tool on WeSEOAnalytic).
Build your inner link structure, let the link juice flow trough your website. Use canonical tag to avoid any content duplication and “noindex, follow” command for a finer tuning of your content.
Keep checking your website in the SERP for any URLs that might have been mistakenly indexed by Google by using a simple command: site:yourURL in the Google search box. You can fix that with the new addition to the Google Webmaster Tools called “Remove URL”, under “Crawler access” tab.
That’s the way you wanna roll. On-site is far to complex to be fully explained in one article so I will get back to that in some of the next ones. Also, make sure you avoid duplication of page Titles and Descriptions. We are all creative enough to make something up for every page.
3. Off-site Optimisation
Off-site optimization or, how many like to call it, LINK BUILDING is highly important for whole SEO. Unfortunately, it’s so much more then plain (and it’s even not that plain) link building.
Word alone (optimization) is telling us that you already have something to optimize or work with. Let’s be optimistic and suppose that you already have a website that has been up and running for some time. Let’s also suppose that you’ve spent that time acquiring some links, in organic way or you just built them yourself. Now you have a new set of phrases, and you have your old links pointing to your website with wrong anchors…. Yeah, you’re getting the point. If it was you who built them, just use your previous contacts and ask them to change the anchors to your new targets. Use your old accounts to fix the links you created manually and also use Google Alerts to check for possible mentions of your website’s name/brand without a link, so you can contact the people mentioning you and ask them to add a link to it.
There are numerous ways of building quality links and this article would become boring quite fast if I started to mention them all, so I’ll list just a few of them:
- guest blogging
- quality directory entries
- quality profile links
- plain old asking for a link
Try to keep the link income steady to avoid drawing any kind of bad attention from the Google’s Webspam Team. Build some noFollow links, just to get your backlink portfolio a bit of that natural look. Don’t be insane and buy like 10.000 bad links for a bit of cash and then just lay back and enjoy your rankings. They will last about 3 weeks and then your website will be doomed to Google Hell.
4. Soc.Media promotion
For a quicker indexation or reindexation you can use another addition to the Google Webmaster Tools called “Fetch as Googlebot”, but I prefer the old way of social sharing (twitting, liking, +1) to draw attention of the crawlers. Search engines also like the content that is loved, shared and similar, so they tend to give better rankings to websites that have this kind of content. Soc.Medias are at your disposal, you just need to tame them.
Enough for the first article but stay tuned, there will be some fresh articles from my friends and colleagues and maybe some guest posts soon.