SEO 101 – How To Begin A Search Engine Optimization Campaign

SEO 101
Search engine optimization or SEO as it’s often called by savvy marketers is the science of optimizing your website so it appeals to both the search engines and visitors. Websites that are indexed and ranked by search engine spiders attract visitors. A well-optimized site will convert visitors into buyers and/or subscribers. Some folks think that SEO is all about trying to outsmart Google to gain first page rankings however that is far from the truth. The main purpose of SEO is to appeal to your visitors so they will keep returning.

There are many moving parts to SEO and one has to always keep up with the latest updates to stay current, however their are some basic components that form the foundation of every successful SEO campaign. Most savvy marketers may already be familiar with these components however it’s worth repeating them here for those that wish to begin SEO.

Here are the 7 major components of a successful SEO campaign:

1. Keyword research

Keywords embedded in your web pages are what search engines use to find your content. I usually use Google’s free keyword research tool to discover keywords people are searching on each month. It generates a list of 100 related keywords to use for your site. There are other paid tools available however Google’s keyword research tool provides sufficient relevant information.

2. Site architecture

How your website is structured affects SEO. For example your main navigation links should correspond to your main topics whereas your sub-topics should be part of your sub navigation. All pages should be linked to one another so the search engines can easily crawl your site. Make sure you include a regular site map plus a Google site map so Google can find and index all your pages.

Google rewards sites that are tightly themed. Avoid placing unrelated content on your site.
Other factors affecting site architecture include page loading times, duplicate content, html/css errors, and including too many images on your web pages.

Use your site analytics to identify what factors are hindering your site’s performance then go about fixing them.

3. Web Copy

The reason most websites don’t convert well is due to ineffective web copy. Visitors will decide to do business with a company by the way the words are written on your pages. For instance if a visitor can’t quickly understand the main purpose and benefits of your website when visiting the home page they’ll leave for your competitors.

Your main keywords should be woven throughout your web copy so search engines can find your website. They should also be included in the meta tags, navigation links and anchor text (hyperlinked text).

When writing web copy place yourself in your visitors shoes so you can write from their perspective instead of your own. This will increase your conversion rates.

4. Link Building

This is often referred to as off site optimization because your getting other websites to link to yours. The number and quality of links pointing to your site will affect your rankings. There are many ways to build links however here is a short list to get you started:

  • Research competitors links and use them to link to your site
  • Submit your site to directories related to your niche
  • Write relevant articles and submit them to article directories and ezine publishers
  • Write and submit guest blog posts
  • Create videos and submit them to video sharing sites
  • Engage in conversation on blogs and forums related to your web content

5. Create a social media presence

Engaging in conversation with people in your target market helps attract visitors to your website. Create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+. Every time you create new content announce it on these social media sites so your content can reach a larger audience than just your own site.

6. Measure analytics

Without analyzing your website (or your client’s website) statistics you won’t won’t know what is working. If your web host doesn’t provide site statistics install Google analytics. You’ll be able to measure the number of daily, weekly, monthly visitors, where they are coming from, what keywords they used to find your site and what types of links are pointing to your site.

7. Improve conversion rates

Even if you generate a lot of traffic to your client’s website based on the results of your optimization efforts it doesn’t guarantee you’ll convert that traffic into buyers. Armed with analytic information you can recommend what changes to make to boost performance and conversion rates whether it be optimizing the website, web copy, link building or improving social media presence.

SEO is not a one time investment. For example if you’re carrying out an SEO campaign for a client you need to continually review your client’s website, analyze their competitors and stay ahead of current SEO trends and changes. Link building must also be done constantly especially if your client is in a competitive niche.

The goal of every SEOer should be to continually increase website conversion rates by making the necessary adjustments based on your analytic data.

These are just some of the basic guidelines for a successful SEO campaign however each area can generate a multitude of other actions.

Related Articles
Top 10 Search Engine Ranking Factors
Local Search Engine Ranking Factors
How Web Page Layout Affects Visitors and Search Engines
How Poor Web Navigation in Your Site Can Ruin a Visitor’s Experience
The First Impression of Your Website May Be Driving Away Traffic
My Top 7 Strategies tO Increase Your Website Conversion Rate

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Comments

  1. Hi Herman,

    I really enjoyed your post. The content about SEO is excellent.

    Thank you so much,
    Ligia Fleckenstein

  2. Very good video and info. I liked the idea of having the viewer to go to your blog post as a CTA! Very informative blog post and I got good tips for myself “)
    Vitoria

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