Newbies to the SEO game are often daunted by the idea of implementing an SEO strategy, but if you break the quasi-Herculean task down to its few basic steps the process becomes easy. Lucky for you, we’ve done it for you.
Step 1: Establish Metrics and Guidelines
There are many SEO tools out there will easily guide you through this process as they incorporate standard metrics into their tools and label them with easy-to-follow titles and instructions. Hubspot has a great tool for newbs.
There are several key metrics that your SEO analytics tool will monitor:
- Keyword Performance and Rankings: after generating your essential keywords via a keyword-generating tool (Google’s keyword-generating tool is super easy and fairly industry standard…and free) you need to plug those into your tool to monitor their performance. Once you have plugged them in your tool will tell you how well your keywords will perform on a Google Search.
- Organic Traffic: this measures the amount of organic traffic that you gain from search engines by tracking unique visitors. This is often labeled as “sources” in SEO analytics tools.
- Conversions: your conversion rate will tell you how many unique visitors ‘converted’ and followed your prompts to become a customer, subscribe to your email list, or clicked on any other type of call-to-action button. This is often labeled as “conversions” or “customers”.
- Inbound Links: this tells you how many websites/webpages on the web link to your page/content.
Step 2: Strategize
Your next step is to use the information gained from the above to improve on your SEO strategy. To do this you need to figure out which keywords and pages are performing the best—aka have the highest traffic generation and conversion rates—and use them more often. Your low-performing keywords can be eliminated and replaced with new keywords. This process needs to be repeated regularly until you find your ideal keyword choices and density.
Part of your strategizing process will be prioritizing your SEO efforts to give you the biggest bang for your time. If time isn’t an issue for you then you won’t need to prioritize, but for the rest of us this is critical. Begin prioritizing by running metrics on your most-important pages like your landing page, your most-visited and your highest-converting pages and then playing around with successful keyword combinations. Once your most critical pages are tweaked you will want to move on to analyzing blog posts as they are generally what generates the most unique visitors.
Step 3: Experimentation
Once you’ve got your basic keywords taken care of—for now—you need to begin experimenting. This can be with the balance and density of your keywords or by trying out different combinations of short- and long-tail keywords. In this step you will also begin understanding the difficulty of terms: the more commonplace they are the harder it is to rank well with them because the more rare and technical they are the easier it will be to rank well on Google with.
Step 4: Setup an SEO Calendar
SEO isn’t a set-it-and-forget it job, it needs to be continually monitored, re-strategized and played around with. The longer you do it and the more in-depth you go the better you will get it. Set reminders in your calendar to take time out of your schedule to evaluate your SEO strategy. Initially this will be fairly often, maybe a couple times a month but as you get better a couple times a quarter will be plenty—because let’s face it you’ve got other things to do.
For more-advanced SEO tips n’ tricks, click here.