I’m sure, you’ve heard about SEO a million times – and probably that it’s a dying industry several hundred times. It’s hard to know what to believe anymore because of the vast amount of articles written about it and the incredible amount of contradictions in these articles. I’m here to dispel these myths, and give you some insight into a few SEO steps that will get you moving in the right direction.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, but here’s a breakdown of what that really means:
- SEO is dynamic: Old articles are mostly useless. You do not “set it and forget it.” Google changed their algorithm 500-600 times last year.
- SEO is technical: There are coding best practices to follow and you will need your development team involved. Installing a WordPress plugin does not suffice.
- SEO is mandatory: Without SEO best practices in place, you will be shooting yourself in the foot and start behind the curve no matter how great your content.
With that in place, it’s also important to dispel some of the SEO myths floating around dark corners of the Internet:
- SEO is dying: While hundreds of articles reference this, it’s simply not true. Content is king, but SEO is the crown that gives you authority over others.
- SEO is nothing more than link building: While having links to your site is important, irrelevant links only hurt you. Stop paying that company $500 every month to build links for you.
- SEO is paid: While you can pay for outside SEO services, you cannot pay to be at the top of the organic results – PPC is entirely different and should only be a band-aid or supplement to your organic strategy.
Now you understand the importance of SEO, but where do you start? This is a very loaded question depending on who you ask or which industry you’re in. I’ll give you the general principles that can apply to all industries in a very concise manner. If you want to create an SEO campaign with a high level view, this is where you should start.
SEO in Seven Steps:
- Keyword mapping: Create a map of all your web pages and a target phrase that each page should highlight. Each page must have a purpose, but don’t worry about the exactness of the phrase yet, we will get to that next.
- Keyword research: Take all keywords mapped to each page and figure out which ones have the most searches per month and which ones have reasonable competition. From here, determine which ones you have a chance to rank for.
- Page titles: Make sure your page title has the keyword defined previously as far to the left of the title as possible.
- Header tags: Make sure your header (H1,H2,H3) HTML tags include the keyword – at least one of the three listed above should include the exact keyword., preferably H1.
- Meta descriptions: Google knows what’s on the page, but if no one clicks your search result you’re out of luck. Use a combination of keywords and click bait to get people to click through to your site.
- Content creation: Tell stories, create sharable content, and most of all don’t be dry and boring. People don’t want to read definitions and even if they do, they’ll go to Wikipedia. Engage your base, write in your own voice, and don’t be scared to go out on a limb and speculate.
- Link building: Promote your site and build connections with other complementary industry leaders. Offer an article exchange or alert them to your amazing content and why it’s important to them.
Follow these seven steps and you will be well on your way to setting up a successful campaign from the ground up.