Starting an effective SEO campaign can be tricky, even for experienced digital marketers. Where is the starting point?
How many basics do you need to know? What are the key elements that need to be implemented? To start your SEO campaign, these questions must be answered. Below, we will give you a systematic, organised approach to boosting your organic traffic.
STEP 1: Make a Plan!Are you one of those who do their Christmas shopping on December 24? Or who goes shopping without a list? If so, we have bad news. Successful people in digital marketing know that the easiest way to fail is not to have a clearly defined plan with firm goals. You need to figure out how to determine your success and how to measure your progress. Otherwise, your campaign will fail. To achieve better Google rankings – or meet the criteria associated with metrics like bounce rate and engagement – you need to find the answer to these questions:
Who Are You Trying to Reach?Once you have answered this question, you can define your target audience and create your marketing personas. It’s not enough to say “sports fans” because football fans and rhythmic gymnastics enthusiasts are two completely different audiences.
Why Do You Want These People?Okay, you have managed to get people to land on your page. But what now? What do you want them to do? What do you want to accomplish once your visitors land on your site? In addition to vanity metrics, you must establish a clear business plan with well-defined objectives.
How Do You Measure Your Success?Let’s be realistic! To develop an effective SEO campaign, you need statistical data and metrics. And those are usually hard to come by. Typical metrics are conversion rate or email list members, but if you’re unsure how to measure your progress, choose a more specific goal.
STEP 2: Initiate Keyword ResearchMost people in digital marketing either love or hate keyword research. Regardless of your personal feelings, it’s a part of search engine marketing you cannot avoid. Google has updated its algorithm, eg., Hummingbird and Rankbrain, significantly changing how we research and optimise our keywords. These two work based on interpreting the context or meaning of words you type into search queries. In SEO terminology, this is called “search intent,” and we can divide it into three main categories.
InformativeFor people who want to learn more about a topic or get an answer to a question. These users tend to use more keywords with “how to” or “what”.
Evaluate options (research)These users probably already know something about the topic and are now deciding which solution or service is right for them. They usually use phrases like “review,” “top,” or “best 10.”
Completing the actionWhen visitors buy something, create an account, or sign up for a service, they know what they’re looking for and are ready to take action. So do your research and enjoy your discoveries. When you find out the extent to which search intent can help tell you where the user is in the conversion funnel – oh man, that’s a blast!
STEP 3. Run an Audit
Once satisfied with your personas, goals, and keyword research, the next step is to audit your website. There are two independent ways to do this:
Technical Site Audit
If your website is technically SEO optimised, it means that a complete analysis has been done to make sure search engines can crawl it. If you do not do this properly, the search engines will have difficulty indexing your website. In other words, you won’t be found.
When you start your SEO campaign, make sure that your web pages are set up correctly. Pay special attention to these components when checking your website:
Search engines use your sitemap to find and prioritise URLs, which is essential for an effective SEO campaign.
These text files help crawlers index your website. Make sure you prevent duplicate or low-quality pages from being indexed. This way, search engines can spend their time on the more important pages.
Load time is critical to the user experience and, therefore, search engine optimisation. Search engines don’t like slow pages. Perform an SEO audit and track down the culprits.
URLs need to be concise, accurate, and relevant to your content. Don’t use underscores in your URLs to separate words. Hyphens are much better, as search engine bots can “understand” them.
Crawl Your Site
Crawlers can check your website more comprehensively – especially if you are designing larger, more complex websites with many pages. They are much more accurate and can access your URLs and gather information about each page as they review it.
They should be able to mimic the way Google’s crawlers work. An SEO crawler will allow you to analyse the URLs on your website. It will also provide helpful information about issues that negatively affect Google indexing. Use the crawler to find the problems in:
Problems with HTML can cause Google to see duplicate or empty pages. If you’ve many of these pages on your domain, you’ll have difficulty ranking the entire site.
Search engines can’t crawl pages that don’t load or sites on servers that don’t respond. An HTTP status crawl can reveal hidden problems with redirects.
This can help you find URLs that cannot be indexed via your robots.txt file and meta robots tags. Faulty meta robot tags are the leading cause of non-indexable content.
Issues with canonical URLs
These are the “main” URLs you want users to visit. They should be perfect.
STEP 4: Create Good Content
The next step is to put your strategy and keyword research into action! Remember your priorities; the user comes first! Who is the target audience for this content? Where are they in the conversion funnel? Successfully answering these questions will help you determine the keywords needed for your SEO campaign.
On-page SEO should focus on:
We can confidently say that keyword density is a thing of the past, as Google can now read content more like humans. Nowadays, you should naturally use your keywords throughout the page, in the headings, subheadings, and main body. And that requires basic writing skills!
The hot trend in SEO right now is to create top-notch content and focus on the value you provide to your user. Your content’s value is tied to your keyword’s intent, so to speak. Your content needs to solve a problem, provide helpful information, or answer your user’s questions.
Internal and outbound links within your content are just as crucial to an effective SEO campaign as backlinks. While backlinks help you rank higher in search engines like Google and Bing, internal links allow you to spread the link juice around your site by adding them to your high-authority pages.
STEP 5: Constructing Your Link Profile
When creating content, we want to believe that it’s the best ever and that it’ll generate links without advertising. But you shouldn’t bet on that. The secret to promising link building is thinking about your marketing personas and SEO development. You’ll get more backlinks if your content is useful to your audience.
Tools like Pitchbox allow you to find digital marketers/influencers in your niche. We recommend using personalised emails. It’s possible to use a template if you like, but don’t copy-paste everything!
Consider these characteristics:
there’s no reason to link to your content unless you’ve something new or different to offer. Develop a short and relevant introduction at the beginning of your message. Make it clear how your content can benefit readers.
Avoid including URLs directly in your email – hyperlinks are more engaging.
Bloggers or influencers typically receive many emails every day. Often, these emails are link-building requests. To make your message stand out from the crowd, choose a subject line that’s both vague and specific – specific to show what you’re talking about and vague to convince the reader to open your email and read on.
Remember that you’re the one addressing the recipient. You need to include your contact information, not just your company’s, to show that you’re a genuine and excellent example of your kind.
STEP 6: Test, Optimise & Repeat
We made it to the last stage! Rejoice that you’ve already come this far in developing your effective SEO campaign. You’ve laid your foundation, defined your personas, found your target keywords, and fixed all the problems and bugs on your website. You’ve created top-notch content and even built some links in the process!
But you’re not done yet. In digital marketing, you’re never done if you’re serious about your actions. Don’t be intimidated. But you need to constantly review and refine your strategy. Make sure your efforts are producing the results you want; monitor and analyse the impact after you make improvements.
For example, keeping an eye on bounce rates is essential as they help you match your personas with keywords and funnel strategies. Analysing your rankings and website traffic will show you how well your pages perform.
Tracking crawling indexes and errors on your site will help you troubleshoot technical issues that could negatively impact your site’s SEO. Finally, measuring your link-building efforts enables you to understand if your SEO strategy is working.
Developing an effective SEO campaign isn’t a one-time marketing process. The elements of your search engine optimisation efforts must be adjusted, tested, and repeatedly tweaked to maximise results. If you combine these six steps in your next SEO campaign, you’ll soon see solid results.
Creating an effective SEO campaign requires goal setting, proper planning, and smart implementation. It’s a process that takes time, so you shouldn’t expect a sprint. Use the right tools to help you with website and SEO review, keyword research, and content optimisation. Proper use of the appropriate tools can significantly strengthen your SEO campaigns and make them practical and successful.