Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important aspects of online marketing. Strong SEO practices can help your business become more visible on search engines like Google, which can significantly drive web traffic and sales.
SEO can be a complicated field and it does take several months of consistent implementation to see any results, and for that reason you might feel a little overwhelmed if you’re just starting to do SEO work for your company. When you’re new to SEO, there are definitely some important first steps that you need to take before others. Here’s what to prioritize when you’re first beginning to implement your SEO strategy.
Determine Your Goals
First, you should determine your SEO goals for your company. What do you want to get out of SEO implementation? Do you want to boost web traffic? Do you want to make more money online? Do you want to leap competitors in the search rankings? Maybe you want to promote your strategic partners. Whatever the case, you should come up with a list of goals that you’re setting out to accomplish via SEO.
Next, you should come up with some numeric goals. If you want to boost sales, come up with a long-term sales goal that you want to reach, or state a certain percentage that you want sales to increase by. You can do the same for web traffic.
Try and be realistic your goals. Remember that it usually takes months for SEO to show any significant effect in your search engine rankings or web traffic.
Evaluate Your Capabilities
Implementing SEO can be very time-intensive, so evaluate how much you’re able to do per month given the amount of labor that you have.
First, you’ll have to determine how much keyword research you’ll be able to do. There are probably lots of different keywords on your company’s website that you could rank for, but you might not have time to implement strategies on all of them if your company doesn’t have the staff for it.
Second, you’ll have to figure out how much copy you can get written. You’ll have to incorporate new copy into your website that utilizes your SEO-optimized keywords. Writing good copy can be a time-intensive task as it is, and it’s going to take even longer to write when you have to integrate SEO. If you’re not a writer and you don’t have in-house copywriters at your business, or if you just have a large amount of copy that needs to be written, you might need to hire freelance copywriters to produce the copy.
The problem with outsourcing your copy to freelancers is that many freelance writers are not as experienced with SEO, and you might get copy that’s poor quality and that doesn’t match your brand voice. That’s why it’s beneficial to enlist SEO services. SEO agencies typically have a large staff on hand that can produce a huge amount of copy for you, in addition to other SEO-related tasks you might not have time for.
Do Keyword Research
After you’ve set your goals and properly evaluated the amount of SEO work you’ll be able to implement each month, it’s time to get to work. Start doing keyword research on any keywords that pertain to your business and which you could rank for. Arguably the most popular and professional keyword toolkit is SEMrush, which is a difficult tool to learn but is incredibly helpful when you’re determining which keywords you want to try and rank for. Other great SEO tools include:
Play around with them and get familiarized with how they work.
Run a Website Audit
Run a detailed audit of your website. Your audit should answer a few questions:
- Does your website have keywords that clearly describe what your business sells?
- Does your website incorporate keywords that are commonly searched for?
- Does your website utilize a simple pyramid structure?
- Can the images on your website be crawled?
When you’ve completed your website audit, you’ll have a pretty clear idea of what you need to change to implement better SEO.
Keywords are only one aspect of SEO. After you’ve planned your initial strategy, begin thinking about how you’re going to build more links to your website. You might have to work with your strategic partners and ask them to link out to your site (in addition, you’d create links that link out to them). Blogs are a great and natural-looking way to create links between you and your strategic partners.
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