SEO Overview: Practice Marketing Guru’s Approach to Effective Search Engine Optimization
Listed below is an overview of the typical activities, strategies, and components that go into our SEO campaigns.
Initial Research & Strategy Development
Once we receive information from the client regarding the type of product or service they provide, what type of customer they are trying to reach, and who their primary competitors are, we are able to perform extensive keyword research and competitive analysis. With this research we are able to determine the keywords we will be targeting based on profitability, search volume, and a few other factors. We are also able to begin developing a custom link building strategy that will help us achieve our objectives.
On-Page Optimization refers to optimization work that is done on the actual website. This work is performed in an effort to get the commercial search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) to properly interpret your website and to “encourage” these search engines to index your website accurately.
On-Page Optimization includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Comprehensive website audit
- Consideration of content quality
- Consideration of keyword usage and keyword density throughout the site
- Consideration of the website’s structure and the flow of the main navigational menu items, landing pages, and other internal pages.
- Consideration of Schema markup or location tags
- Optimized page titles Optimized meta data (descriptions and keywords)
- Optimized headers (h1 – h5)
- Optimized paragraphs
- Optimized tags (alt, anchor, etc.)
- Consideration of internal links
- Consideration of the usage of bold and italicized text.
- Consideration of blogs, news feeds, social media channels, etc.
Once the website audit is complete and all considerations are made, we will send a document that includes our lists of recommended edits and/or additions to the website. Upon approval by the website owner, the recommended revisions can either be made to the site by PMG or the client’s developer.
Note: Most of the on-page optimization is performed within the first month or two of the campaign. We do not typically make many changes to the website once the on-page recommendations are published to the site. We do this in order to send a signal of stability, dependability, and trustworthiness to the search engines. This does not mean, however, that new, “fresh”, content cannot be added to the site via a blog, etc. In fact, we would encourage adding such content on a regular basis. It just means that we would like to leave the established, static pages as consistent and stable as possible.
Off-page Optimization refers to the promotion of the website by efforts that are performed outside of the site itself. Oftentimes, the phrase “off-page optimization” is used interchangeably and synonymously with “link building”. However, it can involve more than just obtaining inbound links.
Off-page optimization can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Link building*
- Optimized listings at strategic maps and directory sites
- Optimized listings and profiles at strategic social media sites
- Content promotion
- Videos and other forms of media
- Press releases published online
- Citations and/or listings in curated, relevant directories
*Link building refers to the exploration, negotiation, and placement of links on another website that point to the client’s site. Link building remains one of the most important aspects of SEO. Unfortunately, it is also the most abused aspect of SEO. As such, Google and the other search engines take link abuse very seriously and will severely penalize a site that is found to be in violation. Therefore, it is important that an SEO company stay within the best practices set by the major commercial search engines and avoid automated link blasts, link schemes, etc. PMG’s takes a careful approach to link building that is manual, incorporates “no follow” links, relevant, and natural.
Off-page optimization efforts are made in order to build up the “authority” of the website. In basic terms, the search engines see links and citations that point to your site as “votes”.
Note: Once the on-page factors are established and published, most of our time, energy, and resources (money) are invested in link building. This involves the constant exploration of new linking opportunities, negotiating with site owners for link placement, developing content when needed, vetting link providers, monitoring the effectiveness of links, renewing links, etc.
In order to convince the search engines that our client’s business is not stale, irrelevant, or outdated, we highly recommend utilizing a blog feed or similar function in order to add new posts, new articles, or other new content to the site in a controlled way. Not all business types lend themselves to having a blog, but a blog-like function can be used to add new articles, seasonal updates, new media, news & events, and more.
We further recommend having a few social media profiles so the new site content can be “promoted”, and so that we send a positive social media signal to the algorithms*. Promoting the new content by posting a link to it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ accomplishes several purposes:
It keeps the social media profiles current It helps the new content get recognized and indexed by the commercial search engine It adds helpful “no follow” links to your link portfolio It provides the possibility that the post will also show up in the search engine results page (SERPs) It allow to new content to be seen by several people and could provide an opportunity for others to link back to your site.
*This use of social media, as described above, is quite utilitarian and is only meant to accomplish our SEO objectives. This kind of approach to social media should not be confused with a true social media marketing (SMM) campaign where compelling posts are made often and at peak times, users are engaged, advanced search tools are utilized, and more. We do provide SMM campaign services. However, they are offered at an additional fee.
Constant Monitoring of the SEO Landscape
The algorithms of the major search engines are updated on a very regular basis. Sometimes the changes are small and have no noticeable effect, but sometimes they are sweeping changes that make a tremendous impact on a site’s ability to perform well in the search engines. As part of our SEO campaign management, we constantly monitor the ever-changing landscape of SEO and utilize our extensive network of industry contacts and case studies to make sure our clients stay ahead of the curve.
We maintain an open line of communication with our clients in order to discuss the major changes and to consult accordingly.
We prepare monthly reports that track the progress of the SEO campaign. These reports can include the following:
- Rankings report
- Analytics report
- Maps listing report
- Progress and activity report