SEO, the fine mysterious art of promoting your website in search engines. You are helping your customers find your business when they are searching for keywords that are closely related to the issues your company is solving for them.
Given the fact that Google is over 20 years old, if your business is just starting to practice SEO, it is 2 decades behind the curve. Due to the fact that link age, link authority and the sheer number of content are ranking factors, you need to make a significant investment into acquiring links, fixing technical SEO issues on your site as well as creating a lot of quality content.
But just starting out your SEO challenges may lead you to believe that you can “just hire a freelancer”, and you’ll be Okay. That’s far from the truth, as SEO inevitably takes an immense team effort to drive fruitful results.
Knowing this is the first step, and the second step is knowing what you need to do. This article explains just that. In details.
How Can I Start With SEO?
But just because numerous companies have been chasing the most competitive keywords out there for decades, and invested millions of dollars into manipulating Google into ranking them on the first page, doesn’t mean that your business can’t enjoy the spoils of recurring organic traffic.
The first step in a quality SEO process is an SEO audit that will evaluate technical SEO issues your website most certainly has. The reason why most websites have SEO issues is due to the fact that they are built by web developers that didn’t have SEO guidance and expertise, as these two are different knowledge sets.
One of the things we pride ourselves here in our SEO agency near Chicago is very detailed keyword research service, that is capable of uncovering the latest keyword trends, and finding low hanging fruit opportunities. This way we can create a solid SEO strategy that can drive results from the moment we start executing.
How To Execute SEO Strategy?
An SEO strategy will define what kind of links we should aim to acquire, what kind of anchor texts your business will benefit from the most, and what kind of content we need to create.
We’ve heard a few times on the search engine conferences how some SEO leaders claimed that SEO activity is easy, but that would be far from the truth. Reality is that SEO process exists from at least a dozen of processes that need to be coordinated in a timely fashion, and each step requires one or two people to execute and pay close attention to their task. Running $50 000/month projects, we have experienced that SEO, even when scaled, can be challenging. We will list your main activities that need to have full attention from your staff in order to execute a ranking campaign successfully.
What Are Essential SEO Processes?
Besides keyword research, SEO audit, we’ve got these additional processes that must happen in order to raise your rankings:
- Technical SEO Optimization
- Preparing the Editorial Calendar
- Preparing and coordinating the content creation
- Optimizing content and improving internal link structure.
- Fixing webmaster issues on your site
- Constantly Prospecting for new links, acquiring email information
- Digital PR & Relationship management with numerous webmasters
These would be top-level processes, without getting into individual one-off tactics. Failing some of these steps could leave your campaigns falling short despite the best efforts.
How Well Managed SEO Campaign Looks Like?
It starts with a well researched SEO Strategy, and a big part of creating it is doing a thorough keyword research coupled with realistic expectations of SERP competition.
To our best knowledge, mostly experienced SEOs that have observed SERPs for years have good chances of anticipating the budgets and the number of links and articles needed to reliably rank for your desired key phrases.
SEO Strategy will define your original website architecture including your internal links and your technical SEO. Execution of the technical side of things more often then not requires a developer that is either supported by an SEO or has good knowledge of SEO requirements, understands how to program fast and easy to use websites.
Editorial Calendar and Planning
After the majority of your setup is concluded, you can move onto the SEO planning phase, where you can incorporate low hanging fruit keywords into your editorial calendar. This calendar pretty much sums up your budgetary expectations, making them predictable. Before you start producing content, you will need designated team members responsible for writing new articles for your website.
Executing Your Content Plan
When planning is complete, and you have a general idea on who will be writing all your content, you can start assigning the tasks. For most small projects we use Trello for project management. Here we assign keyword researched topics to their designated writers and we assign deadlines. Content publishers & content managers usually put them in Google Docs, for they may request edits and revisions from the writing team later on.
Once the content is assigned, our publishing team is usually not sitting idle. They are sourcing the images from websites like Unsplash or iStockPhoto (depending on the budget), choosing the relevant alt tags, ensuring that when content arrives we can operate quickly.
When the content arrives we focus on the spell checking and verification of authenticity of the content. If you don’t have top of the line content writers with an SEO background, you always need to validate the content you need to be requested. For Alpha Efficiency clients we source reputable specialty writers, but we still ensure that the end result is verified properly.
Every article includes internal links that support the SEO strategy, carving the path towards better rankings Of your Pillar content.
Optimizing Your Efforts – What is Search Console and why you should care?
Content is freshly published, Google bot is crawling your website properly and now Search Console (Webmaster Tools) started populating data your team can start working with. Good SEOs always follow search console, even integrate automated alert systems for 404 error page reports, monitor their website for negative SEO campaigns orchestrated by malicious competitors, always keeping track on regular SEO Maintenance.
But the search console allows us constant feedback as to how our SEO efforts are evolving. They can guarantee that you’re on the right track early on in the process. Things you can look for in the first months.
Link Research & Prospecting
You can snoop around your competition, and you will gain a lot of placements by finding link opportunities your competitors used. The biggest problem of finding links this way is that they aren’t as effective. That’s why cheap and easy tricks in SEO only bring short term bursts and results because your competitors can replicate your link strategies rendering them ineffective.
The more complex it is to obtain the link, the more valuable that link is. While you can theoretically buy backlinks, it also means that it will be easy for your competitor to buy those links as well, leaving your strategy short-lived and vulnerable.
That’s why link prospecting and webmaster networking are the essential sauce of every good SEO’s playbook. For our prospecting efforts, we’ve devised scrapers and a multitude of tools and data points that are our proprietary secret ingredient to choosing a high-quality link. Most good SEO tactics can not be found on the Google’s open web, as they are well kept trade secrets. We will give you a sneak peek into how we developed a good link prospecting strategy.
Metrics that we originate for our own SEO assessments are trade secret kept in the house. While we rely on MOZ Spam Score and Majestic Trust Flow, we take other things into consideration. Most often we utilize an industry-specific approach that is hard to replicate by outsourced SEO companies that operate their business based on the volume of links.
During the keyword research phase, we paid a lot of attention to understand the context of the entire industry and we’ve learned its language. This allows us to master the semantics behind the industry and prospect for relevant links, by covering the topics agencies would usually overlook.
Digital PR and Relationships With the Webmasters & Influencers
Alpha Delivered is the answer to how we ultimately get in touch with thousands of webmasters across the internet, that are covering the topics closely related to your topics. Alpha Delivered helps us to both, identify the webmasters’ email addresses, as well as reach out to them, guaranteeing high deliverability rates, and all the issues of hitting targets inbox.
Email coordination is a laborious task that includes email writing, negotiations and writing the content for the recipient of the article that contains your backlink. The choice of backlink and its context is what will drive the rankings, it doesn’t come from the metrics alone.
Getting a healthy link placement with the right context is more valuable than obtaining a high authority link with poor context.
But in order to do so, the pitch towards a webmaster will determine your success rates. Internally we take a long time to build relationships with other webmasters and content publishers, by constantly providing them value and strategic content partnerships. These relationships yield link placements that are unique and hard to obtain.
You’ve seen the big picture and what it takes to build a sound SEO path to success. If you feel that you need help with your SEO audit or building and executing your SEO strategy, then feel free to set up a time for us to talk.