Creating an SEO campaign from scratch can be a daunting task. There are tons of components you need to consider.
Even if you get everything right, you know there won’t be immediate gratification for your hard work. It’ll take at least a few months to see your hard work pay off.
However, running an SEO campaign can force you to ensure everything on your website is technically correct and that there’s enough structure for bots to crawl around on. It can also help align your whole marketing team in terms of keyword and content strategy.
If you follow the steps below, you’ll easily get through making and executing your own plan.
Define SEO Campaign Goals and Make Milestones
Just as you set goals for yourself every new year, you need to define the goals of the SEO campaign.
Too many campaigns fail because the leader says that ranking #1 on Google is the goal. While this is not an unattainable goal, it will too easily fail if no direction is given for the campaign.
To succeed in ranking #1 on Google, or whatever your goal is, is to break your goal into bite-sized, SMART goals. In addition to being SMART, your goals should also answer the following questions:
- Who do you want to reach by ranking higher or #1 on Google?
- Why do you want people to visit your site in the first place?
- How are you going to measure your results?
These questions matter because you need to consider who your potential customers are if there are different groups you need to cater to, and what part of the buying cycle they’re in.
Don’t skip this planning!
Vague goals with no milestones in these types of campaigns will be poorly executed and ultimately cause you to spin your wheels on your company’s SEO efforts.
Do Your Research
Another boring, yet necessary, step in starting your SEO campaign.
If you’ve ever heard anything about SEO, you’ve likely heard that keywords are important for your content. While this is still true, more factors are becoming more important than keywords.
As Google’s algorithm gets better at understanding the intent behind a user’s search, less emphasis is put on keywords and more is put on the quality and meaning of the content.
When we say user intent, we mean the reason the person ran the search in the first place. As you do your keyword research, keep these three search intents in mind:
The user wants to learn more about the topic. The queries can range from the topic itself like “search engine optimization” to long-tail queries like “what is search engine optimization.”
The user knows a bit about the topic he’s researching but he wants to know about his available options. These types of searches typically use words like “review,” “best,” “comparison,” or “top.” Even searches like “cheap” or “deal” can indicate a person is evaluating his options.
Completing an Action
Searches like “buy an Apple watch” or “sign up for Slack” all indicate that the user knows what he wants and is ready to execute an action.
You can do your keyword research with SEO tools like Ubersuggest, Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Google Trends, Moz, and SEMRush. You can also generate more keyword ideas through a keyword audit of your website.
Audit Your Site
Yes, one more must-do step before you start creating content for your SEO campaign.
Auditing your site’s technical SEO frequently is important, and there’s no better time to do it than before you launch a campaign.
Technical SEO refers to the aspects of a website that make it crawlable to search engines. If it’s built incorrectly or the technical SEO is not executed well, it can make your site and content incomprehensible to search engines.
Here are some crucial steps and aspects you should check:
- Page speed
- XML sitemap
- URL structure
- Meta tags
If you don’t want to manually check all these technical aspects, you can use a crawler tool to audit your site. Using such a tool is a recommended option for large sites with tons of content.
You’ve thoroughly laid the groundwork for your SEO campaign and checked your website’s technical SEO. You’re now ready to create some content!
With search engines getting better at understanding search intent and the content on the page, you can focus more on writing content for people rather than search engines.
When you start writing content, consider who your target is to understand how you should write to them. You should also consider which part of the buying cycle they’re in.
There are some things you should keep in mind as you write content for your website and blog.
Make sure your content is high-quality and answers the questions your target audience has. The more valuable you can make your content, the more it will be found and shared, resulting in higher rankings.
Keywords and Related Words
When using keywords in your content, ensure they and other related words are featured in the headers, subheads, and body text of your piece.
Internal and outbound links are really important for your SEO campaign and site structure. Internal links help build your site’s structure and help bots find links they wouldn’t easily find. External links to authoritative sites are believed to help improve your SEO score.
Build Links Through Promotion
Earning backlinks to your content is crucial to your SEO rankings. However, you won’t get backlinks by publishing your content and leaving it to sit.
One of the most effective ways to get backlinks is to share your content.
When you publish a post, you should send it to websites that take contributions and guest posts. These websites should be relevant to your industry to give you even more link juice.
You can also email the new content to influencers in your industry. A website like BlogDash is useful for finding influencers.
When promoting your content via email, ensure you’re conveying the value or interesting perspective your content provides. You should also explain how much you value their opinion as an operator in your industry and if they find your piece valuable, would they share it.
Social Media Promotion
Promoting through social media is another excellent way to get the word out about your new SEO campaign content.
Whenever you publish a new piece, make sure you give it a highly-shareable title. That way, when you share the links on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, it’s likely to get more click-throughs.
The SEO Campaign Doesn’t Stop There
When you’ve completed the planning, research, content creation, and promotion for your SEO campaign, you might think you’re done.
Nope! While you should give each campaign a few months to gauge its efficacy, you should always review your SEO practices to see where you can make improvements.