Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is the process of optimizing your website to achieve higher rankings in the search engines. There are good (white hat) and bad (black hat) techniques for achieving this, and both have their pros and cons. Digital marketing on the other hand involves creating paid ads, extensive social media interactions, campaigns, etc. Both SEO and at least some digital marketing should be utilized to achieve the end goal, which is to bring potential clients to your door. In this article, we will discuss a high level overview of what is involved in search engine optimization from the seo guy perspective and follow a very specific pattern with VERY specific timing to achieve maximum seo results.
Firstly, it must be said that the very nature of seo means to manipulate search engines in some matter or fashion to gain a competitive advantage over your competition. However, white hat techniques involve only performing actions that are not intended to cheat, but rather to improve your website much like studying for a test will improve your test score. Many of these techniques should be done anyway to help improve the user experience of your website, whether or not the search engines exist.
Here are some of the tasks (and in this specific order) that I perform for a fresh (new) website from a new client:
- Off-Site: Perform keyword and competitor research; determine long-tail keyphrase opportunities
- On-Site: Ensure all pages have: proper text-to-code ratio, titles, description, H tags and content are all relevant
- On-Site: Ensure H tags are in the proper order
- On-Site: Ensure no spidering or indexing issues for the navigation and menus
- On-Site: Ensure proper robots.txt file
- On-Site: Develop a page authority plan and flow
- On-Site: Ensure dedicated pages for desired search terms
- On-Site: For retail businesses, ensure name/address/phone (NAP) data is on all pages
- On-Site: Run multiple speed reports from Lighthouse and GTMetrix to fix render blocking resources
- On-Site: Reduce page load times using techniques like lazyload, css and js combining and compression
- Off-Site: Ensure full https with HSTS protocols
- Off-Site: Ensure Google My Business (GMB) and Bing Local are perfect and targeted
- Off-Site: Use citation service like BrightLocal or Yext to ensure proper entries in local directories (no duplicates or missing entries)
- Social: Ensure all social platforms connected properly and NAP data is correct
- Backlinking: Start process of building backlinks from authoritative and relevant blogs
- Backlinking: Start process of backlinking to the backlinks from previous step for Tier 2 link flow
- Reviews: Setup reporting for reputation management for client
- Reporting: Setup monthly or weekly reporting for the client
When done properly and in order, the RIGHT WAY, your website can start to achieve some amazing results.
The goal is to build up authority for your website for the desired search terms, and this can only be accomplished if you “clean your house” first,and then start building up authority, term related backlinks.