Developing an SEO Strategy
In our previous guides we have taken a look at what SEO actually is, and why it is so important. We have also taken a deeper look at both on the page and off the page SEO. This short guide will attempt to bring all of this together, and put a very basic SEO strategy together.
Start with on the Page SEO
There is no point starting any SEO campaign until your on the page issues have been taken care of, it simply does not make sense to undertake off the page SEO for a less than search engine friendly site. Get your URLs fixed up, set up sensible page titles, and get your keywords or phrases ready to use. Once this is done, we can move on.
Try to get Listed
Try and get your site listed on DMOZ, this can be tricky and quite often webmasters will use a third party company to accomplish this. Also start the listing process for the Yahoo directory, this is simpler but still takes time. You may also submit your site to some of the smaller internet directories, this is not as effective as it once was, but it still has merit.
Content is King
This is an old saying in SEO circles, and the adage that content is king still holds true for two reasons. Firstly because search engines love sites that regularly put forth fresh, unique and relevant content. Secondly, because the new content you publish can form the basis of your off the page SEO campaign. So get ready to add pages to your site, or possibly set up a blog, which should be updated at least once a week, with several times a day being the overall best. Make sure your content is focused around relevant key phrases and perform key phrase research (out of the scope of this short guide). Write it or have it written for you, and slowly begin to publish it regularly. The more regularly you publish content, the more frequently the search engine spiders will visit your site to check their indexes. A regularly updated site may end up being indexed several times a day.
Build those Backlinks
Start building backlinks but don’t go too fast with this, most search engines see this as a suspicious thing, when they see hundreds of backlinks gained overnight. Go for a smaller quantity of high quality backlinks instead of dozens of lower quality ones. Writing and article which discusses some of your newly published content, and submitting it to an article directory is a good way to do this. Also, press releases can reap great rewards. Forum posts and blog comments are also effective. Go slowly but be regular, build your links over time. Do not be tempted to buy bulk backlinks, these are almost always of inferior quality, and you can end up with your precious website blacklisted and de-indexed by the search engines, this is a very difficult situation to come back from.
Tweet and Digg all the Way!
Every time you publish a new piece of content, or a new blog or news post, be sure to go and bookmark it at the major social bookmarking sites. Also, if you do publish articles discussing your site, then bookmark these too. Rule of thumb, it there is a link trail to your site, then bookmark it, it’s as simple as that. Once again, go slowly, don’t submit hundreds of Tweets in a week pointing at the same page, instead spread bookmarks around multiple sites.
Once you have your backlinking and social bookmarking campaign underway, loop back around and go over your on the page SEO again. Be sure to use statistical tools such as Google Analytics, to monitor just how and why your visitors are arriving at your site, and be prepared to tweak your site to make it fit those statistics, not the other way around. Making proper sense of analytics and web statistics would be material for a much longer guide of its own, so we will not go into great detail here, but these are valuable tools, and exploiting them properly can mean the difference between success and failure.
SO there we have it, the culmination of our previous guides, put into practice, to define a workable SEO strategy for almost every website. I am sure by now that most readers will appreciate that SEO is a time consuming process, and one which takes a level of expertise. If you do not have the time and resources to handle toe SEO of your site yourself, then take advantage of the services of a good SEO company, the results will be worth the investment.