Last time in Part 1 of this series, we covered the first three crucial steps to get started on a path to SEO success:
1. Understanding the natural search market opportunity
2. How to grab those first quick, easy wins
3. Getting company buy-in for your SEO objectives
This week, we’re going to delve into the SEO competitor landscape, scaling your keyword set, and building a content strategy and calendar. Let’s get started!
Step 4: Discover Your Competitive SEO Landscape
As you start to gain some traction from following the steps in part 1 of this series, in the search engine results pages by capturing the quick, easy wins, start to pay a bit more attention to the competitive landscape by tracking who is appearing in the search results around you for your keywords.
You may discover that they are not who you think they are – for example, if you are a brick and mortar retailer you may compete primarily with A, B and C in the ‘real’ world and discover you compete with X, Y, and Z in the search results/digital landscape. Knowing who your competition is in search will help guide your strategic response to enable you to leapfrog the competition, whoever they turn out to be. For more details on performing competitor analysis, check out 4 Steps to Becoming a Hero Using Competitor SEO Analysis.
Step 5: Scale Your Keyword Set
By now, hopefully you have gotten management buy-in, maybe you finagled some resource commitments from the IT team or content creators, and you’ve gotten your feet wet with some quick wins. Long-term, successful SEO is about moving up the rankings for your existing keyword set, but it’s also about expanding your zone of coverage with new keywords you will optimize, create content for, and ultimately leverage to drive traffic to your website. It’s time to expand your keyword set so that you can start driving more traffic from additional sources.
Ideas for new keywords can come from many sources including:
- Competitive Analysis:A great source for new keyword ideas is the competitive analysis you did in the previous step. Discover the keywords where your competitors are eating your lunch and start optimizing and developing content for them.
- Web Analytics: Keywords that are already driving some traffic to your website that, with some focused optimization, can move up the search rankings to drive additional traffic.
- Internal Sources: Product names, collateral, internal brainstorming.
- Online Channels: Gather keyword ideas from other online marketing channels such as paid search, social media and email marketing.
- Keyword Suggestion Tools: Tools such as Google’s Adwords Tool let you input a keyword and it will spit out suggestions for similar terms. Soovle pulls keyword suggestions from multiple sources, enabling you to gather many keyword ideas at once.
Step 6: Build a Content Strategy & Calendar
In 2012 the search algorithms placed significant emphasis on quality content, penalizing sites producing “thin” or no content, while rewarding sites producing quality content in an ongoing fashion. Producing quality content will be critical to your natural search success and now that you’ve seen some initial success and built out your keyword list the time is right to build out your content strategy for the year ahead. Start small by producing quality content around your keyword list on a regular basis before graduating to more sophisticated content types such as infographics and full length articles.
Don’t miss the rest of this 3-part series! Subscribe to the Conductor blog here. Next time, we’ll cover:
7. Increasing your social presence in the SERPs
8. Utilizing digital assets for visibility in universal search
9. Measuring ROI from your SEO efforts
10. Adopting advanced SEO technology
Let us know how you find SEO success in the comments.