Since there are clearly defined steps in an SEO campaign, following an SEO blueprint is one way to keep on track and maximize results. This effectively is known as taking SEO from theory to practice and placing concepts into actions so you can track, assess and refine results.
Assessing the stages:
- Market Research
- Keyword Research
- Landing Page Creation
- Internal Linking & On Site Optimization
- Link Building
- Social Media and Content Syndication
- Split Testing and Refinement
- SERP Results
You can then segment a protocol and map out clearly delineated steps within each. Take keyword research for example.
Assuming you have conducted market research already and have selected your seed-set of keywords, now what? You need to turn those keywords into pages capable of standing on their own in search engines in addition to serving a dual purpose of converting window shoppers just passing by into credit card wielding long term value consumers.
But first, back to the how to!
Keep in mind that continuity and semantic connectivity translates well across a broad medium of tiered pages. By thoroughly mapping each tier, you can have commercial and educational appeal, which further allows you to segment visitor types into conversion funnels over time.
As far as tiers are concerned, at the top are your groomed landing pages with a direct call to action, below that in tier 2 is a category page which laterally ties together other related landing pages which have some type of overlap and the tier 3 pages which can be informational or product based which lend weight to categories and / or root level landing pages (at the apex of consumer intent).
One useful strategy is to:
- Pick your seed set of keywords.
- Create your content (500-750 words min).
- Adopt the use of singular and plural keyword usage on the landing page.
- Integrate the keyword into the title, meta description, H1 tag and URL naming convention.
- Write your sales copy (using the keyword in the first 25 words and surrounded by at least one to 3 other targeted keyword variations or synonyms to create an ideal contextual link environment).
- Use the overlapping keywords to link to your category pages to support equally as important keyword clusters.
- Build 10 internal links from other pages that are (a) indexed (b) contain some type of semantic relevance for the target pages keywords and (c) preferably are ranking, have links or Pagerank – to expedite ranking the new preferred landing page.
- Build 10-25 deep links to the page without exceeding a natural occurrence of each keywords anchor text occurrence (7 instances of main keyword, 5 of secondary or plural, 3-5 alternative synonyms, etc.)
- Use syndication and / or social media (to create commercial appeal).
- Let the page age, get indexed then check the SERPs for its initial debut.
If a page is (a) built properly (b) groomed via internal links, on page optimization and has deep links then (c) that page should appear in the top 30-50 results within a 2-3 week period.
From there, you will have to map out the appropriate on page SEO (on site) and off page SEO (link building, syndication and promotion) to facilitate buoyancy for the keyword(s) in question.
Depending on (1) the competitiveness of the market (2) the authority of the sites above you and (3) your own websites authority in relation to that keyword (often determined by the volume or quality of the information housed in your website or the amount of citation from other sites linking to yours) ultimately determines how quickly your site offsets the barrier to entry and starts ranking.
The above summary is merely one module for initiating an SEO campaign and serves as a preliminary overview, which could be refined into more specific tasks, action items and protocols.
Getting started is the hardest part and knowing what to do, when its the right time to do it and why are what differentiate repeatability and take SEO from theory into practice as a result of carefully orchestrated steps.