First of all, let me say that SEO isn’t a task or something you “check off” and you are done. To do SEO correctly, it requires ongoing efforts (and a little stamina). It takes an understanding that optimization consists of many moving parts. I read an analogy once that said “Good SEO is kind of like an engine: There are many working parts, any of which can (and should) be improved, repaired or replaced to boost your vehicle’s performance. The more your engine is used, the more work there is to do to keep the engine in top shape”.
Here are some basic components of every SEO. Anyone who’s been around SEO for any amount of time should already know these “basics,” but they bear repeating for anyone who is unfamiliar as to where to begin with their SEO effort:
SEO & Keyword Research
Start your SEO by doing a little keyword research. Search Engines look at the keywords you use in your page titles, descriptions and event page heading text. Also make sure you are editing the content of your pages to make them keyword friendly. Integrate keywords in the copy of your page content and make sure that page content is not competing with other pages on your site. Include internal linking to other important pages, add keywords to the alt tags on all your images and make sure to add strategic calls to action if necessary.
Develop a strategy to your site layout; you can create directly structures that use keywords in the directory names as well.
As keyword performance is measured, additional recommendations should be provided, tweaking the pages to improve rankings and conversions.
Information Architecture & Usability
For maximum results, SEO efforts should include regularly reviewing site analytics information to uncover any potential site architectural issues. Using this information, provide specific recommendations and solutions that will build better site architecture, remove duplicate content, and fix problematic HTML and a whole lot more.
The mission here is to make your site search and searcher friendly on all levels.
Developing an immediate and long-term social media strategy is critical to leveraging your blog, Twitter, Facebook and other social streams to your advantage. In conjunction with the SEO efforts and content strategy efforts, the social strategy pushes content in the most effective way, monitors reputation and boosts SEO performance through keyword and link targeting. Part of the social media strategy is to create a publishing calendar that can help you keep moving forward and not get caught in social stagnation.
Researching you and your competitor’s link content provides you with a variety of opportunities to pursue. These opportunities include lists of sites, directories, blogs, and other strategic sites and the best approach for establishing a linking relationship that compliments your optimization efforts.
The SEO works to establish contact with these link opportunity sites and lays the groundwork for a (linking) relationship, submits linking requests and negotiates link placement, among other things.
Analytics & Conversion Optimization
Rinse and repeat. Regularly reviewing your analytics will help you understand search performance and user trends. With this information, you can tweak your content, link building and social media messaging.
Consider using multivariate a/b testing based on the analytics findings. Develop strategic scenarios that can be tested to provide various performance and conversion results. Selecting the best performing options provides the ammunition needed to continually improve your site conversion rates.
These are just the basic fundamentals of a solid web marketing campaign. Each area noted here can produce a plethora of actions, reactions and recommendations that are designed to continually propel you forward in the search results. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the tasks in each of these categories, but it can give you a good place to start.