8 Steps to Effective SEO
Successful search engine optimization goes far beyond identifying keywords and managing content. Like any other media, success requires a strategy that includes research, ongoing reviews, testing and refining. Each of the following eight steps plays a critical role:
1. SEO site audit. The purpose of a SEO site audit is to check the current health of your website. The audit is designed to identify any issues or roadblocks that may be holding your site back from reaching its full ranking potential with search engines. This process involves looking under the hood to see how the site is coded, how content is displayed, how and where it targets keywords, where the site currently get its traffic and conversions from, an analysis of the structure or hierarchy of the site, server errors, page load time, how the site links internally, and how other sites link to it. The audit provides a snapshot of all aspects of your website from an SEO perspective.
2. Keyword research and mapping. The goal of keyword research is to identify words or phrases that your potential customers are searching for. SEO specialists conduct their own research along with keyword research tools to identify which keywords to target. Selection is based upon how frequent, competitive and relevant the keywords and variations are searched for. When targeted appropriately, keywords will help drive a high percentage of prospects or leads that are received. They're likely to result in conversions such as new leads or online sales.
The second step is keyword mapping, where keywords are mapped to specific existing or future pages of your site. This is done to ensure the best, most relevant page of the site is optimized for the most relevant keywords and that internal pages aren't competing for the same keywords. Mapping helps determine the words that appear in the links consumers click on — i.e., anchor text. Mapping indicates where the link should point to for link-building purposes. It will also define how existing content should be optimized, what content should be written and what keywords should be tracked to measure success.