Preparing An SEO Strategy


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This easy to follow presentation walks you step-by-step through the process of creating an effective SEO strategy for your website. Make sure you don't miss important steps or ignore valuable parts of the SEO process, including social media, on-page optimisation and competitor analysis.

I have also included useful resources to help you get the most out of your SEO, including information on Google updates and useful SEO tools.

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Preparing An SEO Strategy

  1. 1. Preparing Your SEO Strategy A step-by-step guide by leading SEO Consultant Ben Norman
  2. 2. Contents  Why You Need An SEO Strategy  Yesterday’s SEO Tactics To Avoid  Understanding Google’s Algorithm Updates  Backlink Analysis  Reconsideration Requests  Backlink Analysis Tools  Competitor Analysis  Content Marketing  Meta  Social Media  Responsive Web Design  Customer Reviews  More Useful SEO Tools  Why Is SEO Long Term?  Contact Me  References & Image Sources Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  3. 3. Why You Need An SEO Strategy  Drive relevant traffic to your site  Increase brand reach  Extend the exposure of your products and services  Rank highly for page one domination: 75% of users [*1] do not scroll past the first page of Google results Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  4. 4. Yesterday’s SEO Tactics To Avoid  SEO is always evolving and many tactics of the past could now negatively affect your site’s search engine rankings.  Here are just a few examples of what to avoid… Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  5. 5. Yesterday’s SEO Tactics To Avoid  Purchasing links  Overusing keywords within your content and link anchor text. Read my blog post on keyword optimisation  Spammy, irrelevant or meaningless comments  Low quality and/or thin content  Duplicate content, either on your site or externally. Learn more about getting rid of duplicate content  Listing on generic link directories Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  6. 6. Understanding Google’s Algorithm Updates  To tackle these sorts of ‘black hat’ SEO techniques, Google regularly updates its search engine algorithm to improve the relevancy and quality of its search results.  The Google Panda and Google Penguin algorithm updates are the two most well known and high- impact updates of recent years… Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  7. 7. Google Panda (2011)  Google devalued websites with thin, low quality content and a high concentration of on-page advertising.  The update also targeted sites with duplicate content issues and other types of spam later that year. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  8. 8. Google Penguin (2012)  Launched to combat unnatural link profiles.  Penguin penalises sites with links from poor quality sites that have been set up to manipulate search rankings rather than benefit users. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  9. 9.  A new search algorithm which improved the way Google understands conversational and long-tail search queries.  Hummingbird uses aspects of the old search algorithm which worked well, including the Penguin and Panda updates, but includes new aspects Google Hummingbird (2013) Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  10. 10. Backlink Analysis  The process of reviewing websites that are currently linking to yours and judging them on their quality and relevance to your business.  Useful for monitoring competitor backlinks and identifying strong links for your own site.  An essential process if a site has suffered a manual spam penalty for unnatural links Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  11. 11. Low Quality Links  Low quality links often result in a penalty to your site, particularly if they don’t comply with Google’s recent algorithm updates.  When undertaking backlink analysis, watch out for these low quality links including links that are paid for, are unrelated or are not from a genuine or reliable source that points to your site.  Read more about finding and eliminating bad links here Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  12. 12. Building Good Quality Links  Building a rigid link profile is vital to a successful SEO campaign and ranking higher in Google’s search results.  Having high-quality websites linking to you promotes your site as a solid and reputable source of information over your competitors. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  13. 13. Building Good Quality Links High-quality links should:  Be non-reciprocal (not based on an exchange)  Drive relevant referral traffic back to your site  Not necessarily be easy to obtain – links that are difficult to obtain are normally the most valuable  Come from a site with other good quality links. Beware that too many links on a page can indicate suspicious activity to Google Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  14. 14. Reconsideration Requests  To overturn a Google penalty, you need to submit a successful Reconsideration Request to Google. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  15. 15. Reconsideration Requests  When applying for reconsideration, be sure to make the strongest case by including:  Steps taken to remove and disavow unnatural links  Any past unethical techniques used to generate links  Confirmation that you now understand and fully adhere to Google’s best practice guidelines  Records of any corrections made or issues that need to be rectified in a spreadsheet sent along with your request Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  16. 16. Backlink Analysis Tools There are a large number of powerful Backlink Analysis Tools available, including: Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  17. 17. Majestic SEO  Majestic SEO is a great tool for compiling details of a site’s referring backlinks.  It is particularly useful for analysing sites to remove, nofollow or disavow.  Majestic SEO can also be used to analyse the links of your competitors. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  18. 18. LinkRisk  LinkRisk is a paid service that colour codes and scores backlinks by their health and risk.  It helps highlight particularly unnatural links in need of removal. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  19. 19. Competitor Analysis  In order to better understand the online strategies of your competitors, analyse the following activities:  Monitor their social media presence – do they have an active following and are they engaging with their audience? Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  20. 20. Competitor Analysis  Review their backlinks – who is linking to them? Are there opportunities for you?  Is their content regularly updated and of good quantity, quality, variety and usability?  Are they effectively targeting keywords using ethical practices? Or are they still using poor tactics that will cost them later on? Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  21. 21. Content Marketing  Content marketing is essential for successful link building and to keep your site refreshed with new information on a regular basis. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  22. 22. Content Marketing Some of the types of content to consider include:  High quality and informative blog posts  Guest posting on strong and relevant sites  Press releases  Infographics  Industry/subject whitepapers  Case studies  Video Here’s how to make your content marketing strategy more effective Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  23. 23. Meta  As well as building valuable links, you need to make sure your site is up to scratch.  This includes both on-page and technical aspects of your website.  An important starting point is to look at your page titles, Meta descriptions and H1 header tags to make sure they are accurately describing the content of your page. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  24. 24. Meta Descriptions  These are short paragraphs that appear in SERPs that describe the nature of your site and content.  Descriptions should be no more than 155 characters, including spaces, and should effectively describe the content of the page.  If a page does not have its own unique Meta description, the search engines do it for you. This is rarely a good description of your actual site or page. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  25. 25.  Social media is a great resource for promoting your content and directing traffic back to your website.  Key channels include: Social Media Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  26. 26. Responsive Web Design  Google recommends the use of responsive design which enables your site to adapt to any device (computer, smartphone or tablet).  The performance of a website on mobile and tablet devices now contributes to search engine rankings.  Read more about Responsive Design here. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  27. 27. Customer Reviews  Add your site to some of the main listing sites for customer reviews and set up a localised Google+ page.  This way you can gather insight on what people are saying about your brand. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  28. 28. Customer Reviews  Here are some of the sites to sign up to:  Read more about reviews and listing sites here. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  29. 29. More Useful SEO Tools  Google Analytics Generate reports on website traffic and popular content/pages –build on this by setting new goals to increase conversions.  Google Webmaster Tools Upload your sitemap to check its compliance with modern day SEO practices. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  30. 30. More Useful SEO Tools  Screaming Frog Free for 500 pages software that analyses your site’s SEO efforts and highlights areas for development.  Google Keyword Planner Useful tool to use when carrying out keyword research; provides a list of strong keyword around a topic and their average number of monthly searches. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  31. 31. So Why Is SEO Long Term?  SEO is not a one-time fix; it is an ongoing process to ensure that your website ranks above your competition and that you are always discoverable to customers and potential customers alike.  Google regularly updates its algorithm, so you need to ensure you are abiding by the rules to continue ranking well. Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  32. 32. Contact Me  Find out more about Ben Norman today.  Telephone: 0845 485 1291  Connect with Ben: Preparing Your SEO Strategy
  33. 33. References 1. Marketing-Stats-Charts-Graphs-Data.aspx Preparing Your SEO Strategy Image Sources  Do Not logo courtesy of Bigstock  Hummingbird image courtesy of Bigstock  Magnifying Glass image courtesy of Bigstock  Panda image courtesy of Bigstock  Penguin image courtesy of Bigstock  Search Engine Marketing image courtesy of Bigstock  Star Rating image courtesy of Bigstock