An Organic Search Engine Optimization campaign (also referred to as SEO) involves 4 basic steps:
Each of these steps is critical for a successful organic search engine optimization campaign.
Strategy Development is the most important step. Its primary objective is identifying the best keywords for organic search engine optimization.
Choosing keywords has two basic components:
The Marketing Component seeks to identify keywords that are both popular (many searches) and relevant. Typical pay-per-click (PPC) costs give added insight to the market’s perception of value for each keyword.
The Competitive Component is a more difficult attribute to measure and requires specialized analysis tools. Metrics for a variety of search engine ranking factors must be attained for each website currently occupying top-ranked positions and each keyword considered. This data is used to assess the relative competitiveness for each keyword.
Keywords requiring stronger external (from other websites) backlink reputation require home-page optimization, while keywords with weak external backlink reputation may be consigned to interior pages. When keyword Market and Competitive Components are evaluated keywords may be classified by their organic search engine optimization success criteria.
Depending on the number of highly competitive (Tier 1) keywords, multiple websites may be required. The process concludes with a Keyword Strategy (in the form of a keyword map) that assigns keywords to specific web pages.
Tactical implementation covers 3 basic areas:
The level of organic search engine optimization for each area is defined by results of the Competitive Component (above).
In some cases, the content currently residing on the site is not adequate to support a successful organic search engine optimization campaign. These conditions may necessitate content creation.
Insufficient content (page too short).
Non-relevant content (not related to the keywords chosen)
Near-duplicate content (common for distributed product descriptions).
Website construction and access limitations may further limit the level of organic search engine optimization. In some cases, website designers use methods that are not search engine friendly. These include:
Passing multiple variables in the URL
Using ID session tracking in the URL
Excessive use of Flash or graphics
Although most page and PageRank optimization can be completed within weeks, link optimization takes several months.
Organic search engine optimization does not stop after Tactical Implementation. Daily rankings across the major search must be recorded so that clear ranking trends can be observed. Additionally, backlinks attained to improve link reputation require monthly validation. Backlinks that fall out must be replaced with new backlinks.
Monthly reporting (Sample here) covers a summary of all organic search engine optimization activities. These activities not only include changes and modifications to improve rankings, but also a host of defensive audits to reduce the chance of ranking declines. Read more about organic search engine optimization campaign maintenance here.