Ranking Well Quickly Through a 10-Step SEO Marketing Campaign (Part 1 of 2)

Increasing your ranking quickly can be achieved if you do things right. We’re going to walk you through a 10-step SEO marketing process that will enable you to achieve great results. In this first post, part 1, we are going to discuss the steps to take to select the right keywords, validate your keywords, understand how to beat your competition, and develop the actual plan for your Website development. Let’s get started with keyword research.

Step 1 – Keyword Research
We always say, as an SEO services company, that a sound SEO campaign starts by selecting the right keywords. A simple way to start is by writing down the top keywords that you want to rank well for. Then, you want to use a keyword research tool, such as Google’s Keyword Tool to determine if there is adequate search volume for each keyword.

Not only do you want to rank well for your keywords, but you want to try to go after keywords that have good search volume, so you can drive adequate traffic to your site. Then, you want to determine if the keywords have a high probability of converting to sale. A simple way to determine this is if the cost per click (CPC) is high for the keywords that you would like to rank well for. If the CPC is relatively high for your keywords, it’s a good indication. It means that people are bidding high for the keyword because it’s producing results for them. And if they are in the same industry as you, chances are that these keywords will convert well for you as well.

You also want to ensure that your keywords have some buyer intent, so they will convert well into leads and sales. For example, as an SEO company, it would make more sense to optimize for the keyword “search engine optimization company,” versus the keyword “SEO.” While the keyword “SEO” will drive traffic, many of the Website visitors will simply be looking for SEO information. By optimizing for the keyword “search engine optimization company”, I know that they are further along in their decision making process, which means that there is a higher probability that they will convert to sale.

Step 2 – Validate Keywords
Once you have a list of keywords that you feel confident about, you want to determine if you can actually rank for the keywords. This is the step that many companies don’t take and they never gain traction and rank for their keywords.

To determine if you can rank for your keywords, start by entering your keywords one-by-one into Google to determine what sites are ranking well for your keywords. If the search results that come up for certain keywords are primarily government websites or education websites, it may be difficult to rank well and you may have to rethink some of the keywords that you’re going after.

Step 3 – Competitor Analysis
Once you have validated your keywords, you want to analyze the competition. A free tool that you can use to achieve this is Open Site Explorer by SEO Moz. Start by analyzing the top three to five competitors for each of your search terms. Review their title tags to determine how aggressive they are going after your keywords and if they have a good SEO campaign in place.

You want to review the sites that are linking to them to determine the volume and quality of links. Specifically, you want to review if they are using a consistent keyword in their title tag, page content, and their back link text (anchor text). If they are, they have a good quality SEO campaign in place.

You also want to look at the size of their Website. An easy way to achieve this is by typing in “site:www.companyname.com” into Google, which will display the number of pages on the Website. By understanding how aggressive your competition is, you will have a better understanding of what it will take to outrank them!

Step 4 – Refine Keyword List
Once you have completed your keyword analysis, you want to refine your keyword list to the keywords you think you can compete and rank well for. Then, you want to group your keywords into themes so there will be some logic to the sections of your Website. For example, for the Blueprint Internet marketing Website, you’ll notice that we have six key areas as follows: Internet marketing, SEO, PPC, Social Media, Web Development, and Email Marketing. By grouping your keywords into themes, it makes it easy to plan out the structure of your Website.

Step 5 – Develop Web Tree and Hierarchy
The easiest way to develop the structure of your Website is by developing a web tree with the home page of your website at the top and the key sections of your Website as subsections of the tree. For example, for our Website, the home page is Internet Marketing and the subsections are SEO, PPC, Social Media, Web Development, and Email Marketing, as you can see below.

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Step 6 – Develop Mind Map
To take things a step further, develop a mind map so that you can clearly see all of the Web pages of your site, while guiding you to develop the content for your Website. Below, you will find an example of a mind map that we created for one of our clients.

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We have covered quite a bit in this post and you should be well on your way to planning the search engine optimization of your Website. In part two of this post, we’re going to show you how to develop the content for your website, where to include your keywords, and how to develop a monthly link-building strategy that will get you ranking well in less time! If you have any questions or need support for SEO Toronto campaigns or any other region, please leave a comment below. We’d be happy to help.