You’ve probably heard of SEO, or search engine optimization, and its importance for business success. If done correctly, SEO can bring many benefits: visibility of your website on search engines, increase in traffic and sales, brand authority, ease of communication with target audiences, and more.
But do you know what kind of effort goes into doing SEO successfully? Since it is a rough and competitive field, planning thoughtful, strategic campaigns is necessary to stand out.
Similar to traditional marketing campaigns, an SEO campaign is a pre-planned set of steps expected to produce specific business results.
SEO campaigns are mostly run based on the expertise of digital marketing professionals, best marketing practices, previous results, and the analysis of all relevant data.
Before hiring an SEO professional or trying to do it yourself, it is useful to learn more about SEO campaign management. Let’s go through eight crucial steps of a successful SEO campaign that can help you navigate the complex digital business landscape.
An SEO audit is a comprehensive examination of a website’s technical and on-page elements to determine how well it is optimized for search engines. SEO professionals conduct audits to identify any issues that prevent a website from ranking well in search engine results pages (SERPs) and to make recommendations for improving its visibility and performance.
Clear and achievable goals are crucial to any line of business, and SEO is no different. After running an SEO audit, setting manageable objectives for a campaign is the next step. Determine what you want to achieve with each SEO campaign. Your goals should be specific and time-bound. Some examples of actionable goals might include:
- Getting conversions and sales through organic traffic,
- Increasing search visibility for a set of keywords,
- Ranking higher for a competitive keyword,
- Outranking a competitor,
- Getting a particular number of quality backlinks, etc.
Although goal-setting is essential, keep in mind that nothing is set in stone, and unpredictable situations can always happen. Your campaign can and should be regularly re-evaluated and tweaked to meet objectives.
Keyword research is a process that identifies and analyzes keywords and phrases people use to search for products, services, or information related to your business or industry. The goal of keyword research is to understand what people search for and use that information for website optimization and content writing. Proper keyword research increases the likeliness of ranking well in search engine result pages.
Many online keyword research tools can help you identify the keywords your target audience is currently searching for and offer information on search volume, competition, and other crucial factors. The most popular tools include Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs.
Usually, the best keywords to target are those that combine high search volumes and lower competition. However, it all depends on the type of industry you’re in, your goals, or whether your business is new or already established.
An unavoidable element of any SEO campaign, content fuels your website and makes ranking possible. Your content should be helpful, informative, well-written, and include appropriate keywords.
If you’re unsure where to start, a good idea is to write some evergreen blog posts. These articles should offer in-depth coverage of fundamental topics people always search for. You can then build the rest of the content on top of that, employ internal linking (linking from one page on your website to another page on your website), and improve on-site optimization.
Simply put, backlinks are links to your website from other websites. Backlinks can significantly impact your rankings since search engine algorithms use them to measure a website’s authority and credibility.
Backlink research helps understand what makes websites link to one another in a particular niche and gather linking opportunities for your website. This means finding relevant, authoritative websites in your niche that are worth contacting and then sending outreach messages to them to get high-quality backlinks to your content.
On-page optimization includes reviewing the website’s content, meta tags, image quality, site speed, mobile friendliness, and other on-page elements. This process ensures the website is optimized for relevant keywords and provides a good user experience.
Off-page SEO is any activity that doesn’t include creating content for your website. We already covered backlink building, but off-page optimization includes press coverage, influencer outreach, social media presence, podcasting, Youtube videos, digital PR, etc.
Any competent SEO professional service will ensure not to include off-page optimization in their efforts.
The final task includes finding out if your SEO campaign met its objectives. You can do this by tracking the essential metrics and measuring results.
For example, you can use Google Analytics to keep an eye on website traffic, conversion, bounce rates, and other metrics. This tool can also provide information on your website’s traffic sources and visitors’ behavior. Analyzing this data will help identify future improvement areas.
Furthermore, you can use backlink analytics tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush to monitor the number and quality of the links to your website. The same tools will also track your website’s rankings for relevant keywords. Compare your rankings to those of your competitors to see how well your website performs.
Finally, all the gathered data will help you evaluate results once the campaign is over, pinpoint mistakes and successes, and plan for the future.
Planning, executing, and evaluating elaborate SEO campaigns requires advanced knowledge, experience, and skill. More often than not, large teams work on these campaigns, with separate departments for each of the tasks mentioned above.
It can be challenging to do it all as a beginner. However, you can try to set smaller goals and only do backlink outreach or on-page optimization within a single campaign. Remember to manage your expectations and stay patient since SEO success is a long game.
Overall, a successful SEO campaign requires competent project management, communication, and patience.