SEO requires a planned methodical approach. It is rarely an instant overnight success, but demands instead a dedicated effort over an extended period of time. Google advises this as well.
For a small business looking to engage in SEO then this period of time could reasonably be expected to be 6 months – 12 months. It is understood that this is quite a time commitment, but the rewards for being highly ranked far exceed the effort required to get (and stay) there. It is worth it!
Thus we present you with the following 6 month SEO plan perfect for any small business looking to significantly improve their visibility within Google.
Note: What we mean here by a small business is one which can reasonably summarize its main services or products in twenty individual phrases. If you need more than 20 phrases then consider a larger SEO plan or decide on your 20 most productive (valuable) phrases as a starting point.
So here are the steps of your six month plan. This is roughly the sequence to do the steps though you can of course mix it up a bit depending on resources.
One Month SEO Free
And if you read all this below and think that it is a lot of work – you are 100% correct.
These are the steps we take for each one of our SEO customers on the 20+20 keyword “Value Plan”. It gets them very good results. And by outsourcing it to us they can get on with their own important duties – like closing and fulfilling sales.
If you are interested in finding out more fill in the contact form here or message us using the chat box on the page. You can even call us if you like!!
And as a thankyou mention the coupon code MONTHFREE and you will get a month free on your 6 month SEO plan.
Step 1: Keyword Research
One of the first steps in any marketing strategy is to clearly define a target audience. In SEO terms this also means defining the actual phrases your desired audience will type in to Google when looking for the services or products you offer. It isn’t always what you think either!!
However using your knowledge of your field, any web traffic logs you may have and some rather clever keyword research software you should be able to define 20 or so key phrases that represent your business to your average customer or prospect.
These would be your (20) primary search phrases.
But not everyone searches Google in the same way, using the exact phrase you have chosen. So take these Primary Keywords and produce another 20 “variants” of them. For example try adding geographic locations if that is appropriate.
These would be your (20) secondary search phrases. Often called long-tailed searches
Now you have a good, well researched list of 40 or so phrases., well done!
These need to be associated with your website.
This is done in two ways; on-page and off-page optimization.
Step 2: On-page Optimization
You already know where you want Google to feature your website (the 40 search phrases from step 1). Now you need to make sure that when Google (or rather the googlebot) arrives to inspect your site it finds that data. It looks in certain key places and in the content of your of your website to determine what your site is all about.
This is what the on page SEO stage does. This should include such things as
- Onsite Adjustment of meta titles and descriptions
- Adding Rich Snippets
- And of course content – you need good content on your website!
CONTENT IS KING
If people arrive on your website but get presented with poorly formatted content or no content at all, they will leave straight away.
This is called bounce rate.
A high bounce rate is bad for your overall ranking – and not desirable for your website either.
And just as important is the fact that it is much harder for the Googlebot to figure out what a low content webpage is about, so it might not even bother trying! This means your site gets passed over and not listed.
Your website needs to have enough descriptive text on it. It might also benefit from a blog section which is regularly updated. These factors help both your visitors and the googlebot understand what your site is about and remain engaged with it for longer.
Step 3: Off Page SEO / Linking Strategy
Google knows a lot abut your site by the other sites that connect or link to it.
These “backlinks” give Google an idea of who considers your site important enough to include a link to it. If those referring sites are themselves considered important or authoritative themselves, then your site is probably valuable too (per Google)
Thus you need a way of getting links from quality sites back you your website – but in a manner that does not violate Googles Webmaster rules.
Some of these ways are
- Guest Blog Post Writing & Syndication
- Informational Content Writing & Syndication
- Press Release Writing & Distribution
- Infographic Creation & Distribution
- Magazine / News Placements
- Q&A Posting
- Social Sharing
- Video Creation and Submission
- Social Profiles
- Powerpoint Creation and Distribution
- Image Submission
- Social Communities
NB: Beware “bad links”
One thing you should definitely do on a regular basis is a backlink analysis. This tells you who is linking to you. This is vitally important if you have engaged a… cheaper… SEO company in the past.
You may have thousands of spammy links pointing to your site.
These are doing your site harm and holding it down in the rankings and need to be removed or dis-avowed. The lesson here is know who links back to you!
Step 4: Localised SEO
The Google results page has several sections where it shows different kinds of data. Steps 1 -3 above are perfect for what is commonly called “organic ” listings which are the ten or so websites you see listed n the page. But that isn’t the only place your website can be featured.
It can be shown on the local finder box, in the business profile box (for brand searches) and in the local finder. This is especially true for localised searches where the product or service offered is most relevant to a distinct geographic area.
The key driver for all of this is your Google My Business profile (GMB) as well some other on-page factors and off page factors – different from the ones listed above.
So you local SEO step should include
- Google My Business/ Bing, Apple Maps & Facebook Local Listing Optimization
- Authority Business Listing (Yelp, Local.com etc)
- GPS Business Listings if relevant
- Local Citation Building
- NAP Syndication
- Review Widget
- Coupon Distribution if applicable.
Step 5: Conversion Tracking
Amazingly an often missed factor from an SEO plan is the ability to measure results !
What you need here is conversion tracking, behavior mapping and a top notch reporting system.
Here are some good key performance indicators and metrics worth monitoring.
- Web Form Conversion Tracking – what is the % of visitors to inquiries via the contact form?
This tells you how good your offer is on the web page and also how well targeted the traffic is to that page.
- Google Analytics needs to be installed – of course. This will tell you all about how your traffic arrives at the website and what it does once it gets there and a host of other useful things
- Other useful tools are
* Usability & Conversion Optimization Reports
* HeatMap reports ( see definitions below)
* Overlay Reports for Home Page
* User Testing Videos
These will all show what your visitors are doing once they arrive, so you can adjust your website to capture more conversions.
The Ultimate Reporting Tool
Most SEO agencies and software generate a monthly report or spreadsheet with your keyword rankings on it. That is not enough data to see all of your SEO factors in play
The SEO customers at Rankwell Digital have access to a full Reporting Dashboard.
Here is a snapshot of one part of it…
This marvelous marketing tool pulls data from multiple sources – google analytics, webmaster tools, Google my business, FB,twitter, MOZ, SERP rankings etc to show you what is happening to your website.
It shows all this related data in easy to read tables and graphs! And it is all displayed in one central location.
Also It updates regularly so it’s data is always current – not one month old. ( That would be much more useful than an emailed PDF report would it not? )
Our customer have complete access to their own reporting dashboard 24hrs a day.
We believe you need this level of access to fully monitor and control any SEO program. We love it and so do our customers.
STEP 6: GET SUPPORT
Of course sometime you just need to talk to someone. So having access to experts via Customer Support (Email, Chat & even Telephone) is vital. If you are DIYing your SEO program then join the relevant forums and FB groups.. they are often full of the most helpful people who will assist you fro free.
- ScrollMap – The scrollmap shows how far down the page people are scrolling and helps determine where visitors abandon the page. Now you’ll know exactly where to add elements to hold a visitor’s interest longer.
- Overlay Report – With the overlay report, you will be able to see the number of clicks on each element of your web page.
- Confetti – With confetti, you will be able to distinguish all the clicks you get on your site segmented by referral sources, search terms & more.
- User Testing Video – A user testing video with voice over talking about the errors / difficulties encountered while browsing your website from a layman’s perspective.
- Magazine / News Placement – posting a magazine / client interview
- Q&A Posting – posting Q&A’s relevant to the your business on high authority sites.
- Social Community – a profile on important / relevant social networks where you can share guest posts, videos and other information to attract users.
- Review Widget – a widget on your website pages which will help you build positive customer reviews.
- GPS Business Listings – submitting your business location to GPS mapping platforms.