SEO (Search Engine Opti­miza­tion) is a com­mon way to boost the rank­ing of a web­site in search engines. It may sound like a com­pli­cat­ed process, but SEO is actu­al­ly a com­bi­na­tion of efforts and strate­gies which can be imple­ment­ed with a lit­tle bit of skill.

When done well, SEO will get results and can lead to a sig­nif­i­cant increase in traf­fic. Decid­ing on the right time to start an SEO cam­paign can be a hard deci­sion. Brands want to stand out from their com­peti­tors and get as close to the num­ber one spot on Google as pos­si­ble.

Many new web­sites will begin to plan their SEO cam­paigns even before launch­ing, and it is nev­er too ear­ly or too late to start.

How­ev­er, there are a few things to con­sid­er when choos­ing the right time for SEO, as there are steps which can be tak­en to make it more afford­able and less time con­sum­ing:

Get to Know the Website

Google has a range of free tools that are designed to give web­mas­ters infor­ma­tion which can help to cre­ate the best user expe­ri­ence pos­si­ble.

Before start­ing a cam­paign, sign up for the fol­low­ing:

Google Analytics

Google Ana­lyt­ics tracks where any web­site vis­i­tors come from and cre­ates in-depth reports. After sign­ing up, a unique snip­pet of code will be giv­en which will need to be placed on every sin­gle page. This can nor­mal­ly be done once in the site’s head­er.

The stats which can be accessed include page views, unique vis­its, bounce rate, and even how long a per­son spends on a spe­cif­ic page. Where they came from, and where they end­ed up can be impor­tant infor­ma­tion when set­ting up an SEO cam­paign.

Google Ana­lyt­ics can even allow web­site mon­i­tor­ing in real-time. As a free tool, this real­ly is ben­e­fi­cial to every online pres­ence.

Google Analytics

Google Search Console

One oth­er free tool that web­mas­ters should con­sid­er sign­ing up for is Google Search Con­sole. This is a des­ti­na­tion that allows web­site own­ers to mon­i­tor their opti­miza­tion strate­gies.

For­mer­ly, Google Web­mas­ter Tools, this plat­form will give users valu­able infor­ma­tion and alert to any errors which could assist with their SEO goals. When some­thing is flagged with the search engine which may hin­der page rank­ing, a mes­sage is sent to the web­mas­ter.

The more infor­ma­tion which is on hand, the bet­ter the results will be as oth­er­wise it is essen­tial­ly like stab­bing in the dark. Infor­ma­tion is pow­er­ful, and when it comes from a free tool there is no risk.

Check the Website Design

When a web­site is designed to be SEO friend­ly, it makes the job of opti­miza­tion much sim­pler. This means, updat­ing any soft­ware and choos­ing a plat­form which is made with func­tion­al­i­ty in mind.

Fast load­ing pages and the flex­i­bil­i­ty to be used on mobile devices real­ly do make a dif­fer­ence. There is no point invest­ing time and mon­ey into an SEO cam­paign for a web­site which is out­dat­ed. It is much eas­i­er to gain results with the right foun­da­tion.

The addi­tion­al ben­e­fit of hav­ing up to date soft­ware is the secu­ri­ty and peace of mind it brings. Bugs are gen­er­al­ly fixed and vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties reduced with each update. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly use­ful with plat­forms such as Word­Press where fix­es and upgrades are reg­u­lar­ly added.

Be Ready to Commit

Before start­ing an SEO cam­paign it is impor­tant to con­sid­er that it is a long term com­mit­ment. It requires time and poten­tial­ly mon­ey. Once it has start­ed it may take time to see results so being pre­pared for the hard yards is essen­tial.

Every­one who is involved with the web­site needs to be on board as some changes may need to be made. It should be a team approach and train­ing may need to be pro­vid­ed. Don’t start until every­one is com­mit­ted.

The way posts are writ­ten and the struc­ture of the web­site may all be impact­ed as new tech­niques are adopt­ed.

Prepare Social Media

Social media is going to play a part in any mar­ket­ing efforts and should be set up pri­or to start­ing any SEO style cam­paigns. What this means is, set­ting up those accounts and start to build a fol­low­ing.

Choose con­sis­tent imagery and cre­ate a theme for any social media pro­files. Every­thing which can be done before hir­ing an expert SEO agency is going to save time in the long run. It isn’t essen­tial to do this first, but it is rec­om­mend­ed as an extra pro­mo­tion­al tool.

Prepare Social Media

Know the Niche of the Brand

More often than not is it bet­ter to have a spe­cif­ic niche rather than a gen­er­al mish-mash of ideas. This is where it is impor­tant to know where the traf­fic is com­ing from so many goals can be built.

This involves doing some research and learn­ing about the tar­get audi­ence. Con­sid­er what terms peo­ple are using to find the web­site and per­form a con­tent audit.

For new web­sites that haven’t yet launched, brain­storm who the tar­get demo­graph­ic will be and what they may be search­ing for.

Focus on Content

Don’t for­get that con­tent is one of the most valu­able tools for grow­ing web­site traf­fic. Hav­ing some­where to direct those vis­i­tors and keep them brows­ing the pages for as long as pos­si­ble can make a huge dif­fer­ence.

Try these sim­ple con­tent strate­gies:

Remove any Duplicate Content

Dupli­cate con­tent tells Google it is a copy of a copy, and not orig­i­nal. For online stores, don’t rely on the con­tent from the man­u­fac­tur­er, but come up with some­thing entire­ly new. This can be time-con­sum­ing, but it will pay off.

Put a dif­fer­ent spin on things and show the true voice of the web­site. Search engines pre­fer unique con­tent so get this in order before invest­ing in more advanced SEO. Learn to write in this style, or alter­na­tive­ly hire an SEO blog writer with expe­ri­ence in this area.

Write for the Audience

Once the audi­ence has been estab­lished, cater the con­tent to their spe­cif­ic needs. It is all well and good to write for a search engine, but the vis­i­tors now need to be the main tar­get.

Qual­i­ty con­tent that draws them in and keeps them com­ing back for more should be the ulti­mate goal. Always have some­thing to offer which can­not be found else­where, while solv­ing a prob­lem they nev­er knew they had.

Write for the Audience

Longer is Better

Longer con­tent is always more effec­tive than short­er snip­pets. Aim for a min­i­mum of 500 words per arti­cle but keep those words rel­e­vant. Avoid adding extra words for the sake of it, what­ev­er is said should be relat­ed and in line with the sub­ject mat­ter.

For exam­ple on a tech­nol­o­gy web­site, no one real­ly cares what Ken­ny had for break­fast. But, they may want to know what his thoughts on the new iPhone X are. This comes back to know­ing the niche and writ­ing for the intend­ed audi­ence.

Be an expert. The say­ing “Jack of all trades, Mas­ter of None” is not the goal when it comes to cre­at­ing qual­i­ty con­tent. Get used to break­ing up con­tent with head­ing tags, and bul­let points for a clean­er approach. This makes it eas­i­er to read and more friend­ly to search engines and robots.

Create a Content Plan

Any busi­ness can ben­e­fit from hav­ing a con­tent plan. This can be emu­lat­ed across both the web­site and social media and assist any future SEO efforts. This is a clear strat­e­gy that deter­mines what is hap­pen­ing and when.

Plan­ning con­tent in advance will help with sea­son­al key­words, allow­ing time for the con­tent to be indexed in the major search engines in time for big events. The orga­ni­za­tion is the key!

Do a Tidy Up

An SEO com­pa­ny can do this, but with some amount of tech­ni­cal know-how, a busi­ness own­er can include a web­site clean up as part of their prepa­ra­tion.

Start by remov­ing bro­ken links and check­ing the nav­i­ga­tion of the web­site. A sitemap is lit­er­al­ly a map for the web­site and will give search engines a clear indi­ca­tion of how it all con­nects. This can even be sub­mit­ted to Google for more stream­lined index­ing.

What Else Can be Done?

Start with what can be done, this is par­tic­u­lar­ly use­ful for local busi­ness­es. Focus on how to pro­mote the brand on local search­es.

Add the web­site to Yel­low Pages and oth­er sim­i­lar direc­to­ries. Include maps, reviews, and rel­e­vant con­tact infor­ma­tion. The eas­i­er it is for the busi­ness to be found, the bet­ter!

Get the look and feel of the web­site just right, as all the new vis­i­tors which will be gained from sol­id SEO efforts will need to be able to use it effi­cient­ly.

Choose the Right SEO Company

When the time has come to begin an SEO cam­paign, an SEO com­pa­ny may be hired to do the job. Research dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies until the right fit are found.

When pri­or research has been under­tak­en, the right ques­tions can be asked. What are the ide­al results and how can they be achieved? Hav­ing real­is­tic goals cre­ates some­thing to aim for and every­one will be on the same page.

Wrap Up

Start­ing an SEO cam­paign is not about if, but when. Most suc­cess­ful online busi­ness­es have embraced SEO strate­gies to a cer­tain extent, whether it is inten­tion­al or not.

Expect­ing overnight suc­cess is unre­al­is­tic, and algo­rithms are always chang­ing. It is a smart move to build a rela­tion­ship with a trust­wor­thy SEO com­pa­ny and take the guess work out of grow­ing the web­site traf­fic.

A strong web­site design, social media efforts, and qual­i­ty con­tent will all help to ensure the SEO invest­ments are not being wast­ed unnec­es­sar­i­ly. Good luck, rank­ing high­ly in Google is achiev­able it just takes some hard work and patience.

SOURCE: The Mar­ket­ing Folks