The Ultimate SEO Strategy


In the beginning days of search engines, the “ultimate SEO strategy” was simple:  packing.  You packed meta tags with keywords that generated clicks.  Then you packed the site with text. Underneath your widget descriptions, you hid keywords in the page text by making it the same color as the page background.  And on and on.  Those were the bad ole days!  Today, it is both more difficult and much easier to have a reputable (white-hat) SEO strategy that actually works.

Most businesses don’t actually have a thought-out SEO plan, let alone anything they could call an “ultimate SEO strategy.”  In our experience talking with business owners, most SEO decisions are made on a whim after reading one “guru” or another talk about that “one weird trick” that will increase your conversion rate by 12,000% or the “SEO secret that Google doesn’t want you to know about.”  Yeah.  That’s the kind of (pardon my English) crap that gives SEO a bad name.

Properly done, SEO actually helps the search engines, and the search engines can (and will) reward your site for it.  That’s a big part of what we’ll talk about in the next six months.  SEO is really about:

  1. What your clients / customers think of your site;
  2. What the search engines think of your site; and
  3. How can we legitimately and positively influence their opinions.

It’s all about building great content.  So let’s dig in.  We’ve created an ultimate SEO strategy that keeps pace with search engine algorithms and will help your site improve in the search engine rankings.

Ultimate SEO Strategy:  For All Sites

  1. Get an SSL Certificate for your site so that the search engines won’t penalize you. What’s up with that?
  2. Define Your Target Audience
    • To whom are you selling? What do they need? What do they want?  Be as specific as possible.
    • Understanding your audience will help you generate specific ideas of what to rank for. Listen to your customers, listen to your market
  3. SEO Audit (Self-Analysis / Keyword Research)
    • Find easy wins: the keywords you already rank for
    • Use keyword research tools to find keywords that you’re ranking for in position 4 or below (including page 2 of Google) and boost those keywords with more links!
    • Find Your Content Gap: Competitors keywords that you’re not targeting
  4. Competitive Research/Keyword Research
    • Find the keywords your competitors target, and which they rank for
    • Perform a competitive gap analysis. Make a list of all the keywords your
      competitors rank for and then exclude the ones that you rank for, then build
      out content like blog posts to target those keywords.
  5. OnSite & OnPage SEO Optimization
    • Most importantly: Create quality content with keywords you researched and add internal links
    • Optimize your pages and content with your keywords
    • “Title” tags
    • Meta descriptions
    • URL (the “permalink”)
    • Header tags
    • Images, with “alt” tags and other image metadata supporting your keywords. Note that this is more time consuming and complex than many website owners anticipate.
  6. Link Building Strategy
    • Start with Branding/Diversity — Create and build out your social profiles (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, at least)
      • Do at least 1 press release for each site
      • Use naked links
      • Use no-follow links
    • In-Content Diversity Links
      • Build out web 2.0 type properties
      • Use a mix of brand, natural, and low competition keywords / long tail
    • Move on to High Power Links
      • Publish guest posts on high authority blogs
      • Add these types of links each month, in a long-term strategy, while varying
        your anchors each time
  7. Measure Your SEO Results
    • Give it some time. Modern, white-hat SEO does not create overnight results. It is a long-term process that creates powerful, long-term results.
    • That being said, track your results. You’ll want to keep up with your efforts to see what works.  We continuously track results for our clients so that we can fine-tune our approach.

Ultimate SEO Strategy: For Local Sites

Do all of the above steps, plus:

  1. Have an actual address, rather than a mail drop. (Seriously, and we don’t even make any money off of that.)  If you run a local business out of your home, and you don’t want to rent an office, find a local business and sublet “space” from them, with the space being a mail “box.”
  2. Create listings / profiles in Google My Business, Bing, Yellow Pages, Yelp, etc.  Make sure that the listings are identical — absolutely, 100% identical (if you use a period at the end of “Inc.” in one, you should not have another listing using “Inc” without the period).
  3. Following on the above, audit local citations.
    • This will also tell you what citations you’re missing.
    • Cleanup and fix your local
      citations if necessary
  4. Build citations and links.
    • Your competitive analysis should have given you the local citations & links that your top ranking competitors have from industry sites and other directories.
    • The basic rule is that there should be no place where your competitors’ names appear that yours doesn’t.
    • A corollary is that if you can appear where your competitors don’t (within reason and common sense), then all the better for you.

Implementing the Ultimate SEO Strategy

If this seems daunting, that’s because it is.  That’s also the reason that most businesses really don’t have or implement a comprehensive strategy.  Fortunately, we do all that for you.  Our SEO experts do all of the heavy lifting for you.  We do it right, and our case studies (available upon request) prove it.  So if you’d like your potential customers and clients to easily find you, reach out to us.  We’d love to help.

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The Anatomy of SEO