Planning An SEO Campaign
No two SEO campaigns are ever the same. They can differ greatly depending on the size and even subject of a site as well as how the site is already performing before the campaign begins. However, the initial outline of how the work will be structured over a period of time is often based on the same plan. It will be adapted to suit each specific client but in the majority of cases, the start point and the desired end goal will be the same.
Rand Fishkin posted a Whiteboard Friday over at Moz on the subject of prioritising SEO tasks. We have to consider what we’re hoping to achieve with a client and how to best go about this with the time we have available.
First Things First
So where do you begin? Even before we officially start work on a client’s site, we will review and analyse what’s already there in order to get an idea of the work that has to be done. This allows us to plan ahead and come up with a course of action based on a month-by-month process. We believe in prioritising areas that can have the biggest effect in a short space of time and for this reason, much of the initial work will focus on on-site SEO. META titles have a major effect on a site’s ranking performance so the first task will often be to rewrite these, along with descriptions and H1 tags.
Looking at a site’s URL structure is also a high priority, as is ensuring there aren’t separate www and non-www versions of the site and any re-directs that are required are correctly implemented. From there, we begin to look at a site’s content. We’ve written before about the importance of content and the increasing emphasis placed on it by Google. However, it’s not about writing content just for the sake of it. It has to be relevant, engaging and increase the quality of a page.
Looking at Off-site Elements
From there, we begin to look at the highest priority off-site elements such as a site’s link profile and ensuring there are no bad links having an adverse effect. We also begin the process of outreach, as well as continuing to work on additional on-site areas that weren’t top of the list of priorities but are still important enough to make a difference.
What we find is each area that we focus on is like a pyramid, with the most crucial elements at the top and fanning out towards other lower priority elements at the bottom. It’s also important to have a level of adaptability. Whilst having a plan is important, sticking to it rigidly can be a mistake if there are particular areas that need addressing or if issues arise during the course of a campaign. When that happens, you need to be able to react quickly and re-organise the work yet to be carried out so it is still in your plans rather than forgotten.
The important thing to remember is every site and every campaign is different. What works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for another but you use your experience to build a picture of what gives you the best chance of success and this makes it much easier to plan ahead when putting together an SEO campaign.