Are you Overwhelmed?

When you first hear about SEO, you hear about a bunch of things, right? It all comes falling down on you at once: on page, content creation, link building, meta data…. No matter who’s writing about what, almost every article gives the impression that this SEO step (whatever that step is) is crucial to a campaign and must be done.

Every optimizer has a favorite area, and that area is the one they tend to evangelize the most. Yet, of all the things that need to be done for a complete campaign, one has to wonder what the most important really is. Is there a part of SEO that can be considered the immediate priority?

Obviously, the answer is “yes”, or this wouldn’t be much of a post. So what is it? What should a company, especially one on a tight budget, focus on most?

On Page Optimization

If your company has never been involved in the optimization process, the very first, immediate priority is on page optimization. Your website is the backbone of any outreach effort and needs to be as tightly focused as possible.

However, you can’t just write a few meta tags, throw in some key terms and call it a day. Under the “on page SEO” section are many subsections, and each deserves focus and attention:

#1: Keywords, Research and Analysis

Just as your website is the backbone of outreach efforts, your chosen keywords are the foundation of your SEO campaign. This is, quite simply, the most fundamental part of optimization. Targeting the wrong key terms might bring you traffic, but it won’t bring you quality traffic – and really, quality traffic (i.e. interested, converting traffic) is what you want, right?

When you bring in a professional SEO specialist or company, you don’t want to assume you know what terms you should be targeting. We’re professionals for a reason; if you don’t let your SEO provider at least look over your key terms and make recommendations, you’re cutting off the campaign before it even starts.

Further reading on this topic:

Finding Keywords for SEO: How Long Does This Take?
Are Keyword Density Percentages Killing Your Content?

#2: Competitive, Research and Analysis

Things you can do

Researching the competition is important, because you may find yourself choosing other key terms based on how much of a heavy weight the competition is. For example, Overstock is a heavy weight (yes, even after being punished by Google) for several generic terms. Therefore, in general, if you plan to sell furniture you might want to be a little more specific than just targeting the term “furniture”.

Competitive research tells you what you’re up against to reach the top 10 results (your real competitors), and how much work will be involved. Work transfers into man-hours, which transfer in to money, so you can get a gist of how expensive a campaign might cost based on competition, as well.

Further reading on this topic:

Who Are Your REAL Competitors?
Competitive Intelligence: Getting the Skinny On Your Competition

#3: On Page Content

Once you know what keywords you’re targeting, and who the competition is, it’s time to put it to work. “On page content” refers to anything on the site, from meta tags to titles, headings and the body of text itself. Knowing how to merge keywords into your content without making them stand out to the reader can be difficult. It takes practice, but it can be done!

Further reading on this topic:

Semantics and Relevance: Even Keywords Need Support Sometimes
Writing Organic SEO Content: How To, Definition and Terms
The #1 Traffic Builder – Hint: It’s Probably Not What You Think

#4: Technical SEO

What does the lifeline of your site look like? How well do the pages work on your server? Do you have 404 (page not found) errors? Are you using too many redirects? Does it take forever to load your site?

Technical SEO covers things that don’t deal with content, such as those listed above. Before you ever go off site for any optimization campaign, you have to make sure it’s ready for visits. Don’t ignore the recommendations your professional SEO provider passes along. Every little bit counts, and this includes the technical bits.

Further reading on this topic:

Technical SEO: Tools and Approach

At the end of these “steps”, you’ll have a tightly focused, optimized, clean, fast site. Then, you can start looking at the actual outreach programs, such as link building, guest blogging and so on.

Read from here:

Building Campaigns Around Key Words and Phrases: SEO, Marketing, Social Media

Conclusion

There is no single part of optimization more important than keyword research and analysis, and there’s no one section of optimization more important than the on page. Not only will on page optimization give you strong relevance but, done right, it will also give you a site that people want to visit.