If you wish to acquire organic traffic for your business’s website, then the main way you will be able to achieve that aim is by using SEO. SEO could be carried out by yourself, an employee, or by an SEO agency that you hire. Whichever option you choose, you must be aware of the process that needs to be followed from the outset, as to miss any step or do them out of order, can compromise the success of your SEO campaign.
To make that process easier to understand, we have created a 7-stage SEO roadmap, which highlights the 7 main areas which must be actioned if your SEO campaign is to have any chance of succeeding.
Establish Your Main Objectives
Without a target to hit you will have no idea if your SEO is working so this is why the first stage of your journey is to set your main objectives. These will be influenced by the type and size of your business, and what your main priorities are. Your SEO campaign could be designed to generate leads, gain email subscribers, or simply generate free traffic to your website, and in each case will determine the specific tasks that need to be completed.
Carry Out Keyword Research
One of the best explanations we have heard for those who feel overwhelmed by starting an SEO campaign is simply to imagine it as dozens, or even hundreds, of mini-competitions with each competition revolving around an individual keyword. It is an excellent description because each keyword that you want to rank for is looked at in isolation by Google. So, your second task is to identify and then research the difficulty of each of the keywords you wish to compete for.
Conduct Competitor Analysis
Part of this stage will be done during your keyword research when you ascertain which keywords your main competitors are ranking for. In addition, other aspects of your competition you want to be assessing are where they get their backlinks from, what types of content they are publishing, and how well their website is designed with reference to user experience. Bear in mind, the goal is not to copy them but to advance upon and better what they are doing to rank well.
Complete On-Page Optimisation
One of the key parts of your SEO campaign, on-site optimisation is a mix of both technical SEO and creativity. The technical SEO covers specifics such as your website’s structure, title tags, header tags, and meta descriptions, all of which should be based upon the keyword research you did at stage #2.
Where the creativity occurs is within the content that you publish on your website which should be informative, well-written, and easily readable whilst at the same time adding further relevancy of your website to your keywords.
Optimise User Experience (UX)
Several years ago, this stage would have barely got a mention in any SEO roadmap, however, thanks to the changes in how Google operates its search engine algorithms, it should now be front and centre of every SEO campaign.
Providing excellent user experience, we would hope, is important to you anyway, however, by providing great UX, you are now looked upon more favourably by Google because UX is now one of their top priorities and this is reflected in the rankings they give to each website.
Specific steps you can take towards improving your website’s UX are easy navigation, fast page load speeds, easy-to-read fonts, and ensuring all your content is top quality by being error-free and informative.
If you have ever watched one of the many talent shows that appear on our TVs you will know they are based on votes from the public. Well, backlinks are an online version of voting but the main difference is that it is not always the website with the most backlinks that gets the highest rankings. Google also wants to see how authoritative the links are which means the more credibility and authority the websites have that you gain backlinks from, the better.
Monitor, Evaluate, And Augment
Hopefully, you are aware that SEO is an ongoing process rather than a single event. Reasons for this are that, in competitive markets, there will always be a business trying to beat your rankings, and there is the not insignificant matter of Google changing their ranking algorithms which can make SEO seem to be in an almost continuous state of flux. As such, you must monitor and analyse your rankings and where you can see opportunities for improvement, you must take action.