SEO Ground Rules that Will Keep Your Campaigns Strong and Successful
What’s the starting point of SEO? Now, this is a question that faces pretty much every SEO expert or beginner, at the start of a new project. However, it’s also one of the more difficult questions to answer. All you need is a Google search to be convinced that the world of SEO has transformed in the last month. This can leave the most experienced of webmasters and SEO experts in the doldrums, particularly when it comes to prioritizing SEO campaigns, strategies for the next quarter, and decide on SEO budget breakdowns. This is where you need to know and remember some SEO ground rules. In this guide, I’ll present the best of them.
Set One Core Goal for Every Campaign
Whether you’re in charge of an in-house brand’s SEO or serving a client, a core goal will help keep your head above the water in the worst situations. A 10% increase in the top 50 low traffic assets of a website in 3 months, at less than $1,000 — now that’s a core goal. Trust me, even the wildest of discussions will naturally converge on the core goal if you set one. Here are some characteristics of well-devised goals.
- Time Bound
Tip — go for a stretch goal (aiming for seemingly unrealistic targets). Research has shown that teams can achieve more than their initial expectations in 90% of cases where they go for stretch goals.
Contextualize Strategies With Focus on Conversion Flows
It’s surprising how easily people tend to forget that SEO is a means to an end. The ‘end’ is a conversion, and there’s a digital distance separating the ‘click’ (what SEO gets you) from the conversion. This distance is what’s called the ‘conversion funnel.’ Unless you’re solely dealing with landing page SEO, you will need to understand your brand’s conversion funnel. Google Analytics is a good starting point.
- Use Behavior Flow analysis to understand the most prominent conversion paths on your website.
- Click on your destination pages to understand where people that come to these pages are from, and where they go after these pages.
- Use Reverse Goal Paths to find out the most effective funnels and the ones that need more care.
This conversion funnel analysis can significantly improve your SEO campaigns’ ROI, every time. Also, it’s one reliable method of identifying the common SEO attributes of specific successful pages, paving the way for marketers to scale them across the website.
As much as you hate to admit it, SEO crawlers really do highlight the biggest pitfall in your websites’ SEO from a technical standpoint. 4xx and 5xx status code errors, missing tags, missing canonical — these are just a few of the frequently found technical SEO glitches that a site crawler can help you find.
Here are some useful SEO crawl tools that send you alerts when new issues pop up.
Invest In Goal-Oriented SEO Education
Stay in the thick of things. The best way to do this is to find dependable sources of free and premium SEO education content that you can apply to your campaigns. Keyword research, technical aspects of SEO, paid search marketing campaign management, basic SEO KPIs, and ROI measurements, on-page and off-page optimization techniques, local SEO basics, etc. are the key components of SEO, and can be easily taught. Here are a couple of useful resources:
Market Motive: With an ever-expanding library of stellar content relevant for SEO, social media marketing, PPC, web analytics, and conversion optimizations, Market Motive’s Digital certification courses is one of the more reliable platforms for high quality and focused SEO education.
Search Engine Land: An SEO professional’s must-have bookmark; with news stories, articles, and DIYs related to SEO, this portal is a stellar storehouse of basic SEO information you will need to manage all kinds of campaigns.
Prioritize SEO Actions: Based On Individual Campaigns
There’s just too much that you can do for SEO. What exactly is worth your attention? This is something best answered in the context of specific projects, and connects to the core goal, the conversion funnel, and can even be based on the findings of your site crawl (all three rules we discussed earlier). Here are some high-priority SEO actions; you can expand the list and re-arrange to suit your projects.
- Identify and remove duplicate content
- Check UX factors
- Make sure your website’s pages are mobile responsive
- Set Google Analytics up for insights
- Invest in a detailed keyword analysis plan for new projects
- Optimize your website for local SEO
- Evaluate performance of backlinks
Also, for a data-driven brand, it’s worth checking out SEO prioritization guides that give useful formulas to identify the most deserving activities.
Trust these ground rules; ingrain them in the way you plan, do, monitor, and re-invent SEO for your brands.