When embarking on a new SEO campaign, there are several areas to tackle. These are:
- The keywords to target
- The website optimization
- The types of content to create
- The link building process
- The monitoring processes
- The tools to use
Under each area are many other sections that need to be changed for a fully optimized SEO campaign.
True enough, building an SEO campaign from scratch can be a complex process. However, we’ve prepared a breakdown into more manageable actionable steps.
What goes into a killer SEO campaign?
An SEO campaign has three major components: on-page, off-page, and technical. Nonetheless, because of its growing importance, we, at Optimind, add content as the fourth major component of an SEO campaign.
Indeed, content remains the king and the biggest drawer of small and big SEO wins.
Below is the discussion of these components and how each brings value to your SEO campaign. Done right, these components would make your campaign the next success story.
What are the components of an SEO campaign?
On-page and off-page are two of the most hyped words within the SEO industry. Some marketers favor one over the other. But this should not be the case, especially when both are vital to an online business’s success.
On-page optimization covers what can be done on the website and its pages, while off-page optimization covers activities taking place elsewhere. On-page SEO refers to the factors affecting the website or web page organic listing. The website owner controls these factors. Some on-page elements are meta tags and keywords.
Google’s spiders, bots, or simply crawlers must be able to crawl your website easily. Do these things:
- Make sure that the website is readable and indexable by the search engines (appearing on results pages for certain queries)
- Make sure that there are no errors that could affect the site’s indexability (appearing on the results pages as it should without any error messages)
- Check that users can access the website conveniently (loading and rendering as it should)
- Check that it loads on different browsers using any device (rendering properly across multi-browsers and multidevice)
On-page SEO ranking factors
On-page optimization factors you should focus on include:
- Title tag
- Meta description
- Heading tags
- Alt attributes
- Internal linking
Off-page optimization involves all the measures that can be taken outside of the actual website to improve its position in search rankings. These are measures that help create as many high-quality backlinks (incoming links) as possible.
Off-page SEO also affects the site or page’s natural listing. However, since these factors are off-site, the owner cannot necessarily control them. Examples of off-page elements are page rank and link popularity.
On-page and off-page optimization activities help the site get found by Google or other search engines when a relevant keyword is used. The actions are driven to achieve the same goals, although the ways toward these ends are entirely different.
Off-page SEO ranking factors
Off-page optimization factors you should focus on include:
- Domain authority (DA)
On-page SEO alone cannot rank your website entirely—off-page SEO factors also affect the site’s performance rank and search-wise. The two most important factors are backlinks and DA. Improving both requires a great deal of effort.
A backlink is considered the holy grail. It has the biggest impact on ranking. Backlinks are links pointing to your site and are usually from other websites. When you have volumes of backlinks, Google thinks of it as an endorsement—or a vouch for your website’s credibility.
Social posts and updates, emails, newsletters, or other platforms or channels are also sources of backlinks. However, these are termed referral backlinks. These are the reporting sites outside the Google search engine.
Backlinks are earned. Nonetheless, SEO experts encouraged to put in some effort. Your site may obtain backlinks through
- Submitting blog posts to other websites
- Connecting the official (or verified) social page to the website
- Enlisting on review and directory websites
- Joining review and directory sites
- Reaching out to influencers for reviews and other promotional initiatives
DA is another critical factor but beyond the full control of the website owner. Anyhow, it helps Google and other search engines determine your site’s trustworthiness. DA is affected by certain factors such as:
- Domain name and how long it’s been existing (the longer, the better)
- Domain name and its history (previous owners, compliance with best practices, manual actions, etc.)
- Volume of referring domains (or lack thereof)
Organic and paid traffic play a critical role in business growth. Your target market are the users, and they rely on search engines to find your products and services. Implementing on-page and off-page SEOs are instrumental so potential customers will find you.
However, SEO is a dynamic field. Today, there are other factors to implement: technical SEO and content.
Technical optimization refers to the process of making the website crawlable by search engines. If elements are blocking the bots, the site won’t be indexed. It means your website won’t appear on the results pages and receive no traffic or visitor.
The technical SEO elements include the sitemap.xml file, robots.txt file, page speed, URL structure, and meta tags. Others are https status, non-indexable pages, and canonical issues, although it is best to use a crawler for this purpose. Optimind uses ScreamingFrog.
Technical SEO ranking factors
Technical optimization factors you should focus on include:
Speed is a ranking factor, which means it should be a priority. Google assigns a page speed score as the basis of ranking. So if there are two pages alike and equal in all other aspects, speed will be the deciding factor when ranking them on organic results.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool can be used in checking the site’s speed score and different ways to improve it.
Speed goes hand in hand with mobile friendliness, though the latter is a ranking signal and not a factor. Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly to render the way it should on various browsers when mobile devices are used.
This cannot be emphasized enough that Google currently uses mobile-first indexing. It means the search engine prioritizes websites that are mobile-friendly when ranking them over those that are not.
Error pages and broken backlinks not only ruin the user experience (UX), but they also raise flags for Google. So remove or redirect any error pages to another relevant and working page and fix the broken links. It would help if you made sure that the users land at the right place instead of a non-existent page.
Content originality is a ranking signal as well. Oppositely, duplicate content is ranked lower. Google wants to put the source at higher rankings. It is either you rewrite duplicate content or remove that page and publish a more original one. With the latter, you may provide additional value to your readers.
Alternatively, if the duplicate content is on your website, you can inform the bots which page to crawl by putting a canonical tag in the link.
Another way to trigger which pages the bots should crawl is through a robots.txt file. The file includes a detailed list of your pages and access instructions. The file purports to enable search engine visibility by allowing Google spiders to crawl only the relevant landing pages.
Creating and submitting a sitemap.xml file contribute to improving your site’s technical SEO. This file also instructs the spiders on which pages to crawl and index.
There are several ways to create a file. It can be created manually, through a plugin, or through an online sitemap generator. Regardless of how it was created, it should be submitted to Google Search Console.
While at it, make sure that your website domain is in https. It means that the website is encrypted and secured. Google also prioritizes security as part of UX, ranking https websites higher in results pages than those still in http.
As already mentioned above, Optimind considers content optimization as the fourth most crucial part of any SEO campaign. A strong campaign that delivers the expected results and ROI has strategic and well-optimized content as its foundation.
Google considers content as a core value, which explains why duplicate content is a crucial ranking signal. The tech giant wants to serve content that is relevant and valuable to the users. As such, your website’s content will impact where you will rank on SERP.
There are two sides to content optimization. First is that you should write with the users in mind. With RankBrain, the search is getting more sophisticated, and every query is contextualized. Meaning: the bots are looking into the search query’s intent and serve the most relevant content.
The second is that the content should be keyword-targeted. The rule of thumb we follow at Optimind is one keyword per page. We do this to avoid keyword cannibalization or having two or more pages targeting the same keyword. To do this, we need to conduct comprehensive research. The SEO team finds the most profitable terms, produces content related to those keywords, and builds links for these keywords.
When publishing content online, remember what good content is. Good content is original content. These are pieces of content that are not copied nor rewritten. The Internet features a plethora of existing materials that might tempt you to rewrite. Don’t.
Original content is an asset—the site’s most important commodity. This is true whether you publish articles or other audio-visual content like infographics, videos, or podcasts.
Aside from originality, Google also favors authoritative content or pieces of content or information initially published on your website. This content gives more value to your website than rewritten or syndicated content.
Authoritative content can be updated based on the changes in your industry or business, making it dynamic.
Your website should not be exclusive to textual content—publish non-text content also. These are graphics, infographics, illustrations, photos, videos, and podcasts. These are not just for variety and spontaneity but also for contextual relevance.
Be reminded that Google bots cannot crawl visuals. Accompany them with texts. For example, videos must have descriptions. Images must include captions or alt tags. In this way, the crawlers may know how to ‘read’ them for better displayability in results pages, including the carousel and Google Images.
Bottom line, you should publish content that adds value to 1) your site and 2) your target audience or the people who would consume your content. These individuals are interested in knowing more about your company, products and services, its people, advocacies, values, and more.
The target audience has needs that you should address. These are their pain points that the site is geared towards bringing a solution to. Unless they find your website useful, you can expect to turn ordinary users into paying customers or clients.
To do this, however, the content must be well-researched. Spare them with the fluff or texts that lead to irrelevant information. Your target audience is looking for information and answer.
A well-researched article also includes relevant information from reliable and reputable sources, which, in turn, also adds to the authoritativeness of your website. This is also the reason why Google prefers long-form content—or content with more than 1,000 words—because they get the job done. And this length pretty much covers the bases.
Another essential thing to remember is the posting frequency. Regular posting guides expectations and breeds familiarity. Your readers would appreciate it if you will publish fresh content regularly. Stick to the schedule too.
Running a more targeted SEO campaign is one way to maximize the RODI (return on digital investment). The process starts with determining the campaign’s overall goals and then breaking them down into more manageable tasks. Milestone to milestone, the campaign would achieve better outcomes.
In achieving the desired results, though, it is also a standard to have multiple SEO campaigns running spontaneously. Each campaign has targets that contribute to the overall goal of the campaign.
Before starting a campaign, a comprehensive review of the site is recommended. This process ensures the SEO readiness and healthiness of the site. Vital issues can be determined, including the technical elements. Improper technical SEO implementation negatively affects the campaign performance.
Next, relevant keywords must be identified as well. These keywords should be well-integrated into the site’s content. Speaking of which, the keyword-targeted content should be optimized as well. What contributes to campaign success is the extent of promotional efforts or the link-building process.
Finally, don’t forget to monitor the progress of the campaign. Do this on a bi-monthly or monthly basis. Through, you’d know how and which parts of the campaign to tweak to improve its performance. Make adjustments accordingly to ensure that your site can trigger the right ranking signals.