Every SEO marketer aims for high search engine results page rankings. Let’s face it: people who search on Google everyday don’t really go as far as the 4th or 5th results page – unless they’re desperate. If your content ends up somewhere in that district, it might as well be non-existent.
That being said, a lot of people also make money out of “helping” businesses achieve that ultimate objective. What is it that they know about SEO that regular marketers don’t? Well, it all comes down to best practices.
Jon Rognerud, a recognized authority on SEO with more than 20 years creating and managing marketing projects from small to large companies, including positions at online giant Yahoo! has shared his insights on how to get high SERP ranks. He is the founder of Chaosmap.com, a leading search marketing company in Los Angeles, CA.
Here are his recommendations:
Step 1: Target Market Business Analysis
- Website analysis. Analysis of meta sets/keywords, visible text and code to determine how well you’re positioned for search engines.
- Competitive analysis. Examination of content keywords and present engine rankings of competitive websites to determine an effective engine positioning strategy.
- Initial keyword nomination. Development of a prioritized list of targeted search terms related to your customer base and market segment.
Step 2: Keyword Research and Development
- Keyword analysis. From nomination, further identify a targeted list of keywords and phrases. Review competitive lists and other pertinent industry sources. Use your preliminary list to determine an indicative number of recent search engine queries and how many websites are competing for each keyword.
- Baseline ranking assessment. You need to understand where you are now in order to accurately assess your future rankings. Keep a simple Excel sheet to start the process. Check weekly to begin.
- Goals and Objectives. Clearly define your objectives in advance so you can truly measure your ROI from any programs you implement. Start simple, but don’t skip this step.
Step 3: Content Optimization and Submission
- Create page titles. Keyword-based titles help establish page theme and direction for your keywords.
- Create meta tags. Meta description tags can influence click-throughs but aren’t directly used for rankings. (Google doesn’t use the keywords tag anymore.)
- Place strategic search phrases on pages. Integrate selected keywords into your website source code and existing content on designated pages. Make sure to apply a suggested guideline of one to three keywords/phrases per content page and add more pages to complete the list.
- Develop new sitemaps for Google and Bing. Make it easier for search engines to index your website. Create both XML and HTML versions. An HTML version is the first step. XML sitemaps can easily be submitted via Google and Bing webmaster tools.
- Submit website to directories (limited use). Professional marketers don’t submit the URL to the major search engines, but it’s possible to do so. A better and faster way is to get links back to your site naturally. Links get your site indexed by the search engines.
Step 4: Continuous Testing and Measuring
- Test and measure. Analyze search engine rankings and web traffic to determine the effectiveness of the programs you’ve implemented, including assessment of individual keyword performance.
- Maintenance. Ongoing addition and modification of keywords and website content are necessary to continually improve search engine rankings so growth doesn’t stall or decline from neglect.
Read the full post at Your SEO Checklist: 4 Steps to Optimizing Your Website