4 Steps to Successful SEO

Sold on search engine optimization but don’t know where to start? Here are 4 steps to a search-engine-friendly site that outperforms the competition.

1. Analyze and assess your site

You can’t improve your site’s searchability until you know where you stand. So whether you’re in the website planning stages or already up and running, start your quest for improved SEO by analyzing your site’s current “searchability.”

A careful analysis will answer questions like: Are we using the right keywords? Are we making the most of those keywords? Are our competitors aware of SEO? How do their results compare to ours? What should we do to improve?

To help with your analysis, and with monitoring changes to your site’s searchability over time, set up some basic tools, such as Google Webmaster Tools. They’re free on the web and well worth learning to use.

2. Make on-page improvements

Your site analysis will give you a better understanding of what is and isn’t working, and how to improve it.

Improvements typically include restructuring pages and content to make them more usable for visitors. And you’ll likely need to adjust HTML tags and Meta tags, so that people can easily find what they want on your site.

It’s also important to ensure that your site’s content follows best practices for writing web copy. This improves the chances that people will find what they want, understand what they find, and like and explore your website.

Finally, given the trend toward smart phones, tablets and the like, you’ll benefit from additional steps to ensure that your site displays well on mobile devices.

3. Make off-page and social media improvements

A presence on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, is increasingly important to how your site appears in search engines. So at the very least, establish a social profile and regularly post relevant content that links to your site.

And speaking of links, your site analysis and ongoing monitoring of in-bound links should provide plenty of ways to use links to increase traffic to your site. This might include linking from press releases, blogs, articles, directories, and other websites.

4. Report, revise, repeat …

Done well, the first 3 steps will get you a search-optimized website. But over time search engines change how they operate, competitors work hard to catch up, and your priorities and products change.

That’s there the all-important 4th step comes in. By using the tools you set up in step 1, and what you’ve learned performing steps 1 through 3 the first time, you need to regularly report on and monitor your site’s searchability and make improvements as needed.

The bottom line? Effective SEO demands a continuous commitment to ongoing web-site improvement. Repeat the 4-step SEO process on an ongoing basis and you’ll keep your site optimized for searchability and stay ahead of the competition.

Learn more about the 4-step SEO process. Get the Search Warrant white paper.