Whether you're getting ready to overhaul your site in-house to improve your organic search rankings, or you're planning on hiring the process out to a consultant or agency, you need to have a grasp on the fundamental steps of a search engine optimization campaign. Otherwise, you're bound to get most of the way through the process only to find you are missing vital information. Worse, you could end up with a project that is completed, but severely lacking.
That's why Donna Fontenot's latest post over at Online Marketing for Marketers is a handy one. She does a great job of outlining the core components of a search engine optimization campaign and reminding you why they each count.
Donna's list includes:
She goes into nice detail with each of the six sections, and if you read it closely, you'll find a few gems other lists tend to miss. For instance, in her section on creating a content outline, she writes:
Many times, a site may already have a significant amount of content that addresses the core topic. If so, that content should still be picked apart and evaluated. A fresh eye can often see what the original publishers could not. Content can be tightened, refocused, and expanded upon to create an outstanding resource for the subject matter. No matter how much content already exists, a new outline should be considered. Is there enough information? Is the information arranged logically? Do page titles and section headings represent the key concepts that are being targetted? For every question a user might have about the topic, is there content to answer the question? Does the topic include multimedia whenever multimedia would be useful? Are illustrations and diagrams included when possible? Have podcasts, video, and screencasts been considered as compelling content? Does the copy satisfy both the user's needs as well as the marketing goals? The content outline should be the ultimate plan for each page of the topic section.
What's so unique about that you ask? Well, look at the last section again...
Are illustrations and diagrams included when possible? Have podcasts, video, and screencasts been considered as compelling content?
Far too often I see sites focus online on their text content. There's absolutely no reason not to also focus on how you can optimize visual content, audio content and the like. You can publish transcripts of your podcasts or videocasts...which suddenly gives you more search-accessible content. You can also make great use of graphics, charts and visual data, so long as you include descriptive text along side it.
This is why reviewing the basics is so essential. Otherwise it's too easy to lose focus and skip over some of the steps that could lead you down the road to fantastic content.(Hat tip to Sphinn. Flickr photo from WorldIslandInfo of Futurist Movies.
Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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