Today I wanted to start a little serious on setting up a Utah SEO campaign. In this serious I will discuss the full process of a campaign we would do from beginning to finish. (Although SEO campaigns are never finished!) Before you can start an SEO campaign, you first have to do some keyword analysis, which includes everything from determining a set of keywords to target to keyword commercial value and competition levels.
How To Start An SEO Campaign: What Is Keyword Intent?
For those unaware, keywords and key-phrases are what search engines use to classify documents in order to return relevant results for searchers. A simple example of a keyword would be “SEO”. A keyword phrase would be: “SEO Keyword Research”. In both of these examples there is a main keyword and the other words are considered classifiers. Those classifiers not only show different results for a search, they also signal a searchers intent.
Can you tell the searchers intent between the keyword “SEO” and the key-phrase “SEO Keyword Research”? Probably not, but search engines most certainly guess, and normally they are spot on, especially Google. A searchers intent is just as important as the keyword itself. To be successful at keyword research, you have to understand a keywords intent, otherwise you could optimize for a keyword where a searchers intent is completely irrelevant to the content you provide. A mistake that many amateur keyword researchers and SEO’s fail to grasp.
Keyword intent can be anything from just browsing or ready to buy. When you know a keywords intent and target that keyword with relevant content, you become more relevant to a search engines visitors, which will strengthen your overall campaign. Keyword research and understanding a searchers intent is your first step to creating a successful SEO campaign. Your next step is to find those keywords!
How To Start An SEO Campaign: Building A Keyword List
- Identify Your Target
Are you looking for local clients or national? Are you trying to sell a product or provide a service? Identify who you want to target and then brainstorm. Try to put yourself in their shoes. What would you want to see on the web for your search? Why would you buy your product or why wouldn’t you? How can you meet your audiences needs? Think like your customer and target them accordingly.
- Brainstorm Keyword Ideas
Sit down and think of keywords that are related to your business. Don’t hold back here. Anything you can think that your target audience will use to find your business or services should go in your keyword spreadsheet. The more the better.
- Use Keyword Tools
There are many keyword tools out there to help you find more keywords as well as the metrics those keywords have such as monthly searches, commercial value, competition, and cost per click. Here are a few tools and websites to get you started:
- Google Keyword Tool
- Free Keyword Tool From Wordstream
- SEO Book Keyword Tool
- Traffic Travis Free Edition
- Keyword Discovery Tool
- Google Local SEO Tools
Each of these tools will allow you to export the results into an Excel file for easy maintenance. Take your excel file and identify duplicates as well as the best performing keywords. Widdle down your list to the top 20 keywords you think would be best for your business. Next, we need to identify the competition and our competitors strategies.
How To Start An SEO Campaign: Competitor Analysis
With your 20 keywords, head on over to Google search and look at each in the top 10 results. We need to identify their on page as well as their off page SEO to get a good idea how hard it’s going to be to rank for those keywords.
On Page Analysis:
- How old is the domain?
- Does the page have an optimized title tag?
- Are they using Header Tags?
- Is the URL keyword rich or dynamic?
- How many internal and external links are on the page?
- What is the anchor text of internal links pointing to the page?
- What is the PageRank of the domain and page?
- Are they listed in DMOZ, Yahoo, and BOTW directories?
- Do they have a sitemap?
- Do they have a robots .txt file?
- Does the site seem spammy or is it a quality site?
- Are they a well known brand?
- Do they have video?
- Do they have pictures?
- How much content is on the page?
- Is the page flash?
A great tool for on-page SEO analysis is: Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Off Page Analysis:
- How many backlinks do they have?
- How many different IP’s link to them?
- What’s the PageRank of the backlinks that link to them?
- How many outbound links are on their best backlink pages?
- How many no-follow links do they have?
- Do they have social media links?
- Do they have image links?
- What does their anchor text diversity look like?
A great tool for off page analysis is: SEO Spyglass
Search Engine Analysis:
- How many pages are returned for the broad phrase query?
- How many pages return for exact match query?
- How many pages have the keyword in the title?
- How many pages have the keyword in the URL?
- Are there exact match domains in the top 10?
- Is the exact match domain available?
- Are there pay per click ad’s showing?
- Does the search have local results?
- Does the query return universal search results?
- Are there maps included with the search?
A great tool for analyzing search engine results is: Market Samurai
Once you have a good idea of the keywords and competition you’re facing, you should be able to determine a market budget and time-frame to get the results you desire. In a really competitive niche, it’s best to start with longtail keywords and work your way up to the more competitive terms. It’s a good rule of thumb to start a website and build at least a 100 pages before you become relevant enough to rank for a competitive term.
- Setting Up An SEO Campaign Part 2: Keyword Competition Analysis
- Setting Up An SEO Campaign Part 3: Most Important On-Page SEO Factors
- Setting Up An SEO Campaign Part 4: Website Design & SEO Architecture
- Setting Up An SEO Campaign Part 5: Content Development For Conversion Optimization
- Setting Up An SEO Campaign Part 6: Improving Website Metrics Using Analytics