<< by on May 10th, 2009
As I mentioned last week, The Truth About Search Engine Optimization by internationally known SEO expert Rebecca Lieb, is a fantastic book for those not well-schooled in the art of SEO. In the section titled “Great SEOs sweat the small stuff,” she explains the basics of SEO, and how important it is that you understand what your SEO staff is doing on a day-to-day basis. So here is a quick look at the ground-level work of SEOers out there.
Page layout and HTML analysis. Now you should look at the site with the search engine spider’s perspective. What are the most important aspects that the crawlers consider? As Lieb explains, these should align with the elements that are most important to your user and site owner. Here, HTML code is reviewed for accuracy. You should be able to recommend changes to aspects of the site such as page titles, file names, and meta tags at this stage.
Keyword research and analysis. A thorough keyword analysis is the next step. This will help identify high traffic and highly competitive keywords. It is important to include long tail keywords, which can add up to a lot of traffic, and also help with optimization of specific pages on your site. An evaluation of the competition is wise at this point. It is recommended to analyze the sites currently showing in the top five or ten positions.
Ranking report. This report helps keep your client up-to-date with the rankings their site is currently getting. It should clearly spell out where their site is ranking on the engines discussed for all keywords selected to optimize on.
Content analysis and copywriting. Now, you review the site’s content. Most likely, many changes will be made in regards to keyword density, along with page placement and word count.
Link analysis. You should examine both internal and external link structures. Link building is an integral part of SEO, and here you should formulate a link building strategy for the future. Lieb points out the importance of links:
“Links matter, and links relevant to the site’s content and site owner’s business matter the most.”
Ongoing monitoring, rank reporting, and recommendations. You have now established a base in your SEO efforts on the project. You should at least monitor the site on a monthly basis for performance. Your clients will love to see how you are improving their rankings on the selected keywords. It is also wise to be transparent about the changes you are making in order to improve performance.
One last note is to examine your web analytics data. You will find amazing insight into which keywords lead users where… and what they did once they arrived. Major site changes or content evaluations could potentially come from this data.
Hopefully becoming more knowledgeable about your SEO staff’s efforts will improve the communication between you, therefore improving results. There’s always room for improvement!