As a Digital Marketing Strategist, I’m frequently in meetings where the topic of SEO comes up. SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and refers to how well your company’s website ranks in Google. A good ranking for keywords relevant to your offering indicates higher quality content and a positive user experience.

Developing an SEO strategy can be challenging for brands since there is so much that goes into it. You must conduct keyword research, determine high valuable/obtainable phrases, design a content strategy, optimize your site architecture, develop a PR backlinking program, conduct internal linking, and the list goes on.

For first time SEO strategists, it’s important to master the basics first. Here’s a quick checklist of questions to ensure you’re on the right path towards SEO success:

  1. Do you have a “high value” key phrase list of the keywords you’re targeting?
  2. Are you targeting these key phrases with ongoing creation of new content?
  3. Is there ongoing optimization of your content in the form meta tags, alt tags, title tags?
  4. Is there a clear offsite and backlinking optimization strategy being conducted?
  5. Are you monitoring key word placement and search positioning improvement?

If you’ve answered “no” to any of the above questions, then it may be time to rethink your SEO strategy. In addition to great content, an effective search strategy focuses on these key areas as it relates to key phrases:

  • Prominence – are your keywords at the top of the page in headings or stuffed into a frame at the bottom? Not only can Google search spiders not access a frame, but they place extremely low value on any content towards the bottom.
  • Proximity – how close are your keywords to one another? Are they all stuffed together or are they spread out?
  • Density – How often are your keywords appearing throughout the content? Also, how many phrases are you targeting per page? You never want to exceed 2-3 related phrases per page.
  • Frequency – How frequent are your keywords appearing throughout the site and on the particular page?

Google is looking very closely at the content on your site and your goal is to show up for phrases that are relevant to what you offer. Think about what people might type into Google when searching for what your company offers. Design your SEO strategy around those queries and optimize your content for those key phrases.

Interested in learning more about how a dedicated SEO strategy can improve your business? Then subscribe to my digital marketing newsletter to receive monthly tips, insights and best practices for driving ROI.