The Fundamentals of SEO

May 17, 2011

By Mike

Recently the team participated in a presentation from Emily Haahr, a HubSpot inbound marketing consultant and friend of the firm. Emily shared some tips for improving website search engine optimization, or SEO, as well as how SEO and PR can work together more efficiently.

We discussed that the first step to SEO is understanding the goal: Get Web traffic to your site, which will generate leads and new customers.

Seventy-five percent of SEO comes from things visitors don't see on your page: inbound links from other sites, the quality of the sites linking to you and the level of respect your site garners. With this in mind, optimizing your site can be broken down into four steps:

  1. Keyword research -- Make a list of 30 to 50 keywords for your product and industry. Once complete, adhere to the concept of longtail keywords. Instead of single key words, strive for a key phrase of three to five words to reduce competition in searches and improve relevancy.
  2. Create optimized content -- Now that you have your keywords, you have plenty of fodder for blogs. Think of blogs like an annuity: Every post that you bank now will continue to pay off down the road by bumping you up that search ladder. But be patient and keep writing — it will take about 30 posts and three months before you start seeing traffic results from blogs. Remember to include longtail keywords in titles, create easy-to-read takeaways for each article, write a strong meta description, optimize each page for one keyword phrase and include a call to action with every post.
  3. Promote the content -- Like a billboard in the desert, what good is content if no one sees it? Promote blogs through social media and in newsletters and e-mail signatures, and engage in conversations online.
  4. Analyze -- Create a monthly PR and marketing report to track traffic, inbound links, mentions, leads and customers. Every six months, create a comprehensive assessment to tell you where you are succeeding, as well as which areas need more attention.

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