You can’t really perform SEO and successfully get organic traffic to your website if you don’t know how to run a successful SEO campaign.
You not only need to know how to start an SEO campaign but also learn about all the odds and ends that have to be taken care of before and after running the SEO campaign.
As an SEO expert, I have run multiple SEO campaigns successfully and have been able to get good results on competitive terms in different business verticals using the same strategies that I am going to show you in this guide.
We will be covering precisely how to start an SEO campaign, perform an SEO audit, set campaign goals, and more. This step by step guide is designed to ensure that you have the best SEO campaign on your hands that gives results.
So, let’s jump right in…
Before we start the step by step process of an SEO campaign, let us first learn what is an SEO campaign?
What is an SEO Campaign?
The main aim of SEO is to bring genuine and organic traffic to your website. By that logic, it’s obvious that the goal of an SEO campaign is also to strategically improve a website’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking for the target keywords associated with your business.
How is an SEO campaign different from the ongoing SEO process?
The distinction is that you run a campaign with a specific goal, for example, getting a promotional offer page of your website to the top ranks for specific keywords. A dedicated SEO campaign has specific measurable goals. On the other hand, on-going SEO aims to better the overall performance of your website.
Similar to most other digital marketing campaigns, your SEO campaign project will also have its own strategy, execution plans, responsibilities, milestones, and KPIs
How to launch an SEO campaign?
Any type of brand or business can benefit from a well-executed SEO campaign, whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or a digital marketer for a large multinational company.
A well planned and executed SEO campaign is beneficial for brands and businesses in all verticals. So whether you are a freelancer, solo entrepreneur, a start-up, or a multinational company, this guide will help you with your SEO campaigns.
With that said, let us start our step-by-step guide on how to run an SEO campaign
#1 Analyze your website for SEO
Similar to how you check your car thoroughly before starting a long road trip, you have to analyze your website to ensure that your website is error-free. Any major SEO issue will not only impact the results of your campaign but also wreak havoc for you as you will have to resolve the SEO error in the middle of your SEO campaign.
For example, the images and videos on your website are too heavy and your website loads very slowly. Your SEO campaign is likely to fail as website loading speed is a very important ranking factor.
Here are a few pointers you need to check and fix on your website, before launching an SEO campaign
- Check if the website is mobile friendly and responsive on all devices
- Make sure that the website’s loading speed is not more than 3 seconds
- Ensure that your website is secured and the SSL certification is enabled
Only move on to the next step if all the checks on your website are successful. Your SEO campaign might fail or not produce expected results if you don’t fix all the issues before starting the campaign.
#2 Perform an SEO Audit
The next step in starting an SEO campaign is to perform an SEO audit on your website to review if your website is following all the SEO guidelines.
Skip this step if you recently performed an SEO audit on your website. I highly recommend performing an SEO audit before starting an SEO campaign. Especially, if you haven’t done one in a while.
You have to review the technical SEO infrastructure of your website in particular for this audit, which will include:
- Making sure the URL structure is SEO friendly
- The structure of your website does not have more than 3 levels of hierarchy
- Checking the canonical links of your site
- Checking and optimizing the Robots.txt file
- Making sure that the XML site map of your website is uploaded correctly
- Ensuring the keywords are integrated naturally and at all the ranking factor points including the page title, meta description, H1 tag and more
- And basically, all other elements of on-page SEO and Off-page SEO
You can use my free SEO checklist to perform the SEO audit on your own.
#3 Set your Campaign Goals
As I said before, it’s the specific goals and KPIs for an SEO campaign that separates it from an on-going SEO process. For any successful SEO campaign, you need to define the aim of the campaign.
For example, the aim of your campaign is to rank your website for keywords that are currently not working for you.
Let’s take an SEO campaign example. If you are the owner of an online cooking academy and want to expand your business by teaching middle-eastern cooking as well.
You can set your google SEO campaign goal for ranking for the term ‘ Mediterranean Cooking Classes
To achieve this goal, you can follow the following steps
- Create a landing page for your Mediterranean Cooking Classes
- Create a detailed blog about Mediterranean cooking with famous middle eastern dishes. Something in the lines of How to make hummus, or how to manakesh/ falafel, etc
- Include the link to your landing page and a few internal links from older posts (search engines will find your content faster)
- Promote your blog and classes on your social media pages including Facebook/ Instagram ads, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more.
- Create a few more blogs about Mediterranean cooking and link them with the first blog
These are very direct steps that you can easily follow and stay focused.
As a matter of fact, all your SEO campaigns should be a part of your overall SEO strategy. So, your SEO strategy can have two or even more SEO campaigns.
#4 Understand the audience and perform Keyword Research
Once your high-level goals are set, it’s time to make them more specific and the first actionable step is to perform a topic and keyword research.
You need to understand your target audience to perform keyword research accordingly.
Continuing the same SEO campaign example, your target audience is people who want to learn to cook middle-eastern food. Based on that, your keywords would be ‘middle eastern cooking class’, ‘middle eastern food cooking class’, ‘Arabic cooking classes’ etc.
You must know who your target audience is before you start your keyword research. This helps you find the right keywords, create content that would resonate with your audience, and understand your competition as well.
With this information, you can actually focus on ranking for keywords that are realistically possible for you to rank and not target the ones with impossible keyword difficulty
Here’s how to find the right keywords
- Head to the Google search bar and search for the keywords that you feel that your target audience might be searching for or is related to your business topic
- Note down the top 5 websites in your search results and examine them through your keyword research tool
- Select the keywords that are related to your campaign and are attainable to rank
You can check out my step by step guide on how to do keyword research for SEO
#5 Write your Page Title
Once you have your target keywords ready, the next step is to write your page title. If you know anything about SEO, you know that Page Title is quite an important element.
While creating the page title, you need to remember that it has to be SEO friendly (must contain your target keyword).
At the same time, it needs to be catchy enough for your target audience to click on it.
#6 Publish Quality Content
Even though you are running an SEO campaign, it’s your content that will decide the conversion ratio of your campaign. While creating your website content, keep these points in mind.
Take what is there and make it better
If you aim to reach the top of Google’s SERP, you have to make sure that your content is more creative and more engaging than others already in the market. Check out the content of your competitors and find ways of making it better.
Once again, keep your target audience in mind and write according to what they would like to see for their search query.
Create pillar page content and show your domain expertise
Long-form and detailed content AKA pillar pages usually rank better on search engines. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that you write more words, it means that you write content that is sensible, engaging, and covers almost all aspects of the topic you are writing.
Detailed articles are also a great way to display domain expertise and establish authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, which are again important ranking factors stated by Google
Be honest and be creative
The search engine giant appreciates creativity and penalizes people who plagiarise their content. So, make sure that you are not simply copying your content but are actually unique and innovative.
#7 Perform On-Page SEO Optimization
There is only one step left before you can press on the publish button, and that step is on-page SEO.
You need to optimize your website content to make it more SEO friendly, which is basically to make it easier for search engines to understand what your content is about, which results in better rankings for your website.
Important elements of On-Page SEO optimization includes:
- Insert your focus keyword in the website URL
- Use your keyword once in the first 100 words
- Include your keyword in your H1 tag
- Use synonyms of your keyword in H2 and H3 tags
- You must also integrate long-tail keywords in your content along with other related keywords as well
- Add your keyword in the alt text of the images on your web site
#8 Promote your website
Nothing in the world of digital marketing is successful without content promotion. Creating and publishing great content with your target keyword is the first phase of your SEO campaign. The second phase includes the promotion of your content
Content promotion can be done in two ways -
Content marketing through internal linking
It’s always a good practice to inter-link related content on your website. Once you publish the pillar content, look for other related pages, and link them to the new post. Don’t forget to optimize the anchor text with your focus keyword.
This will not only help search engines find your new page faster but the new content will be able to benefit from the page authority of your existing content.
Promote your content externally with link building
The process of coveting backlinks from other websites is also known as off-page SEO. When an authoritative page gives you a backlink, they are telling the search engines that you have quality content on your page. This trust factor helps in getting a higher page rank for your content.
If you want to learn how to get the maximum number of quality backlinks, check my ultimate guide to getting backlinks.
Other ways to promote your content include social media promotion, publishing the new content on your newsletter, influencer marketing, and more.
#9 Measure your SEO performance
As I discussed before, it’s the milestones and KPI of an SEO campaign that distinguishes it from an on-going SEO process. You can use these KPIs to evaluate the campaign’s performance. Use the below metrics to do so:
- Keyword ranking on the SERP
- Total number of page visits
- The number of backlinks
- Social shares
- Comments on the post
- Bounce rate
Remember, if you start your SEO campaign today, you will be able to see its results in the coming 6 months or so. You have to be in it for the long haul as it takes a lot of time for your content to climb up the ranking ladder.
So, don’t start changing things on your website if you are not seeing results immediately. Check the progress every month and if you need to reevaluate your strategy in 6 months.
#10 Produce more relevant contents
The last step in your journey to create the best SEO campaign is to build more relevant content around the focus keyword.
Keep in mind that even though Google ranks different pages individually, the website on which you are publishing your SEO campaign also matters.
Supposedly if your website is also ranking for Indian cooking classes, it would likely be easier for you to rank for Middle-eastern cooking classes as well.
So, if you are trying to rank for a topic that you currently have no visibility, you will have to create a lot more content related to the topic.
Start by publishing content targeting the most important keywords and slowly build more content around it. Don’t forget to interlink them as well.
Running targeted SEO campaigns is the best way to ensure that your SEO efforts bring results.
All you have to do to divide your SEO strategy into smaller SEO campaigns to achieve your overall goal. You can run multiple SEO campaigns together as well.
Perform an SEO audit before you start a campaign and resolve any critical issues that might affect the results of your campaign.
Set up specific measurable goals for the campaign and find the keywords that you can target in your campaign. Next, you have to create SEO friendly content and promote it internally as well as externally.
You can start running multiple campaigns at this point but don’t forget to keep a tab of how your campaign is doing every month.
In case your campaign is not performing as well as you thought it would in 6 months or so, try to improve your page title and content and focus more on off-page promotion as well.
Let me know in the comments if you found this guide to be helpful or not?
Originally published at https://vikenpatel.com on August 25, 2020.