Before you jump on the SEO bandwagon, take a minute to answer a few questions about your site and your goals for optimization. This allows you to develop, and stick to, a plan, which increases your chances of success.
1. Who is your audience?
When you develop keywords, what you are really looking for are which words and phrases people will be using when they find your site. To know that, you need to know your audience, and how your site will help to fill their needs. You also need to know where your audience lives– Will you be focusing on local search, or national/international search? Somewhere between?
2. Who are your competitors?
Know who your main competitors are. Keep track of how they are running their SEO campaigns, and how successful they are in the SERPs. If they’re doing something right, see if you can adjust that technique to use on your own site.
3. How will you monitor your SEO success?
Find an analytics program. Become familiar with your spreadsheet software. Find SEO tools online. An essential part of a successful SEO program is having the ability to find and analyze information about your site, and then knowing what the data means.
4. How will you keep informed about SEO trends?
Find some reliable sources to help you stay on top of any changes in the search engine world. Seek out SEO training programs (there are several paid and free options… just look). If you learn to love SEO, or if you’re working on the SEO for a larger website, consider attending any one of the numerous search engine conferences or expos offered around the country. SEO trends change all the time; if you don’t stay ahead of the game, your site could suffer.
5. How will you develop unique content?
Websites that do well on the SERPs regularly develop and publish fresh content, either through a blog or right onto the main site. Have a plan for putting new content on your site. If you have a blog, develop an editorial calendar, and plan out your posts (even write them) in advance. If you’re adding content to the site itself, have a clear idea of what pages you need, and how they will fit into the rest of your site.
6. How much time will you devote to your site’s SEO development?
After the initial investment of time, you can still spend hours researching and tweaking your site. How much time will you spend each week, and how will you divide that time between the tasks that need to be done? Create a schedule, and stick to it.
Developing SEO on your site isn’t a one time deal. It’s something that requires care and maintenance to keep going strong. Be prepared for each step by having goals, and a plan, before you begin.