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10 Tips on How to start an SEO campaign

Being convinced that SEO is right tool for your business, the next question for you would be “how do we start?” This lens is created to help you start with a winning SEO campaign by providing you things to consider in starting and setting up your campaign. This is not a walk-through but a framework on the things you should figure out in building up an SEO plan of attack.

Guide on starting an SEO project

Most companies are being stalled by this question on the first stretch of their Internet marketing campaign. Seeing a lot of success stories and case studies, undoubtedbly makes search engine optimization as one of the most effective promotional tools in marketing and winning businesses from the internet. Deciding on where to start with SEO is not answerable by a “simple yes let’s start with SEO!” but creates more questions and confusion on every team on each type of business.

This post is created as a guide for business owners, directors, managers, leaders and/or marketers, for both in-house or 3rd party agencies that are looking for advice on how to start a winning SEO campaign.

Things to consider in starting an SEO Campaign

1. Identify your goals
This will set your over-all SEO vision and will get everybody’s head focus on the SEO campaign. By creating a clear and concise goal, you are helping everyone working on the SEO project identify the do’s and dont’s of the campaign. The best SEO goals are defined as something realistic, challenging but achievable, concised and are also perceived to be a key-factor for your overall organizational goals. These can be in form of rankings, visitors, visibility, brand positionining, gross sales, etc.

2. Know your market
Knowing your market does not only focus on your target demographics but on your over-all online positioning as well. Implying your communication strategy to your search engine optimization campaign will help your business build a solid internet presence that is loved and remembered by your prospects. The following questions is a start for your SEO-Communication strategy:

a. How does our brand being perceived by our target audience?
b. Are we visible on where our prospects are going?
c. What are the questions of our potential customers and are we providing answers for them?

3. Study your competitors

Knowing is very different from studying. Your competitors need to be studied and to be monitored at least every once a week for you to better conceptualize your plan of attack. Even the market leaders are always on the look out for comparables (businesses that are related but cannot be considered as direct competitors, like a doctor servicing a different location, etc.) so that they can pick-up the best strategies and avoid that not-so-good ones. Furthermore, you can also learn from what they are doing and get to pick up new strategies on how to increase pagerank and traffic.

4. Create short term and long-term strategies
The strategy is the over-all brains behind your search campaign so it is better to be innovative, reviewed and carefully hand-picked. Short-term strategies are strategies that can be executed and tested in a shorter time. Once this strat is proven, you can have it as a part of your long-term strategies.

Long-term strategies are on-going plans that you can always execute in a longer time. Some long-term SEO strategies are blogs, social networking and expert positioning. It’s also a good idea to talk to a 3rd party SEO consultant to get expert insights outside your company and help you improve your over-all search strategies.

5. Intensify your keyword research
Keywords are what bring customer-traffic to your website. Therefore, you should always make sure that you have very good rankings on a wide keyword list. Going after on short-term keywords will definitely bring you more customers but requires more time and resources. Don’t miss the opportunity of targeting long-tail keywords that can also bring the right traffic to your website such as industry tips, how to’s, myths and anything else. By knowing how to do SEO keyword research and by  tracking your keywords’ performance will give you the data that you need to push through other target keywords.

6. Add time line and metrics to your SEO campaign
This is a support to #4 tip. Metrics will help you measure if your campaign is effective or not. By adding up metrics and timelines, you will be able to identify if your strategy is still effective and if you are still in-line with your goals. An acceptable timeline to see SEO improvement on rankings is at least 6 months, depending on the competitiveness of your target keywords.

7. Choose the best people for the SEO project
Weigh carefully if you require an in-house or an agency SEO team. If you don’t have an in-house SEO, I would suggest that you find someone who works for your company directly who has attention to details, hard-working, good in research and very result oriented. Though they don’t have complete SEO skills, these qualities will help you monitor and find new insights regarding the ever-changing search landscape.

8. Choose the best SEO company to work with
Building an in-house SEO team requires a lot of resources and time specially if your business is not ready for it. SEO in the Philippines and India can be good choices for outsource internet marketing with since there are a lot of experienced SEO professionals in these countries and the good part of it is that they are as expensive as online marketers from other countries. But of course, be discerning as possible and try to minimize your risks by asking questions.

9. Know your budget
Cash flow is king. You have to make sure that your budget is enough to execute your SEO campaign. By minimizing your SEO cost, you can easily increase your ROI and minimize your loss in case the campaign is not effective. The Philippines offer low-cost SEO outsourcing and there are plenty of consultants in the country that are actually good, so I would recommend to go to Google and begin your search.

10. Keep on learning
I like Robert Kiyosaki’s motto on one of his books: Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. This can be applied to SEO. Even though you did not reach the goals that you wanted, you cannot call that campaign a failure. If anything is not going so well, what you can do is pick up the points and act from there.