One question we get asked a lot is this...

"I've just started SEO for myself/my clients, and I want to make sure I'm doing everything I should be. But what should I be doing?"

In this article I'm going to list some of the actions we recommend should be included within every SEO campaign. 

Of course each campaign is different (based on resource, time, and industry competitiveness) but these factors should all be considered/included:

1. A keyword strategy

Frequency - quarterly
Duration - 2-4 hours (depending on size)

The cornerstone of any SEO strategy is choosing the right keywords for your website, and is why it's the very first thing you do in Hike.

It's something that will likely take a few hours to complete in detail, and should be performed every 3-6 months.

2. A landing page strategy

Frequency - quarterly
Duration - 2-4 hours (depending on size)

As with the above, this take is super important and needs to go alongside any keyword strategy as new keywords may entail the creation of new pages. 

This refers to the keyword sitemap section within Hike.

3. A content strategy

Frequency - quarterly
Duration - 4+ hours (depending on size)

Creating new, relevant and fresh content on the website is great for SEO. This can be in the form of new blog content, new FAQ content, new service / product pages, new help content, etc...

Determining in advance the content you're going to create over the following quarter is key to ensuring the strategy is as successful as possible.

Create a content plan, with pages / blogs to create, and get clients buy-in.

Wondering how much content to write for your clients? This article will help.

4. A 'content' website audit 

Frequency - quarterly
Duration - 4+ (depending on size)

So, once you've chosen keywords, pages & content you still need to review the existing site to see if there is:

  1. relevant content for the terms you want to target (if not you'll need new content)
  2. new opportunities to re-optimise existing content for new keywords
  3. any content that needs to be 'purged'/updated as it's harming performance (such as thin content and cannibalising content)

Hike will help here within the action list as it guides you through how to update content for SEO purposes.

One thing to also look at here - and this could be a sub-deliverable - is how you optimise the copy not just for SEO, but also for conversion, such as:
 - is the meta description driving more clicks from Google? Can you update it to be more enticing to drive a higher click-through rate?
 - is the website copy also enticing potential customers to sign up?

5. A 'technical' website audit

Frequency - monthly
Duration - 4+ hours first month, 1-2 hours ongoing (depending on size)

It's critical that the website can be easily crawled by search engines, if not it can prevent your great content from being properly indexed and ranked!

'Technical SEO' is the discipline with regards to ensuring this is the case, and so you need to perform a technical audit of the website. This includes such checks as:
 - are there broken / redirected links on the site?
 - are there any dead pages?
 - are there duplicate pages being generated?
 - is the website fast loading

Hike will identify technical SEO issues and report on actions to complete, which we will update and make more inclusive as we develop the platform ongoing.

6. Competitor analysis

Frequency - quarterly
Duration - 4+ hours (depending on size)

Identifying your clients competitors and reverse-engineering there success is a crucial and effective SEO strategy.

So what do you look for?

  1. Look at their competitors keywords that they rank for (great for identifying new keywords)
  2. Identify traffic channels you might not have known about, such as top referrals (not strictly SEO, but still great for new traffic)
  3. Identify what their content looks like - what can you learn and apply?

7. Link building

Frequency - monthly/bi-monthly
Duration - 2-4 hours per link

Active link building is key for any SEO campaign. there are a number of activities you can conduct for link building, including: 

  1. Competitor analysis - what are your competitors doing to build links, can you copy? (soon to be released feature in Hike)
  2. Directory building - super important for local, but good link building for any website with a location
  3. Creative content outreach - you've created a fantastic piece of content, and now it's time to reach out to relevant websites to host this content and link back to you
  4. Other forms of redistributing your content that will result in gaining new links - for more info see here

Keep an eye out over 2019 as we build out Hike to include more features and resources around link building.

8. Link audit

If you're taking on a customer who has already done SEO with other agencies in the past you might want to review their backlink profile also to highlight any possibly negative links that could be harming their SEO.

Here's a guide we wrote to help.

9. Mobile audit

Frequency - monthly/bi-monthly
Duration - 2-4 hours

With the majority of Google searches now being performed on mobile devices, and Google moving to a mobile-first stance, it's more important than ever to ensure your client's website is 'mobile-friendly'.

Use tools such as these to test and track mobile performance:
 - Google mobile friendly testing tool
 - Google search console
 - Analytics (review traffic to mobile) 

10. Reporting

Frequency - monthly
Duration - 2-4 hours

I don't think we really need to explain why this is important :)

But - we cannot overstate this enough - when you have SEO clients make sure you are sending them monthly reports.

This will help performance, engagement from them and ultimartely retention for your business! 

Outro
We really hope the above helps! It is by no means a complete list, as SEO is a constantly-evolving game and there are many, many factors involved.

But keeping on top of the above will ensure your client's perform as well as possible and you grow your business!

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