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How to Launch a Search Engine Optimization Campaign

Nov 17, 2007
In case you ever wondered how to launch a Search Engine Optimization Campaign for your website? This article is for you.

Achieving consistent rankings in search engines is a result of understanding the fundamental building blocks that determine relevance.

Variables such as how lean website code is, the website/server hosting environment, the age of the domain name, if the name has keywords in the URL, how many back links the site has, where the links come from are they trusted links with website authority or back links that pass no value, etc. All of these as well as hundreds of other criteria impact the algorithm.

By understanding what is important to search engines, you can construct your pages to have the highest appeal to search engine spiders. This ensures that all of your pages get indexed and can work on your behalf.

Here are five contributing factors that impact search engines. Master them and you will be rewarded with website authority and consistent high rankings.

Ranking Criteria:

1. Make sure you use the most appropriate programming platform - XHTML,.PHP, etc. Each site has unique needs.

2. Develop strong on-page SEO factors - keyword-rich yet engaging content, unique meta tags, optimization of the pages / directories and on page hyper link architecture, site map, privacy policy and contact information.

3. Develop Website Authority for your Niche - it's promotion time using articles, blogs, directories, link building and social media to get the word out and create a buzz for your new content.

4. Research, evaluate and fine-tune the results to enhance the holistic optimization process. Check your analytics, see where people are coming from, how long they stay, are your pages converting?, do you need to make your website more sticky and engaging to increase customer retention, etc.

5. Rinse and Repeat steps 3-5

Enough preamble, let us get to the optimization part.

Selecting a platform for your on page content

Various platforms exist that can provide substantial results in regard to SEO ranging from old school WSYWG editors, dynamically generated content or content management systems. Regardless of the format you select, AJAX, PHP, ASP, XHTML, HTML etc. The main requirement for SEO is lean functional code with distinct tagging capabilities.

Blogs are excellent as they are already W3C compliant and can validate as strict XHTML with slight adjustments to the preferences. Things like making the title of the post an h1 tag, adding the All In One SEO Pack which is packed full of goodies, like the ability to tag your links and performing some other tweaks that were all privileged knowledge at one time to elite SEO companies.

Now virtually within hours you can install and have one of the most powerful and mutable platforms known to man, functioning on your behalf. Also, with the ability to customize the theme, any .css can be plugged in, rendered and used for the main static areas of your site like the masthead, columns, etc. while still having the functionality of the CMS (content management system) at your disposal to invoke at will.

The days of hand coding HTML are almost a thing of the past. However, sometimes there is nothing like a static HTML page to polish up on SEO the way it started, meta tags and all. For the most part if you want to have strong internal and external links developed proportionately then word press is the way to go, otherwise feel free to use which ever platform you deem sufficient.

Selecting the appropriate On Page Factors

Now that you have selected the format, you need to make sure that certain things align in order to maximize your optimization,

Inbound to outbound links - try not to have too many links leaving your home page in your anchor text. If you do, make sure that the anchor text and the page that it points to are themed and correlate with the highest relevance. If you have a website that is just getting started this is even more crucial.

We will address building links shortly, but essentially we like to build links in the early stages as you can implement on page SEO that can essentially generate it's own best back link like a self generating dynamo if designed properly.

So implementing solid on page SEO and then building links is usually the formula for success, but once again every one is unique in how they approach the initial stages.

Developing Website Authority and Niche Visibility

Here are a few methods or optimization modules You could employ for creating visibility for your website.

You could:

a) let a site percolate for months adding links from highly acclaimed sites from the same marketing category then use article marketing to give it a jump start on website authority by having others build links for you by syndicating your content. Submit 10-12 articles over the course of a month and use the author's box to build organic back links to deep links in your pages (pages other than the homepage) with supporting anchor text

Then, go back in 3 months update the content, add a blog and launch with verve.

Or you could

b) start with an existing site, promote that site through directories (which have a tendency to load up the home page with links) and then use that concentrated inbound link density through adding 5 specific links to deeper sub folders or pages in your site and then funnel that link juice to the pages in question. As long as the new pages are optimized (using consistent titles, h1 tags, description, use of the main keywords at least 4-6 times and hyper-linking them 3-4 times). Then observe the effect as the page gains momentum in the SERPs.

c) Retool or redesign a site (tweak the code, content and tags) add links from directories let it get established using a select few keywords to focus on (giving you a great vertical approach to link development) then after attaining visibility using the root phrase to build long tail SEO from.

For example, do you want your site to rank for a few very specific terms with high search volume or are you seeking to have the site draw traffic from a plethora of the terms used on the pages? If so, that is long tail optimization which happens after a site hits the website authority zone.

d) Go straight for the juggler and build website authority and let every thing else happen naturally. I think that option D and all of the above, no tens inpunded, seem to be the option with the highest demand, as it provides the most impact as far as an optimization method.

Website authority is something that can skyrocket past pages despite page rank or back links. Even when our site was a page rank 2 and was only 4 months old, we had already amassed multiple top 10 rankings as a result of the website authority route.

This type of optimization is not for everyone (as it is very time consuming) and you have to live, breath and sleep your site in order to pool all of the resources properly.

Things such as link diversity, using a broad base of Class-C IP addresses to pass authority (the original Class C-IP addresses were the first 8000 Domains on the web) and each passes tremendous weight in the SERPs particularly when you have specific anchor text pointing to specific pages.

Being socially present in discussions, forums, posting articles for positioning to gain long term back links in the background in addition to your other link building efforts, as well as making constant updates to your pages (word press works just fine).

In order to get website authority, you really need to write content with precision and everything that can be found leading back to your site, should be ideal in representing the benchmark you wish to attain in the future.

With all of the unscrupulous methods occurring from jealous competition, negative SEO can try to tarnish a reputable company through link building and directing low quality links, post negative comments in social media sites etc.

If your site is a true authority, it will absorb and devour such infantile attempts or use them to outrank them in the SERPs, but say for example you have a slew of paid links or something which is now a no-no, your competition could use that to your dismay, which is why it is important to make every post count and always put your best foot forward when building links or making any type of social comment.

So, when you think about adding content, try to avoid little 200 word blurbs, each post should stand on it's own as if it were an article in it's own right. When the spiders get wind of the world class content they pay their regard by passing the seal of excellence to your pages which will be apparent as you can post something of upload a page and within 72 hours it hits the top 10, that is true website authority. Not just because of the title or tags, but where it comes from as your website gains trust from search engines.

Evaluation and adjustments to enhance the holistic process

So how do you know it is working? Top 10 rankings get easier to acquire and you should have more visibility for your keywords in multiple search engines.

What used to take months when performing keyword research to attain, you can systematically select a target phrase, write a post about it or create a new page, add a few links and watch it hang in the SERPs like a kite on steroids.

This measure of barrier to entry for new keywords becomes easier and your site will spread out as the long tail of search settles in and provides untold hits from unintentional word stemming (latent semantic indexing) as a result of the sheer volume of words on your pages.

Also if done correctly, you will see consistent rankings in the top 3 major search engines Yahoo, Google & MSN which will then disseminate those calculations to other search engines who rely on those sites to assess your relative global site authority.

Based on the results, you should rinse and repeat stages 3-5 until you hit the target of your website SERP ceiling. Then continually raise the bar through propagating more useful information and references for others including the spiders to find you website.

As stated, each SEO will have their own methods for how to start, manage and develop an ongoing SEO campaign, but this was just to prime the pump and share a few of the tactics that we use in order to launch a site from lackluster to blockbuster. I hope you found this information useful.
About the Author
Jeffrey L. Smith is an seasoned search engine optimization strategist and founder of Seo Design Solutions Search Engine Optimization Company in Chicago. Jeffrey has been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings fresh optimization methods and SEO Solutions for businesses seeking organic search engine optimization.
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