A: Site optimization, both On-Page SEO and On-Page SEO is an ongoing thing that rolls and fluctuates with the rules, regs and hoops the search engines like to create, but there are some foundational aspects to put in place first.
Do your homework first
First and most important – Everyone says they do keyword research before they write their content and all the stuff that follows, but I find that most people are still guessing at what their keywords are. What you think they’re searching is not always what they’re searching.
Case in point – while finishing the clean up on my Jiu Jitsu Academy client – www.LegacyMixedMartialArts.com – I found that most people will type in “jiu jitsu training” while others looking for a more generic martial arts school will, instead, type in “martial arts instruction.” It’s significant and very consistent! This makes a tremendous difference, then, when you’re writing your content and creating your page URLs.
When it comes to keyword research, get someone who does this regularly to do it for you correctly – it’s a few hours of work but well worth the leveraged money you pay. (I mean, this is the difference between being FOUND and floating out there in the black hole of the Internet with all that other space trash bumping into you.)
Add your keywords into your content
Then, get those keys inserted in your content everywhere, every page. Next, page titles and Page URLs are gaining more importance, even higher than the ol’ metatag used to be (though I still complete metatags for clients, too, as you just never know when the search engines will sweep back to the other side).
If you’ve done your keyword research correctly, these three items should be a breeze. It’s important that you get this done in one fail swoop, preferably before your site goes live or in one single renovation move, have it loaded to the search engines and then attach web site analytics (Google Analytics is FREE) so that you can immediately begin tracking the success story.
Some of this stuff will start showing up in days – some of it takes several weeks, even 3 or 4 months – so the sooner it’s done, the better!
Then, what’s becoming sheer priority is the link strategy you put in place -these are inbound links from other sites. The more inbound links you have (“Hey, look at this great site/blog!”) the more the search engines begin to think you’re something special. As you increase those inbound links, they rank you higher and higher because you’re something of importance out there. Inbound links do not require reciprocal links (meaning you have to do them the same favor). Nope, it’s much easier these days.
This is often called “off-site optimization.” Again, this doesn’t require a king’s ransom to get done, so don’t let anyone out there convince you it should be. It is, however, an ongoing, technical strategy that requires an experienced person who knows their way around the Internet – so be prepared to pay an upfront, one-time “establishment” of all of the above, then a much lower maintenance program for the next 3-6 months as it all is put in place.
My company will do all of this – the keyword research, the initial SEO and upload to the engines, the attaching of web analytics and ongoing progress reports there, the page titles, the page URLs, and the ongoing maintenance, tweaks and overview reports – and I can pretty much guarantee that it’s going to be a lower cost than anything else you shop. As I’ve said before, this is a field awash with pirates, so be careful navigating your little boat.