February 5, 2019

Baltimore SEO Blueprint (Updated for 2020)

seo blueprint

Our Baltimore SEO blueprint walks you through everything that RDB Design has to offer when it comes to digital marketing for your business. Let’s dive right in…


In the discovery phase, we sit down with you to better understand your business and marketing goals. This focused and targeted 45 minute call or in-person meeting will give us everything we need to know to best shape your digital marketing strategy and grow your business.

During this goal-oriented call, we’ll ask you:

  • To tell us about your business
  • To explain your overall marketing goals
  • Who you’re trying to market to and reach online
  • What you’re currently doing in the world of marketing – both online and offline
  • How many calls you receive in a given month from potential clients/customers
  • How many clients/customers or sales you’re currently making per month
  • How much profit you make per sale (if you sell products)
  • How much profit you make per client/customer (if you provide a service)

baltimore seo blueprint

Keyword Research

Based on the answers you provided in our discovery meeting, we go to work crafting the best digital marketing strategy possible for you. This begins with conducting keyword research to determine what keywords and phrases to focus on.

We’ll help you identify at least five critical pieces of marketing data that every business needs to know in order to succeed online:

  1. What keywords and phrases are your target market searching for in Google to find businesses like yours?
  2. How many searches per month do those keywords and phrases get in Google?
  3. Of those searches, how many visitors do the top 3 spots in Google receive?
  4. How difficult will it be to rank for those keywords and phrases (i.e. how much competition is there)?
  5. How much website traffic could you expect if you ranked on Page 1 of Google for those keywords?

We get this data through tools like the Google Keyword Planner and present it to you in a clear, easy to understand spreadsheet and walk you through each business insight step by step.

From this data, we carefully select high-volume keywords that can generate a lot of traffic but lack an intense amount of competition.

Remember, if you try to target the wrong keywords, your entire digital marketing effort will be an utter waste.

At best, you might rank for keywords that no one is searching for. At worst, you’ll spend tons of money just to rank poorly for keywords because the competition for those phrases was too fierce.
Either situation results in the same thing: no website traffic and no growth.

That’s why we begin with keyword research right after our discovery call, so we can position your business for maximum success straight out of the gate.

Schedule your free breakthrough strategy session today.

on page seo baltimore

On Page SEO

Once we’ve selected the best keywords and phrases to target, on-page SEO is what we do to get them in all of the right places on your website.

We optimize every aspect of your website and leave no stone unturned, and we do it for every page or post on your website that you want to rank on Page 1 of Google.

We strategically put your target keywords in your URLs/permalinks, page titles and title tags, headings and subheadings, image alt tags, meta descriptions, and – of course – the actual content.

While there’s no rule of thumb for how many times to place your keyword in the actual content of a particular page or post, it’s absolutely necessary to use it at least a few times and to have a dedicated page for each keyword you’re targeting. Therefore, we “silo” your pages and posts to center on one particular keyword and then logically weave that keyword throughout the body of the text of the page or post.

Additionally, we make sure that your website has a great internal linking structure, check to see if your pages are mobile friendly (i.e. responsive), analyze your site speed, and make sure the amount of text you have per page is within recommended best SEO practices for ranking well.

SEO Under the Hood & Technical SEO

seo under the hoodOn-page SEO also involves a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make sure your website is search engine friendly. We like to call this technical part “SEO under the hood” and use a simple car-related analogy.

You might own a car with the shiniest paint job, plush interior, and state-of-the-art sound system. However, unless you’re a trained mechanic looking under the hood, you might never notice that the timing belt is broken, the transmission is shot, and the head gasket needs to be replaced.

Likewise, to the untrained eye, a website might look beautiful and SEO friendly, but in actuality have a whole host of technical issues preventing it from ranking well in search engines. That’s why we go “under the hood” of your website, diagnose any technical issues it might have, and do our best to fix anything we find.

To do this, we use Google Search Console. Here’s a short list of some of the things we do “under the hood” to optimize your business’s website:

  1. Create and submit your XML sitemap so Google has a road map of your entire website and knows exactly where your pages, posts, and media live online
  2. Crawl and submit your pages and posts for indexing with the “Fetch as Google” tool
  3. Analyze your crawl stats to see how many of your pages Google crawls per day
  4. Improve and modify your robots.txt file to allow for smoother crawling
  5. Detect and diagnose mobile usability errors
  6. Identify and enhance your structured data and schema markup
  7. Ensure that your site has not been hit with any Google penalties and is in compliance with search engine guidelines

Schedule your free breakthrough strategy session today.

Link Building

link building seo baltimoreLink building is the second most important ranking factor. Without a doubt it’s fundamental to the success of every Baltimore SEO strategy.

A link (or hyperlink) is a word, phrase, or image on a website that, when clicked, takes you to another website.

When other websites that are already well-established online authorities link to your website, they send a proverbial “thumbs up” to Google indicating that your website has a lot of value. The more links you get from high-quality websites, the higher up in Google you’ll rank.

However, simply receiving links from any ol’ website will not improve your search rank. After all, not all websites are valued equally in the eyes of search engines. The key is to find websites with high domain authority and trust flow. That’s where we come in.

We’ll conduct a thorough audit of your current link profile and identify the best areas of opportunity for your business.

Link building, when done correctly, should mirror the way we make connections offline: it should build a genuine relationship between your business and the website linking to you.

Here just five of our favorite link building techniques that we can implement for your business (along with many others):

  1. Guest Posting: Serving as a guest author on blogs for high-end businesses or organizations in your niche is a great way to secure high-level links. We help you find guest posting opportunities and work with you to craft the best possible content for that audience.
  2. Press Releases: Earning links from news outlets not only helps bring traffic to your website, but it also improves your search rank and builds your online reputation. We help your business disseminate newsworthy information that promotes your brand in press releases through popular networks like Newswire, PRWeb, and others.
  3. Sponsorships: Showing your support for charities, non-profits, and certain companies can end up paying dividends. Many organizations have donor pages where they showcase their supporters and link to their respective websites. Sometimes, logos might even get added to a scrolling banner at the bottom of every page of their site, and those images will be given links back to each sponsor’s website. This could result in hundreds of high-quality links going to each sponsor. We locate the best organizations that have incredibly high domain authority and trust flow and help you secure sponsorship links on those sites.
  4. Scholarship Programs: Links from .edu sites are extremely authoritative and powerful for SEO. We develop and launch scholarship programs specifically tailored to earn links from educational domains. We’ve curated a list of hundreds of educational institutions across the United States that offer these kinds of scholarships and pitch your unique scholarship to each of them.
  5. Premium Editorial Links: Links from websites like The Huffington Post, Forbes,, and other world-renowned websites are the best possible links available. Even just one of these can have a seismic impact. We work with your team to identify your highest value content assets that these major publications would find valuable and reach out to our contacts who personally know writers at these companies to help you land these links.

competition analysis search engine optimizationCompetitor Analysis

After we have the two most important pillars of your Baltimore SEO campaign standing strong (i.e. on-page SEO and link building), we conduct an in-depth competitor analysis to identify what digital marketing strategies they’re using and what’s giving them an advantage over you.

This competitor analysis will reveal how much traffic they have coming to their website, what keywords they’re targeting and ranking for, whether they invested in paid search, what links they have coming to their website, and how much money they’re likely investing in SEO and digital marketing.

By the time we’re done with the analysis, we’ll be able to determine their online marketing strengths and weaknesses.

The areas of unexplored SEO opportunity that your competition failed to take advantage of are usually integrated into our overall strategy and end up being a critical component of how we outrank them.

Schedule your free breakthrough strategy session today.

Local SEOlocal seo maryland

Local SEO helps a business rank well in search engines for geographic-related keywords.

When a person in Los Angeles, California searches for “newborn photographer Los Angeles” in Google, s/he will receive very different organic search results than a person searching in Baltimore, MD. That’s because Google realized that the overwhelming majority of people looking online for “pizza places” want to find one in their area.

In order to provide the best local results, search engines and mobile features like “Siri” and “OK Google” rely on a number of data sources. Each data source needs to have its own established, consistent online listing of information like name, address, phone number, and website.

These data sources come in two varieties: (1) aggregators and (2) local business listings.

There are five main aggregators of location data that send information to search engines: Infogroup, Neustar, Localeze, Acxiom, and Factual. Having your business listed in all five of these exponentially increases your chances of ranking well in local search results.

The phrase “local business listing” might sound complicated, but you probably know what they are. Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Google My Business are three famous examples of local business listings. In order to rank high in local search, you’ll usually need to claim and verify 50 or more of these and make sure all of the information is consistent across each and every listing. If one business listing has your current office address while another has an old address, you won’t rank as well.

We make sure that your business is listed in all the right places with all the right information. To do this, we put your business in all of the major data aggregators, remove any duplicate listings you might have that are hurting your local rankings, and ensure your information is consistent.

Additionally, we claim and verify 50 of the most authoritative local business listings on the web, streamline the process of garnering five-star reviews, and manage your entire local profile.

If you have a brick and mortar business, local SEO will not just improve your organic rankings, it will also help your business show up in the coveted Map Pack (the small map Google populates above the organic rankings with three top results) for the keywords your target market is searching for.


baltimore content marketingIn 2020, like it or not, a brand is judged by the content it has on the web––both by Google and by its potential customers.

A company with a robust blog will generate a great deal more leads than a business that doesn’t blog often or doesn’t have a blog at all. This is true for two main reasons.

First, the more content you have on your website, the more Page 1 real estate you can occupy in Google for a whole host of well-searched keywords and phrases related to your niche. Having several posts and pages that rank well in Google for a multitude of crucial keywords significantly improves the amount of organic traffic your website will receive.

Second, the more content you have on your website, the more of an opportunity you have to build your brand’s authority and trust while showcasing your company to potential customers. Likewise, having great content allows your website visitors to really get to know your brand, which makes it much more likely that they will contact you and use your services.

All of the content you put on your website has staying power. An advertisement (whether it’s on Google Adwords, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) will disappear when your money runs out. However, the articles, blog posts, ebooks, infographics, videos, and white-papers you produce will be content assets that your business can leverage as often as you want and for as long as you want.

RDB Design plays a crucial role in your content marketing. We’ll steer your strategy, help you identify what type of content to create given your unique niche, identify what medium to promote it in best (e.g. social media, press releases, etc.), and we can even write it for you.

Schedule your free breakthrough strategy session today.

Tracking Results

tracking baltimore seo resultsSuccessful businesses track the results of their marketing campaigns. When it comes to offline marketing, your staff will invariably have to ask, “How did you find out about us?” in order to know if your offline advertising efforts were successful or not.

Unfortunately, even then you won’t necessarily get exact numbers. After all, this type of tracking is prone to human error. Sometimes people forget or unintentionally say the wrong source.

That’s the beauty of digital marketing and Baltimore SEO: you’ll be able to confidently track your results every step of the way.

RDB Design will work with you to get a unique tracking code from Google Analytics that your web team will be instructed to add to your site code.

Once Google Analytics is installed, we’ll be able to give you concrete data that will help us evaluate the success of your online marketing and identify what needs to be tweaked or changed.

After crunching the numbers and analyzing the data, we’ll be able to definitively tell you:

  1. How many people are coming to your website (monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, etc.)
  2. How many are new or unique visitors
  3. How many are repeat visitors
  4. Which pages and posts they’re going to the most
  5. Which pages and posts they’re going to the least
  6. How many people are on your website right now (in real-time)
  7. Where are your visitors geographically located
  8. What sources are the main focus of your traffic
  9. What percentage of your traffic comes from direct, organic, social, and referral sources
  10. How long your visitors spend on your website and its specific pages

Most importantly, we do all of this for you while translating these metrics into understandable and actionable business insights that help you improve your online marketing efforts, get more business, and improve your ROI.

Our Most Recent Baltimore SEO Successes

  • Increased website traffic by 1,000% for a therapist staffing agency within 1 year of working with them (yes, that’s three zeros).
  • Helped a local photographer rank on Page 1 of Google for her major keyword within 4 months (and she is still ranking there months later).
  • Redesigned a website for a pain management doctor that immediately boosted his online reputation and ranked on Page 1 of Google within 4 months (and he’s now expanding his practice).

Be the next bullet on this list.

Schedule your free breakthrough strategy session today.

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