Step 1: Conduct a website audit and establish your baseline.
Every Baltimore SEO company knows that the very first component of any SEO campaign is the discovery phase where a comprehensive website audit is performed. Unfortunately, many people rush this step and miss out on mission critical opportunities to dramatically improve their search ranking.
Make sure to conduct a deep and thorough site audit and document all the areas of opportunity that your company ought to exploit in order to get on Page 1 of Google.
Here is just a sample of what you should be analyzing on your website and assesing during your discovery process:
Step 2: Identify the search terms your target market uses to find businesses like yours.
After the discovery phase, it’s time to craft the best online marketing strategy possible. This starts with conducting keyword research to determine what keywords and phrases to focus on.
Your goal should be to identify at least five critical pieces of marketing data that really every business needs to know in order to succeed online:
To get this data, use tools like the Google Keyword Planner or SEM Rush.
Next, from this data, carefully select high-volume keywords that can generate a lot of traffic but lack an intense amount of competition.
Step 3: Optimize the content on your website, and give your visitors the best user experience possible.
There are a ton of factors that go into on-page SEO, and your SEO strategy must take as many of them into account as possible.
If you can’t do this yourself, find an SEO company that will optimize all of the elements on every page of your website in order to give it the best chance of ranking on Page 1 of Google.
Make sure to optimize your title tags, headings, subheadings, meta descriptions, permalinks, web copy, internal linking structure, and alt tags, to give you an edge over your competition.
After taking care of these technical aspects, it’s time to improve your site speed and user experience. This might be as simple as installing a couple plugins or as complicated as overhauling dozens of pages of content. It depends completely on your unique website.
Lastly, make sure that the keywords and phrases your target market is searching for are used in a logical and search engine friendly way throughout all of the content on your site.
Step 4: Build your brand, network within your niche, and earn high-quality links to your website.
A link is a word, phrase, or image on a website that takes you to another page or site when you click on it.
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.
Without high quality links, you don’t stand a chance of beating your competition. On-page SEO alone simply doesn’t cut it. After all, the quality and quantity of links a website has almost always ends up being what sets a site ranking on Page 1 apart from a site ranking on Page 2 or 3.
The key is to create successful and scalable link building campaigns that help your business earn the highest quality links on the web today. Use tools like Majestic and Moz’s Link Explorer to analyze your backlink profile and find link opportunities your competition overlooked.
Be advised: some Baltimore SEO companies promise to build you thousands of “high-qualty” links, but instead they simply put your website on hundreds of spammy directories and use tactics that violate Google’s Search Guidelines.
If you’re hiring a company to do link building for you, be sure that they are finding and earning authoritative links that actually improve your reputation, brand, and ranking – all while building real relationships with the people linking to you.
We increased website traffic by 1,000% for one of our Baltimore SEO clients in just 1 year.
Step 5: Make your Baltimore business more competitive in the local Maryland area.
Local SEO helps your business appear in Google’s Map Pack, like the one we feature here for Baltimore newborn photographers.
Having your company show up here dramatically increases the chances of your website getting clicked on by the visitors you want and the likelihood of getting calls from leads in your geographic area.
Getting a business listed in the Map Pack is not easy. Currently, Google only lists three businesses per search query and the competition for these spots is fierce.
Set your Baltimore business up for local SEO success by: 1) creating listings on Google My Business and Bing Places, 2) claiming and verifying authoritative local business citations, 3) ensuring that your business information (i.e. company name, address, phone number, etc.) is consistent across the web, and 4) developing a streamlined system for your business to get plenty of positive reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
If you do all of that, you’ll rise to the top of the Map Pack in no time.
Step 6: Produce as much helpful and informative content as possible, and give your visitors a reason to come back.
Content is the bread and butter of every website. It encompasses everything from the actual text on your web pages and blog posts to visuals like images, infographics, and videos.
In the SEO world, the phrase “content is king” is used quite often – and it’s true. Without incredible content, you’ll have nothing for Google to rank or for visitors to look at. Content is the linchpin of every solid SEO campaign, and it’s what defines a company’s online reputation.
In 2020 and beyond, you must create engaging, captivating, and authoritative content tailored specifically for your niche and demographic. Every piece of content must address the needs of your visitors and it should be designed to subtly convince them to use your services and buy your products in a non-salesy way.
Step 7: Evaluate whether or not your SEO campaigns are successful with measurable data points and KPIs.
Evaluating the success of your SEO efforts involves much more than seeing if you’ve improved your rank in Google or not.
SEO reporting requires an in-depth analysis of your website’s monthly search traffic. This includes assessing how many page views and sessions you received, what your bounce rate is, how long your visitors spent on your site, and several other technical components.
After crunching that data, a search analytics evaluation is needed. This means identifying what keywords and search queries actually led visitors to your website and determining how many clicks you received from them along with your current and past positioning for each keyword.
Step 8: Tweak your SEO campaigns to improve your ROI and scale your business.
In addition to where you’re ranking in Google, here’s just some of what you’ll want to know when tracking your SEO results:
Most importantly, all of these metrics should be translated into understandable and actionable business insights that help you tweak your online marketing efforts, get more business, and improve your ROI.
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