(yep… we’re nerds… but we’re cool nerds).
Get ready friends, we have something exciting coming! It’s going to jolt your SEO awake from its dreary sleep. Today, I’m pulling back the curtain on the exact steps I do for all of my clients, and showing you everything I do to get results like getting a 312% keyword increase for my clients (True story. And it can happen for you too).
I’ve refined this process into a sleek 5-month program that’s like hiring a personal trainer for your website. At the end of 5 months together you’ll have a rock solid six-pack-ahem-website, and be primed for continuing to grow and grow.
Here’s how we make it all happen, month by month:
Phase 1: Show Me What You’re Working With
Timeline: One Month
Goal: To discover how your business is currently performing.
Deliverable: SEO Audit
This stage is like taking the temperature of your “findability”. We find out how Google sees your site, determine how much organic traffic you’re getting, and diagnose any fixes that we need to make.
We break this down into 2 parts, the technical and the content sides. We don’t fix anything at this point, we just do a deep assessment, and then come up with a prioritized plan to strategically implement over the next few months. Areas we examine, include:
- Duplicate pages
- Crawlability — are there pages that can’t be crawled?
- Backlinks: How many internal links do you have? How many external links do you have? How many people are linking to your site? Do those people have high authority, according to Google?
- What are you known for (according to Google)? The answers might surprise you!
- How many keywords are associated with your site that drive organic search?
- How much traffic are you getting to your site from organic search? Has that been going up or down in recent months?
- Quality of your content
- Back-end content such as meta descriptions, title tags, alt tags, proper H1s, and so on.
Phase 2: Your SEO Magic Strategy
Timeline: Two Months
Goal: Create a strategic plan + get to work!
Deliverables: A Fully Optimized Site
By now, we know more about your site than if we had read its tell-all memoirs. So we’re taking advantage of these SEO revelations and building an actionable, tailored plan. We’ll focus on technical + onsite optimization, content + social marketing goals, competitor analysis and targeted keywords.
- A list of currently ranking keywords
- A list of targeted keywords
- Editorial calendar with strategic recommendations for new content
- Keyword Map
- Social media platform recommendations
- Google Analytics Dashboard
- SEO Essentials education
This is the part of the process where we buckle down and get to work. We break this phase into two distinct sections in order to focus on both sides of optimization: the technical and the content. We’ll mostly be the ones working during this time, and your job will be to continue to write for your blog (because our friend Google loves fresh content!).
Phase 2, Month 1: Technical Fixes
- We get Google to start crawling your site well before we do content optimization (so that when you then do the content, you’ll have Google seeing what you’ve improved right away)
- Eliminate Duplicate pages
- List certain pages as no index/no follow
- These are pages that have thin or no content, and while they might be useful for your visitors (like a page full of images) they don’t contribute much at all to your SEO, and we don’t want Google to spend it’s limited time crawling them.
- We direct Google to crawl (aka, read) the content-rich pages of your site so that you can benefit from all the great power in your content.
- Update and fix the sitemap
- We tell Google to recrawl the newly optimized site.
- Then we monitor to make sure that it’s all working correctly.
- We then fill in any errors, if there are any.
- We fix 404 Errors, aka broken links.
- This happens when someone links to your site, then you change the URL or delete the page.
- Error pages are like rust that erodes the quality SEO, so we find them and redirect them to appropriate content.
A lovely, extremely talented web designer came to us to help improve her SEO. When we did the research on her site, we found that one of her strongest keywords and drivers of traffic was a blog post she wrote about what happens when you accidentally put a FitBit in the washing machine. She was getting a large percentage of her overall traffic for this, which did her business and SEO no favors. We found it, fixed it (among other fixes) and now her business gets lots of relevant organic traffic.
Phase 2, Month 2: Content Optimization:
Now that we’ve optimized the technical fixes, we dive into optimizing your content. This is where a lot of the SEO magic happens, as a big percentage of your SEO power comes from content. (That Googlebot sure loves reading!).
Here’s what we do during this phase:
- Take a deep dive into your desired keywords. Create a curated list of ones perfect for your brand based on data.
- Incorporate your desired keywords into the archives of your current content. We make sure that the headlines, titles, metatags and alt tags all contribute to the search terms you most want to be found for.
- Come up with a plan for better internal linking.
- (Lots of people are missing easy, key opportunities in this area. You won’t be one of them after working with us.)
- Make your most viral pages even more shareworthy
- Create a curated editorial calendar, so you know what to write about, and when, to maximize the SEO opportunities
Phase 3: Measure, Measure, Measure
Timeframe: 1 Month
Goals: Measure + Monitor growth
Deliverable: Performance Reports
By this point, you have a beautifully optimized site that’s practically purring it’s working so well.
You’ll get a useful and beautiful Google Analytics dashboard that helps you see all of your metrics at a glance. We’ve created a custom format for this dashboard just for our clients, and it’s built with everything you need to measure and monitor SEO.
We use this as a team so that we can watch your SEO growth and progress. You’ll be able to easily see your growth through increases in organic traffic and keyword rankings. It’s so exciting to see the changes happening day by day.
And while your SEO continues to climb, we’ll move into the final stage of SEO, an untapped powerhouse that most people ignore (but you’re not most people, are you?).
Phase 4: Grow, Baby, Grow
Timeframe: 1 month
Goal: Create opportunities for great off-site SEO
Deliverable: Education about off-site SEO and plan for continued growth
At this point, your website is rock solid. It’s optimized on the front end and back end, all the technical and content elements are at peak performance, and you have a sleek dashboard to monitor and track your growth.
So what’s next after all of that?
Once we’ve maximized the potential of your website’s SEO, the next frontier is getting it out into the world. This means backlinks, guest posts, and boosting brand awareness across your industry.
Backlinks are the backbone of continued SEO growth, so this phase is part of the ongoing process of growing your SEO. And we’ll teach you how to do it with the most potential.
We’ll curate a list of influencers in your industry for you to reach out to for guest posting, backlinks, and being a guest on podcasts. (And-bonus!- we teach you how to write those pitch emails to get a “yes please!” response from your ideal influencers).
We’ll examine your social accounts and give recommendations on hashtags you should be using that will drive traffic to your site. While social media isn’t a major contributor, getting great organic traffic is, and your social audience is like a room full of people eager to get into your online storefront and hang out for a while.
And you’re off!
At this point, you’ll be in an upward spiral of SEO growth, and all you’ll need to do is maintain your site. with the education you’ve received in your mastermind.
Once we’ve gone through this process, your site will be in fantastic shape. We’ve seen over and over again that websites that get the Clapping Dog Media treatment continue to grow and grow over time. Your only job going forward will be to continue to post relevant content (using our curated editorial board as a guide!).
If you’re interested in learning more about our upcoming SEO Mastermind, then join our VIP waitlist. This program is going to change the trajectory of people’s businesses…and we’d love it for you to be one of them.
As always, we’re here cheering you on! Got some Qs? We’ve got some As. Drop us an email or leave us a comment.
Meg and the Clapping Dog Media Team1