First, I would like to emphasize to my users that Search Engine Optimization is not a onetime activity, nor it is about mindless link building. It is a very strategy based activity, where you need to understand the objective of your website, set goals accordingly, prepare strategies and work towards them.
Here in this post I am not going to tell you about usual SEO stuff. I will be telling about different stages of an SEO campaign.
An SEO Campaign is carried out in 3 Stages:
- Post website development or Website Conceptualization Stage
- During website development
- After website development
- Ongoing SEO Activities.
SEO: Post Website Development or Website Conceptualization Stage
Website Objective: What you want to achieve through your website. There can be different objectives to achieve:
- Website Traffic
- Product Selling
- Email/Lead Capturing
- A Combination of more than one objectives
Every webmaster have their own set of objectives, this is important to determine, to get better results in next stage, i.e. keyword research.
Keyword Research: Let me explain why first step was important. To target best keywords for your website, you need to identify the need or intent of the website user. Say a user searched “Samsung Galaxy S5”. Here the intent is not clear. He could be planning to buy one, or might be checking on its features, or wanting to buy online and looking for a website that sells it, or looking for a manual to operate the phone.
If you target “Samsung Galaxy S5” as a keyword, you have to face competition from website from all websites that have “Samsung Galaxy S5” in their content (eCommerce Websites, Review Websites, etc.). But if you target a keyword like “Samsung Galaxy S5 price in India”, you will be cutting down on a lot of competition. Makes sense!
Domain Selection: Based on the Keyword Research, you should choose your domain name, unless your objective for creating the website is branding.
Choosing Web Server: Ofcourse the server should have very good speed, very good uptime record, backup and restoration facility, etc. Also, importantly if you are targeting a local area, say Delhi, it is advised to have your web server in Delhi or atleast in India. There are many logics behind it:
- Google takes into account the location of server in case of Geotargeting (Geographical SEO Ranks)
- If first reason is not enough, at least your target audience will be able to load your website faster.
- In case of any issue, you can easily reach out to the service provider and have proper communication. Let me share a personal example here, we are located in Delhi and we hosted some of our websites on a server managed by a Chennai based company. The server was good, but whenever some issue arises it was difficult to communicate, because of language barriers.
What platform should be used: The other most important factor to consider the development platform. You need to consult a Technical person or your project manager. Prior to this you need to be clear of what features are all required, how you want your website to be managed and the cost you can bear. Based on this information your technical/project manager should be able to give you a good advice. Depending on your requirements, the platform should be flexible and scalable. Means it should be created in a way that any other feature or third party apps can be integrated with it, secondly, it should have the ability to increase the pages/posts and other content types.
Information Architecture or Content Hierarchy: This is an important step, as it will help the website developer to create the website accordingly, and to keep your website in tune right from the beginning. Plan your navigational menu well depending on the content hierarchy, as it will help you better convert your website visitors.
Page Layout: You should discuss this with your web designer. Depending on your requirement he should come up with few mockups which you can brainstorm with your marketing team decide to go with.
Study Competitor Strategy: To counter your competition you need to understand what your competitor is doing, and what he is doing right to stay in competition. You have to do a complete SWOT Analysis of your competition, and identify the key areas where you can beat them. It can be right keyword selection, correct content flow on the website, correct layout of pages that converts well, the color combinations and aesthetics of the website, the ease of use, its reach, branding activities, etc.