Fundamentals of a Search Engine Optimization Strategy

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What’s the most important tactic or component of SEO? When embarking on a SEO strategy, many professional SEO consultants will have various answers. Some wil say link referral tests, other will say keyword analysis, and yet others may say content audits.

While SEO is a critical component of dressing up your website to attract the personal appeal of each engine – kinda of like the dating game, one of the first areas SEO strategist should define prior to advising clients on strategies are the fundamental building blocks of search engine optimization, and more broadly, the search marketing plan.  SEO is both a science and and art, but like any planning and strategy – without understanding the fundemental building blocks of SEO, they will miss the mark on providing an effective plan for the client.

This is why providing a search marketing assessment or audit first and foremost is critical before advising any tactics, including SEO. While SEO is the tactic most clients say – YES, I need SEO, yet similar to how they started their business – without business plan or marketing plan, you plan to fail – yeah, an old quote I had to borrow 😉 but holds strong and true.

When embarking on the need for SEO, ensure due diligence is applied and perform a search marketing audit, or assessment. Some will say the SEO strategy is the search marketing plan or the web marketing plan. If you’re sold on this, you better start looking for a second opinion. Remember, the search  marketing assessment solely functions to provide the opportunities in the search market – including if the need for SEO exisits. The assessment shoudl also consider the depth of SEO required.
If SEO is required in the search marketing plan (SMP), then the work begins to build out the SEO plan, starting with the fundamental building blocks of SEO.
So what are the SEO fundaments?

  • Information architecture and site layout
  • Content audit and keyword density testing
  • Identifying primary, secondary and lateral keywords and phrases
  • Referal link development
    • Link popularity
    • Inbound link strategy and structure

The above covers the basic fundamentals, though while each one has most more depth and understanding, they are the fundamentals to define for each client, or project. And while SEO professionals may have a matter of differences – Web developer will focus on architecture and Editorial will focus on content, in my opinion whatever strategy is developed around SEO, ensure Marketing leads the plan because at the end of the day the goal of the SEO strategy is to drive the bottom line – $$$.

Though while some will argue one is more important than the other, it depends on who’s wearing what hat. Though ensuring one person is steering the direction of the strategy and understands the importance of each fundamental is critical for all components to work together.

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