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The SEO Pyramid

The principles of the SEO pyramid specify what you should do first and what you can do later in terms of SEO. So, I’ll be going through all the activities in ascending order. This approach is especially crucial if you have limited resources at your disposal, which is usually the case for an SEO manager.

Tier 1 – Accessible and Quality Content   Since it makes perfect sense even for a beginner, your site desperately and all the time needs unique content because that’s what makes your site different from the rest of the crowd.

Other than that, you also need to make sure that your site’s content is accessible by bots. Otherwise your unique content will be ignored by search engine spiders and consequently nobody will ever find out that your blog even exists. :)

You need to also take care the URL structure your site is using. I mean you need to be able to use your target keywords in the links to your content. If you’re using WordPress, you can easily set it up in your admin panel. If it’s another CMS, you’ll most likely be able to tweak it in one way or another as well.

Make sure that your site has a proper internal link architecture. That is to say your site should contain a few logical (topical) silos depending on the content it has.

And you need to double-check that all your pages have links to  them. Otherwise neither Google nor any other search engine will find your site.

By the way, you need to keep in mind that it’s a great idea to link to internal pages when it makes sense. Like if you mention some idea that was addressed in one of your posts, you definitely need to link to that particular post. It’s Google’s understanding that if you put a link to your own content, you yourself consider that content good enough.

Sitemaps are important for search engines for the most part but the visitor can you it as well (at least from time to time) to figure out how your site is structured if it’s not that obvious from your navigation.    And you need to be sure that you take care of server response codes on your site. For example, you should customize your 404 file (Docment not found) so that the user gets an idea what to do next if something like that happens.

Tier 2 – Keyword Research and Targeting

Once you got an idea about a new site you need to do some keyword brainstorming. Just try to use your brain and all its inner potential to come up with some keywords that your customers are most likely would use for searching the product that product or service that you offer on your site.    Thanks done, you need to select the best ideas based on the results that you get with the help of Google Keyword Tool.

I mean you need to make sure that the amount of users (that is traffic) that will come to your  site will be sufficient for running a profitable online business. If you’re a non-profit then you just need to get as much traffic as possible anyway. So, it makes sense to select the most traffic-rich keywords. But let me mention one word of caution here.

Make sure that keywords you pick for your site are relevant because if they are not, you’re not going to get targeted traffic like. And  that means that even if people come to your site they won’t stay long anyway.

Now you can perform on-page optimization for your site. Be sure to include your keyword in the title, meta description, URL, H1 and in the actual text of your page (or post).

Tier 3 – Link Building

Once you have quality and useful content on your site, you can start building links for your site. You can manually content people and ask for links. The most workable strategy now is guest posting. I personally believe that’s because it’s pretty hard for Google to figure out which exactly link is artificial. Other then that, you can build links by registering accounts on reputable sites (for the most part you have the option to specify your webpage), buy links (but be careful with this strategy), forums posting, make use of Web 2.0 properties, directory submission, etc.

By the way, you can re-use your content to obtain links as well. For example, you can use your existing (previously posting) article to create a slideshow or a video. Thus you can get inbound links from, say, Slideshare and Youtube.

Tier 4 – Social 

The final tier is all about social stuff and conversions. Make sure to properly run your social networking accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.. And A/B test your site all the time to see what features increase your conversion rates. CrazyEgg is a perfect tool for that sort of experiments, though there are some decent alternatives as well.

In conclusion

All in all, those methods will help you to get your site off the ground. Make sure to implement each activity step-by-step. See what works for you and focus on that. Then go to the next level. And that’s about it .:)

About the author: Kenneth von Rauch – he’s with a company that helps customers build sites and promote them on the Web. For more info click here.