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A 7-Step SEO Process For Successful Long-Term Research

It’s no secret that an SEO adventure means being in it in the long run.

Optimization is a never-ending process.

One day you rank at the top of the search results, and the next your competitor publishes something new that knocks you down the rung.

The SEO promise can bring your business traffic, revenue, and growth, but many marketers drop out right after they get started. They love the promise more than the process.

In fact, this process is key to achieving your end goal in SEO.

Understanding The SEO Process


Understanding The SEO Process

There are no shortcuts to playing the system (ie your body) in physical fitness, unless you are comfortable taking serious health risks.

You have to have a plan and stick to it. This means exercising, eating right, and forcing yourself to constantly improve naturally.

Likewise, in SEO, there’s no way to ‘cheat an algorithm’ (like Google) unless you’re expecting to cut corners – something I don’t recommend.

So recently I was quite surprised on my monthly phone call to learn that one of my big clients was impatient with the SEO process.

How does someone so successful – and one who usually follows the process to promise more customers and issues – not understand, love or respect the SEO process?

You cannot reach the promise without going through the process.

SEO (and most forms of digital marketing) is a process that, with patience and strategy, will bring you the promise of new traffic, leads, revenue, and growth.

To understand the process, you need to create a plan, have a strategy, and know all the steps in the process.

1. Audit

1. Audit

The Process

Our process always starts with a technical and / or substantive audit.

Technical audit covers absolutely every element of the website that may affect SEO results.

One of the most important of all these elements is speed.

I’ve seen so many sites put a big introduction on the homepage of a video that takes too long to load.

You have a high bounce rate and have lost a potential customer or customer.

If they only made a smaller version of the video or moved more relevant content in the part of the page visible on the screen, their speed and conversions would be much better.

A technical audit should be in-depth and take weeks, depending on what’s wrong with the site.

If you have a large website with thousands of pages of content, it is definitely worth doing a content audit.

A content audit will help you identify which pages are working well and which are not.

You can then make decisions about what content you want to keep, optimize, rewrite, or completely remove from your site.

When you remove content from your website, you may notice a decrease in traffic – but that’s the point. You want to scare off irrelevant traffic.

Irrelevant traffic (i.e. visitors who are not matched to your target audience) is unlikely to turn into customers or customers. In this sense, this move does not benefit your business.

By conducting a content audit, you can “cut” content that generates irrelevant traffic, and then focus on content optimization that is likely to bring the best results for your business.

Then, once the search engines have indexed all the optimized relevant content, you should start seeing more conversions.

The Promise

As you go through the process of technical audit, content audit, or both, you will have a full understanding of everything that needs to be fixed in order to rank well in organic results.

SEO is a mystery. Combine the pieces.

This is just the first step. But the first step can sometimes be the hardest.

Now is the time to use that momentum.

2. Technical SEO

2. Technical SEO

The Process

When it comes to technical SEO, it is worth considering, including:

Improving technical SEO requires a holistic approach; addressing just one item on that list won’t really move the needle. You have to consider everything if you want your website to work.

I like to use the house analogy here:

The house needs a foundation, electrical and plumbing installations, walls and a roof. If you don’t have all of these, you don’t have a home. You have a shell.

The same goes for technical SEO. In order to have your site optimized, you need to have all these elements correctly.

The Promise

By increasing the speed, functionality and user experience (UX) of your website, you will likely notice more conversions.

This is because users will find your site easier to navigate, read, and interact with.

After conducting a technical audit, you will receive a list of technical blockers that may hinder the operation of your website.

Optimize them and you will make your site faster, indexable and in a better place to be indexed by search engines.

In fact, we recently made some fixes to a website in the brewing industry.

After all errors were fixed, the company saw a traffic increase of 1,100%.

This is the promise of technical SEO!

3. Keyword Research

3. Keyword Research

The Process

Keyword research is an integral part of the SEO process.

Without keyword research, you’ll only be guessing how people are searching for your business, products, or services.

Keyword research tools show you how many users are searching for a particular term, how difficult it is to rank for it, and what related terms people are also using to search for information on the Internet.

The process begins by considering the hypothetical terms your target audience might use to find your business, and then using SEO tools to verify or disprove the results.

Researching your competitors’ sites is another good way to identify keyword opportunities.

Finally, keyword research helps you discover location-specific keywords that will help you locate your SEO strategy.

I highly recommend reading Roger Montti’s excellent guide, How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: Everything You Need to Know.

The Promise

Keyword research helps you discover which keywords are most valuable to you.

Optimizing your content for high-value keywords will give you access to potential customers or customers when they need you most.

If people can’t find you when they’re searching for the service or product you offer, they can’t buy from you. It’s so simple.

4. Location Demographics

4. Location Demographics

The Process

Whether you are doing SEO for a local business or for a client who offers the service in a specific region, you know the importance of location.

Just like buyer persona, you need to understand how people search for local businesses and service providers, and who they are.

This means you need to make sure you have accurate NAP information (name / address / telephone) and content that pertains to your service area, whether it’s state, city, or neighborhood.

Submit and optimize your listing on Google Company Profile.

The Promise

The goal of your website is to communicate with your target audience. And when I say “target audience,” I mean potential customers or customers.

Demographic research will reveal a ton of useful information about where your target audience is looking for goods, services or information. You can then use that data to develop a targeted, localized SEO strategy.

Remember that Google awards websites based on factors such as relevance, distance, and visibility.

The SEO promise in this phase is that if you create a site that is relevant, localized, and authoritative, Google is more likely to evaluate your content and display it to its target audience.

5. Content Strategy

The Process

You need a content strategy. Here is a proven strategy.

This is your core content that targets your main keywords and topics. Create content related to your services or products (your keywords “money”).

You can further improve this content by writing about other relevant services and products you offer and any relevant long keywords.

Create pages that answer the most common questions your audience is likely to ask when using Google.

Make sure it has an SEO friendly url, you use breadcrumbs, and is more versatile than any other website on the subject (check out competing sites for the top 10 positions).

Let your clients create content to demonstrate their knowledge and authenticity.

Consider how to improve your content (e.g. using visuals), site navigation (e.g. linking to other relevant pages on the site), and calls to action (e.g. free consultation, making an appointment, downloading content).

The Promise

Creating content for a specific purpose will attract the people you want to become your clients or customers.

Make it easy for people to understand who you are, what you offer and find exactly what they are looking for.

You will be rewarded with more leads and conversions!

6. Content Writing & Editing

The Process

Your client may want to write their own content or may want you to do so.

Either way, the content needs to be optimized.

Always think about your audience or people first, but don’t neglect SEO best practices.

You want to write content that people can engage with and share with (and Google will index and reward you with great rankings).

Ultimately, it’s about getting people to convert.

If you haven’t already, be sure to read Ron Lieback’s 47 tips to master SEO writing.

The Promise

Content is essential when it comes to communicating your brand message to your target audience.

It also plays a significant role in SEO; well-optimized content can attract more organic traffic to your website.

Content also helps demonstrate authority, relevance, and trust. Well-written, optimized, accurate and authoritative content is the best way to do this.

Content shouldn’t just be the medium you use to embed keywords on your website.

Instead, it should talk about the value your business provides, how users can interact with it, and overall provide a positive experience to potential customers.

On the other hand, poorly written content will do the exact opposite – send users running to your competition!

Therefore, do not take the content as an afterthought. Be sure to invest in high-quality, optimized content.

7. Ranking

The Process

OK, you can’t control Google rankings or any search engine.

However, you can absolutely understand how the search algorithms work, which helps. But there is never a guarantee.

That said, there is one process that can work.

Be perfect in all of the previous points we’ve covered so far, and you should see SEO success.

The Promise

If you do everything possible to optimize your website and build your brand, and also offer a quality product or service, it is inevitable that you will be rewarded with the organic search visibility you deserve.


“Success is a journey, not a destination.”

This quote is as true for SEO as it is for life.

If you are always looking at the end result, you will miss the adventure, learning, and process experiences.

Any successful SEO strategy starts with a plan. Then it’s about putting in work in the long run.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.

The only way to get to where you want to be is to grow and follow the process. This process can evolve over time, but the right plan is far better than “winging it” when it comes to your SEO strategy.

Then you can celebrate success at every stage, improve your approach over time, and most of all, enjoy the SEO process throughout the life of your business.

Recommended image: ChooChin / Shutterstcok

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