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Marketing from Scratch? Don't Skip The SEO
Written by Brian Harnish
Tuesday, 02 April 2013 05:31

Building a marketing planThere are plenty of ways to build a solid marketing plan that utilizes different SEO methods. There is no one solid plan for SEO, since different approaches can be used to achieve great results.

For the purposes of this article, I would like to discuss how you can build a solid marketing plan using well known standard techniques that you could likely apply to a variety of situations.

Business Research

First off, you will want to research your business. Your business is your primary method of making money, and this part of research begins with keyword research. It is important to drill down what keywords your audience uses to find websites in your niche.

One great tool to use is the Google keyword tool. It gives you information regarding the traffic that each keyword receives. You will want to look at both Global and Local Search Volume for your keywords. The higher the traffic, the better.

However, sometimes, keywords will have enough search volume, but too high of a competition level. While you can still go after highly competitive key terms, please realize that it will be important to consider the budget necessary to go after large markets, and the resources you will need to marshal in order to conquer these markets.

Website Research

Because this discussion revolves around building a website marketing campaign from scratch, I’m going to assume that you don’t have a website yet. This kind of research is necessary before you even start.

Find out what your competition is doing on their websites to obtain their rankings. You can use a tool like Screaming Frog in order to drill down into on page research of your competition. Once you have the information from Screaming Frog put together, you will be able to launch a plan of attack against other websites in your niche.

Content is another important consideration. How many words are being written per article? While there is no main requirement of quantity of words, it is important to write the article in such a way that it explains the subject matter adequately. If it requires 200 words or 2,000 words – then go to that length to write about the topic. If it requires 4,500 words – you will have a lot of work ahead of you. Don't cut it short!

Consider the Following

When building each page of you site, it's important to keep you keywords in mind when writing:

  • Title,
  • Meta Description,
  • Meta Keywords,
  • Content,
  • how they each use your keywords.

However, Google no longer uses Meta-Description tags for ranking. It does display them on the results page though, so, for this reason, you want to write something that catches the eye.

It’s probably not a good idea to spend too muchtime on meta-KW's either, as they aren't really looked at much at all. Instead, just make sure that your main keywords are, at the very least, inside the Meta keywords tag, for any applications that may consider them.

Internal-linking strategy

Using SEOmoz’s open site explorer tool, you can figure out the interlinking strategy of a competitor’s website by a thorough examination of all of their internal pages. Consider link anchor text and the linked pages in order to consider an internal linking strategy that will benefit your own website.

The idea is to direct link equity to to the same pages your trying to direct traffic. You'll need to think carefully here, and find a strategy that works well for your site specifically.

External linking strategy

(Link quantity is not as important as link quality. Remember this always...)

Using a tool like, you can view the backlink profile of your website, or any competitor’s website. Take into account the type of links they are going after, the quality of the sites, the authority, and other factors like link quantity. Link quantity is not as important as link quality. 500 great links will always be better than 5,000 terrible links. It’s all in how you go after the authority sites in your niche.

And, by the way, link quantity is not as important as link quality!

Putting it all together

1. Create a website design strategy

Build your website design strategy around the competitor websites that were discovered and examined in the earlier step of website research.

2. Create a content strategy

Build your content strategy around the content we discovered during the content research phase. Remember, high quality content is important. Don’t expect thin content to help your site rank. Concentrate on high quality content that is relevant to your audience. Use Google authorship to increase your credibility and trust. Use social networks to share your content with your audience. Use a content calendar for your team to publish content on a regular basis.

3. Create a linking strategy

Using your earlier linking research, link the pages of your site together using appropriate keyword anchor text. Appropriate keyword anchor text includes your keyword but also describes the page that the visitor is going too. But, don’t use exact match anchor text all throughout your site. Use varied, random anchor text naturally occurring throughout your content.

Next, use your external link research to put together a campaign that goes after the various links, directories, and other promotional opportunities you discovered. This external linking campaign will be essential for ranking. Oh, by the way: Link quantity is not as important as link quality

4. Create a conversion strategy

What is your offline conversion strategy? Will people call you? Will you answer leads that come through via a contact form on the website? It all depends on your industry. Different industries will have different methods of conversions. It is important to think about how you will handle the offline conversion methods so that you can help convert the traffic that comes from the new website.

5. Setup your Analytics

An effective marketing campaign should include analytics that are setup to take advantage of monitoring traffic coming to the website. Without this monitoring in place, how will you track your progress? It would be almost impossible. Google Analytics works well enough for most people.

There are many different ways to build a solid marketing campaign. But, a solid method that includes research, execution, and monitoring of results will help deliver good results. It all depends on how you go about building your campaign, your industry, and how hard you work to achieve results. That’s the thing about SEO – it’s all about hard work.


Brian Harnish -

Building websites his Brian Harnish's passion. He's been building websites since he taught himself HTML and took a college Photoshop class to create the graphics in the summer of 1998 when he built his first real website. He thoroughly enjoys reading almost anything and everything he can get his hands on regarding SEO, search marketing, as well as web design & development.

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