After you’ve selected your keywords by building your target keyword list, the next goal in building a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is to match each of those keywords to pages on your website. Where do you start, though?
You have a list of 10 target keywords, but which ones should you go after first? The best way to start is by understanding which pages are the most valuable. Prioritize your SEO efforts by looking at your existing website pages and assessing where you're already ahead and which pages are going to take lot of extra work.
Focusing on quick hits, like optimizing a page that’s already ranking, allows you to quickly make advances toward improving your rankings and getting more traffic to your website.
Now that you have your target keyword list, here are six simple steps for selecting the right pages to go after as you build your SEO campaigns.
1. Start With Your Brand
You want to make sure you own your brand name and other branded keywords relating to your products. This includes pages such as your About page, Contact Us, Homepage, branded product pages and branded blogs (e.g., Salesforce’s Cloud Blog).
2. Understand What’s Driving Traffic and Interest
What are your top performing pages? Look to see how many page views and inbound links your pages are driving.
3. See What’s Already Working For You
Check if you have a page that already ranks for any of these keywords in your target keyword list. Before you leap right into adding new website pages and optimizing for the terms in your target keyword list, spend some time evaluating which of your keywords already have corresponding pages — and which ones you'll have to build from scratch.
Building an SEO campaign takes time and resources; you don't want to do the same work twice.
4. Align Keywords With Content
Make sure the content that exists on the page has relevance to the keyword and relevance to the business goals you want to achieve. Ask yourself: Will this page convert? Make sure you have alignment between the keyword and the content on the page.
Reminder: For each page, you should focus on mapping it to a keyword set of two to three keywords, which are a variation of the same keyword phrase (e.g., women’s summer sandals, summer sandals women’s, women’s sandals, sandals women’s).
5. Beat the Competition
As you choose your pages, you want to go to your competitors’ pages that correspond to that same keyword phrase and look at the following:
- See how they’ve optimized their title tags, H1s, content and inbound links.
- If they have a great deal of inbound links and they’re clearly winning the term, you might want to back away from optimizing for this keyword phrase.
- If they aren’t ranking or optimizing for a given term and phrase, then this might be an opportunity for success.
6. Tracking These Pages
Now, that you’ve finished matching pages to your target keyword set, perform a check of each of those pages to make sure they’re fully optimized for the search engines. Track each page’s page views and inbound links over time to understand how these key pages and your target keywords are performing.
SEO doesn’t have to be an impossible feat, especially if you focus on the low-hanging fruit across your website and prioritize your SEO efforts in a manageable way. Even if it’s just a few hours a month, a focused SEO effort with a solid strategy can drive sustainable traffic and brand awareness over time.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!