Guest post by Dmitriy Gamarnik
Basketball coaches know that many factors go into winning a game before it is even played. The same principles can be applied to a search engine optimization strategy.
Homework: A well-coached team knows the other team better than that team knows itself and it starts with watching game film. Coaches don’t overlook anything when they are examining film and neither should anyone who is developing a search engine optimization marketing strategy.
Basketball: When studying game film coaches have a list of questions to help evaluate all factors of a team including:
Offense: How many half court sets do they run? Are they a fast break team?
Defensive: Do they play man or zone defensive? Who are their best defenders & rebounders?
Players: Who are their best players and role players? Who are their worst free throw shooters?
SEO: When beginning an SEO strategy the research is critical to a having a strong and successful campaign. Having a list of question to answer can really help the strategy to get off on the right path.
Target Audience: The first step before keyword research is identifying the target audience. Try to be specific by defining their sex, age, location, and language. Most importantly find out about their needs and interests.
Keyword Research: After the audience is identified, it is time to conduct the keyword research. Determine and target keywords that are relevant to what your service or product can provide. Afterwards, start placing relevant keywords into categories based on how your site might be sectioned or on the audience needs.
Competitors: The easiest way to do this is by taking your categories which you identified during your keyword research and insert them into Google’s, Bing’s, or Yahoo’s search box and see who pops up. For each competitor answer these questions:
- What is their page rank?
- Which organic keywords do they rank for?
- Who is linking to them?
- What does their site structure look like?
Strategy: Only when every question is answered on a coach’s list do they begin to develop a game strategy. The same approach should be taken with a SEO strategy.
Basketball: From the opening tip, the game plan should have detailed plays ready for every situation. Coaching is similar to a chess game and staying a couple moves ahead of the other coach is crucial.
SEO: Like a basketball coach, the SEO strategy should take in all the information found during the research. Here are some things to consider:
One-Site Strategy: There are several files and meta-tags that are needed to create the foundation for an SEO campaign.
- Title Tags – Describes to the search engine what the page is about
- Sitemap – File that ensures each page on the website is indexed and found by search engines
- Robot.txt file – Tells search engines which pages can and cannot be indexed
Link Building Strategy: This can be the most important and laboring part of an SEO campaign. The competitor research will get you started by giving you a good idea of possible websites you can get links from. You can also get an understanding of the topics your community finds interesting.
Social Media Strategy: A social media strategy uses popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Digg for the purpose of community engagement and brand development. Each social website should have its own strategy with specific goals of what you are trying to get accomplished.
Dmitriy Gamarnik is a marketing analyst with Blue Fountain Media. When he is not writing you can find him back in his home town of Plainsboro, New Jersey coaching basketball.
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