Our work starts with some basic setup and checks:
- Set Up Google My Business
- Set Up Google Search Console
- Set Up Google Analytics
- Set up Google Data Studio report
- Verify correct indexing in GSC
- Set Up Bing Webmaster Tools
- Verify correct indexing in BWT
- Verify Robots.txt
- Verify Sitemap.xml
These may seem small, but all can contain some red flags that could hold up progress. We couldn’t call it “Complete SEO” if we didn’t do this stuff!
We’re also going to write a brief assessment of your website and what our rough expectations for the work are.
The key deliverable here is really the Google Data Studio report – here are partial screenshots of each of the pages:
As you can see, it has a ton of information for you about how your website is doing. The last page is going to track the specific keywords we are working on – so you’ll be able to see the progress our work is making for you over time.
We crawl your site and find any technical issue that could be holding back the performance of your site. It’s a huge report, typically 30+ pages or more!
Here’s an example:
We look at this report and find the top 5 issues that might be impacting your site and try to correct them. Note that many of the items flagged do not indicate real or important issues, and that fixing everything is outside the scope. If extensive technical optimization is required, we have a separate charge for that.
We provide extensive keyword research as a part of the first month of this gig. We want to check the keywords you provide, but also expand on them and make sure we’re working on the best possible set for the current state of your website.
For example, if you have a relatively new site, you’re not going to compete for a 500,000/month, high difficulty search. You’ll need to set your sights on something achievable in the shorter term.
We’re also looking for potential content pieces for us to write in subsequent months. Here’s our process:
Seed Keyword Research
For this, we are looking for keywords from a variety of sources. It might be the keywords you give us when you purchase that you think are the best ones for you. It’s going to be the keywords that you are ranking for currently but are not driving any traffic for you. We might look at what your competitors are ranking for, or what terms competitors are placing on their websites. There are a number of places we can find them.
The goal is to put together a list of keywords that are highly relevant to your business – but also ones that you can reasonably compete for. Once we have the full list of 200, we’re going to score them with a formula we’ve come up with that considers the keyword search volume, ranking difficulty, your current ranking position, and the estimated cost per click. We include the last one because if someone’s willing to spend money advertising on that keyword there is likely some value there.
We end up with a spreadsheet that looks like this:
From this sheet, we’re going to choose around 2 keywords per page to hone in on for further analysis.
But we’re going to give you the whole spreadsheet of data. That’s 200 relevant keywords already scored and ready to go!
Competitor Keyword Research
Here we’re going to take your top three competitors – that you give to us, and that we manually vet as well – and find out what keywords they are ranking for that you are not. More specifically, at least one of them is going to be on the first page for that term.
Here’s what this one looks like:
We score these with a slightly different formula that also assesses where your competitors rank, along with how many of them rank for it.
This is a great set of keywords because Google knows you’re related to these sites – and these sites are ranking for these terms – so you have a great chance of ranking for them too.
From this sheet, we’re going to choose around 3 keywords per page to hone in on for further analysis.
But we’re going to give you the whole spreadsheet of data. That’s 200 relevant keywords already scored and ready to go! That’s 400 keywords we will have delivered to you thus far and we have not even gotten to the meat of the SEO yet.
Once we’ve selected the keywords we’re going to analyze further, we put them on this spreadsheet and score them.
Here we’re pulling data from Google, Majestic, and Moz, and combining it with a few scoring metrics. One is a normalized keyword score that ranks the ones we have selected out of 100. There is also a rating that assesses how difficult the competitors are for that term. Then there’s the estimated time to win which gives a very rough estimate of how long it could take to bring the term from outside the top 100 to at least page 2. Last we give some traffic estimates for various ranking positions.
This document is our “keyword research report.” This would be a great value if we stopped here – with 400 scored keywords delivered and in-depth info on 25-75 of them.
But wait, there’s more!
Google reveals a lot of information about how they think keywords relate to each other. You can use this information to help build super-topical content that is engineered to rank well and capture as much keyword space as possible.
Each level covers a certain number of “pages” – and for each page, we’re going to pick one primary keyword and build out the related keyword cluster for you.
This includes the keywords Google thinks are related to your keyword, the keywords that are related to the most relevant of those keywords, and the supporting keywords and queries that provide topical context around that keyword.
Here’s part of an example:
The actual document goes down to row 85! For each primary keyword, we’re giving 8 secondary keywords and five topical keywords. Then we’re taking two of those secondary keywords and finding 8 more keywords under each one of those. That’s around 30 additional keywords for each primary, or 150-450 MORE keywords above what we’ve already provided.