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10 Step SEO Process

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Introduction

The purpose of this article is to explain our in house Search Engine Optimization (SEO) process for a basic campaign. We have optimized hundreds of websites over the years, have learned a little bit along the way- and would like to share some of this information with you. Because we are developers, this article is written primarily from the developer’s perspective. However, anyone should be able to follow along and hopefully, they might learn something interesting- if not a lot more!

Before we get started, please know this: SEO requires a lot of work and there are no shortcuts. This work needs to be done continuously, mainly because of algorithm changes and competitor movements.

Now let’s transition into the technical stuff. 

Follow A Step-by-Step Process- We Do!

SEO Managers need to follow processes when they oversee an account. Never “wing it” and rely on your supernatural intuition or use of The Force. If you are a DIY person and don’t think you need this- you are in for some really tough times. A process gives you a roadmap to follow. And at minimum, it guarantees you will cover all the important aspects of a campaign, while also not missing something fundamentally important. Notice we mentioned, “at minimum.” SEO success… as in being “really good,” consists mainly of your experience, technical knowledge, intuition, work ethic and client input.

Within this article, we have intertwined local SEO and national SEO techniques. The main difference between the two is that local SEO focuses more heavily on Google My Business optimization and citation listings. And for time’s sake, we didn’t discuss E-commerce SEO techniques that focus more on product optimization, reviews, etc… However, most SEO campaigns, no matter what type you do, feature a tremendous amount of overlap.

Also note an SEO campaign can basically be segmented into two phases: Campaign Setup and Routine Work. As we progress through each SEO step, we have labeled each accordingly. Typically, the campaign setup period can last anywhere from one to two months. For example, a campaign of 30 keywords usually requires a two month set up period- because there is simply a lot of work to do. Smaller campaigns (15 keywords or less), typically require half the amount of time.  

Now that we have the philosophical stuff out the way, let’s have some fun!

There are Two Major Parts of SEO

On-Page and Off-Page. Basically it’s what you do on your website and off your website. And that is about it. While simple in concept, there is a lot happening in these two areas. 

In this post, we have labeled each SEO step as either one or the other- or both. 

Step 1: Keyword Analysis (Setup: On-Page)

Keyword selection is one of the most important steps in the SEO process and some back and forth time should be spent between you and the customer. Sometimes, We create up to 3-4 versions of the keyword report as we constantly delete non-relevant/unwanted terms and add new ones. 

It is also important to know that PalmettoSoft usually does keyword analysis within our sales process (before the SEO process you are reading now). Keyword analysis is part of our due diligence work in learning about the customer’s business. For clarity and ease of reading, we are showing this as the first step in our SEO process.   

How we do Keyword Analysis

After an initial sales conversation about the client’s business and marketing goals, we ask them to “send me a list of keywords they think people search for that match their services/products.” Then, we use our free research tool coupled Google Search Console and to uncover a more expansive list along with monthly search volume and competition and send it to the client via email to review. We like to follow up with a timely phone call to explain what the technical terms mean as well as “how” to select the best keywords.

The Google Keyword Planner is a great free tool
Image source: Google Keyword Planner

 As a primary factor of consideration, we consider relevance first. And most relevant phrases tend to be long tail keywords as they tend to deliver higher conversion. When a searcher, for example, types a 4-5 word phrase, they tend to know exactly what they are searching for, rather than a generic term that can bring a lot of unwanted traffic to the website. 

A keyword analysis is very important and requires some back and forth collaboration with the client. You should let them know upfront that you need their input and it’s considered normal to create several versions of the report until the best keywords are discovered. 

A secondary factor is a competition and it is typically shown as either High, Medium and Low. Competition (not the exact number of actual competitors) is the number of search results pages displayed when you do a keyword search. And High competition means you normally will require more time to get the first page Google ranking for the keyword. Low competition is faster… you understand how this works. 

If you are wondering about a tertiary (or third) factor, it’s the number of monthly searches. And this is a distant third when compared to the first two factors. 

From a strategy perspective, long-tail keywords usually gain faster 1st page ranking and that leads to quicker sales. As the client begins to build a business during the short term, you can begin to build on this success and by expanding the keyword list with more competitive terms. 

 When selecting keywords, customers tend to automatically lock on to the highest monthly search volume ones. These also tend to be generic in nature. For example, if your customer produces faux alligator handbags, you probably don’t want to target the term “handbags.” Here’s why: Four years and $48,000 later when (and if) you finally do get a first page ranking, around 99% of the traffic will NOT be buying from your customer. And this traffic will overwhelm the telephone with unqualified sales calls, massive email spam, and also the site will have a really high bounce rate. By the way, a high bounce rate has a negative effect on SEO rankings. It’s a vicious cycle you want to avoid and a huge waste of time and money. 

Moral of the story: Generic, high competition keywords are NOT worth it- in many ways. 

Step 2: Website Audit (Setup: On-Page)

The website audit can be thought of much like a website health check. And a major goal of the audit is to identify any major technical or functional issues a website may have during the SEO setup process. Of course, any issues found need to be fixed immediately or they will cause systemic ranking problems. 

For brevity, we are only going to cover the main elements of the audit and not go into detail. If you want to learn more about the elements, there is a ton of information available on the web- plus you tend to learn and retain more when you do research! 

All website fixes should be 100% completed before any off site SEO work is done. Would you land a new jumbo jet on a dirt road? Of course not, and the engineers at Google hold the same view. 

Main elements of a website audit

  • Technical SEO 
  • Website Structure 
  • On-Page SEO 
  • Website Content Review
  • Competitors Website Analysis
  • Analyze Design and UX (user experience)

SEMrush is one of the best website audit tools. 

Image source: SEMrush

Website audits, like an oil change for a car, extend the life and performance of your SEO campaign. And like oil changes, they need to be done periodically. We recommend running an audit on an annual basis.

Two Cases For a Website Audit

Algorithm changes

By doing so, you can keep the performance running optimally while also keeping up with ever-changing Google and Yahoo/Bing algorithm changes.

Webmaster guidelines

Another reason to periodically run your audit is to remain compliant with the major search engines’ Webmaster Guidelines.

 Overlooking or blowing through this step will almost guarantee your site will never get ranked. Trust us from personal experience- if your meta coding is out of parameter, if page loading times are slow, etc… This is like pouring water in a bucket with a small hole in the bottom. You keep pouring (effort), yet the results are always the same: You get a quick rise, followed by a long slow decline.

No matter how many other SEO techniques you do, if your website foundation is bad, your SEO strategy will be a doomed house of cards.

Step 3: Landing Page (Setup: On-Page)

After keyword selection and the website audit is completed, the important step of Landing Page Review occurs. 

In our experience, almost every website will need a few new pages built to support the new keywords. However, in rare cases, existing pages on a website can be optimized for the new keywords. 

If the client chooses 10 keywords in their campaign, you should usually figure on the creation of about 3-4 new pages within the website’s main navigation.

Years ago, when the search engines were more rudimentary, each keyword basically merited its own landing page and the websites tended to have “keyword overload,” as well as repetition all over the page. These days, however, several related keywords can be targeted to the same page in a more natural structure, so a fewer number of landing pages are required. 

Landing pages support the targeted keywords for your campaign. However, don’t just have a page full of copy… add supporting images, call to action buttons and make the page “come to life.” You will have higher conversion when you do this. 

Landing pages typically follow a template style for consistency. 

Image source: Unbounce

How landing page names and # of landing pages are chosen: A few examples

  • If several service based keywords are related, one landing page can be created and all of those words can be targeted. 
  • Normally city-specific keywords require their own landing page. 
  • E-commerce websites require the actual product page to be the landing page.

Install Landing Pages in the Footer

Usually, keyword targeted landing pages are inserted in the website’s footer (or in the Sitemap) so as to not clutter the website’s top navigation. In this manner, the search engine sees the page as a “1st level navigation page” and gives it the proper authority when indexing. When someone does a search on Google, they type in the query, click on the link, and arrive on the landing page. Another benefit of the landing page is the user is always within one click of your website’s main pages- such as the home page. 

Install Landing Pages in the Main Navigation

A different way to install landing pages is to integrate them within your website’s main navigation structure. This can be a bit more tricky and you always want your navigation links to support each other and look more fluid. However, if you can pull this off, you can expect higher customer conversion because the website looks more naturally geared towards these targeted keywords. 

 Beware of the customer who is infatuated with the design of their website. This tends to be because they designed it themselves and therefore have an emotional attachment to the look and feel of their website.
When you make the recommendation to add landing pages you can get a lot of pushback and odd workaround suggestions by the client (don’t do any of them!) in order to avoid doing the necessary SEO work to help their website. I have heard, for one example, I don’t want keywords on my home page, I wrote the copy myself and everything looks great.”
When this happens, you need to have a straightforward and respectful conversation and simply tell them this: “Currently your website is designed for your public. However, Google requires you to design BOTH for the public and the search engine. If you don’t do this, your site will not rank.”
After coming to their senses, the customer will usually acquiesce and you can make the much needed changes to the website.

Step 4: Blog Integration (Setup: On-Page)

Over the last several years, blogging is growing and is becoming a more increasingly integral part of an effective SEO strategy. It is a good way to boost traffic, build trust and also adds frequent content to your site. 

After installing WordPress, our preferred development platform, it’s important to set up the blog theme to include the overview and detail page. And we always use the overview and detail page structure for the maximum SEO benefit. When installing the blog theme, it is also important to use supporting plugins. 

WordPress offers a robust blog with a lot of plugins. 

Image source: WordPress

It is also pertinent to create a top navigation and footer link for your blog as it shows your visitor this is an important component of your website. This also helps your blog to be read more often and sends a clear message to Google that your website is a frequent content producer and not simply a static brochure.

Your website blog can be one of the biggest SEO drivers on your website. Set it up correctly, with all the appropriate functionality- and write content with teeth! Your visitors will appreciate it and the search engines will reward you handsomely. Never underestimate the power of your blog!  

You NEVER want to approach blogging with the mindset that “it’s a task I have to do.” If you do, you will quickly become part of the status quo of millions of average bloggers that waste time and effort on the Internet.

Instead, you should look forward to writing about things that you are passionate about- or may also happen to be an expert in. Your readers and search engines like engaging and informative content… so always do your best! And these same habits will carry over into all aspects of copywriting you do on your website.
Also know this: It is good to have a strong opinion, say it. Try not to be vanilla and boring. On the flipside, I am also not advocating using bad language, being disrespectful, or being so over-the-top in your claims that you make some people angry or offend them.

Let me prove the math on the above: You have already invested some of your valuable time reading this post. If it was bad content, you probably would have left a long time ago (smile).

Step 5: Meta Elements (Setup: On-page)

Meta elements, a.k.a. Metadata, meta coding, etc., is one of the most basic parts of an SEO strategy. They are also very important and have been around a long time. Basically, they are hidden words (to the public) in your website’s coding that tell the search engine what your site is about. As a result, it’s paramount that you address all the major elements of meta elements as well keeping the information within the search engine’s parameters.

In layman’s terms, meta elements tell the search engine what your website’s pages are about. As you can imagine, the actual web page content needs to also be in balance with the meta elements. Google compares both to each other and this forms one of the pillars of their ranking algorithm. Below are some major components of meta elements.  

Make sure you do your meta coding correctly and to the search engine’s parameters. After all, you are talking directly to the search engines about your website’s content. 

On-page meta elements

  • Title
  • Meta description
  • Heading tag 
  • Image alt text 
  • Breadcrumb navigation
  • Schema markup
  • Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics setup
  • Sitemap.xml setup
  • Robots.txt setup
  • Creating custom 404 error pages
  • 301 redirect verification
  • Internal content linking

Meta Coding is what the search engines sees, and not your visitors. 

Image source: deepfieldinc.com

For years, literally millions have tried to stuff keywords in meta coding and other negative techniques (ex. hidden text) to try and artificially influence the search engine for better rankings. 

Don’t do it, or you run the risk of being penalized. And many penalties can ultimately become Reconsideration Requests to the search engine.  

Any similar idea you may think of has already been done by someone, and accounted for in an update to the search engine’s algorthim.

Think of meta element adjustment in your site to pouring a concrete foundation to a house. It’s not complicated or fancy, but does require some skilled work. And like a good foundation, your SEO strategy will be on much better ground as you move forward.

Step 6: Citation Building (Setup: Off-Page)

Citation listings help search engines verify that your business is legitimate.

This is a seriously important step within Local SEO.

When multiple and credible websites all feature the same Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP), website address and business description, this helps your website build authority, establish trust and greatly improves your business ability to rank in the local search results. 

Developing a strong citation profile for your business is one of the most fundamental and cost-effective methods to optimize for Local SEO.

Key findings

  • 76% of SEOs use Citations / Directory listings to build links
  • 58% of SEOs use Content Marketing to build links
  • 24% of SEOs use Press Releases to build links
  • 21% of SEOs use Guest Posts to build links

 

Source: BrightLocal

  If not done correctly, inconsistent NAP and related business information within Citation Listings will harm your SEO rankings.
In bad cases, you may need to spend additional money and a lot of time to correct the issue.
There is also the ultimate possibility of not having your rankings restored, due to the severity of the problem.
Our advice is to use a reputable Citation Listing tool and do everything “best practice.”

Step 7: Blog Posting (Routine: On-Page)

Blog posting is an integral part of SEO for many reasons. First, it tells the search engine robots that your site is routinely producing content and that basically guarantees frequent indexing of your website. Second, it can help establish your company as a subject matter expert (SME) in your field of expertise. Third, it can become a major source of quality inbound traffic to your website and this can have a fantastic effect on your overall SEO efforts.

The WordPress dashboard is easy to use and allows for robust blog management.

Image source: WordPress

Blog writing tips

  • Focus on 1–2 long-tail keywords that match the intent of your target reader
  • Include your 1–2 keywords in specific parts of your post.
  • Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly and responsive.
  • Optimize your meta description, and use all the space.
  • Optimize your images with image alt text.
  • Don’t use too many similar topic tags.
  • Use URL structures that help your visitors.
  • Link internally when possible.

Source: HubSpot

Google Analytics (when installed on your site) measures important metrics like page stay times, bounce rates, visitors per page, and a lot more! I am telling you this because while you can personally measure your website’s performance- Google Analytics also reports this data back to the mothership- Google. Over the last several years website performance data has become an ever growing piece of the pie in the Google ranking algorithm.  

An extremely well written SME type blog post can even bring in more traffic than your website’s home page- and Google loves it when an inner page delivers more traffic than your home page. This scenario can also lead to more stable and higher SEO rankings. For a deeper understanding of this concept, check out the Google Hummingbird update- specificallyIt also looks deeper at content on individual pages of a website, with improved ability to lead users directly to the most appropriate page rather than just a website’s homepage.”

Also, activate a social sharing widget at the top of your blog which shows how many comments, number of views and shares the post has. When people see high numbers at the top of your post, they tend to want to read it more… which leads to higher visitor stay times… Google Analytics sees this too and continually boosts your post in the rankings.

If you have the talent and passion, write more than 700 words and develop more informative articles. The search engines will reward you for this effort as you are making your website more of a knowledge base instead of an online brochure.

Social Sharing Widget

The Google Keyword Planner is a great free tool
Image source: Google Keyword Planner

Don’t use Facebook comments in your blog because they are not indexed by Google, their competitor. If you do, you are wasting your time.

Instead, enable Disqus Comments, or native WordPress comments (they are indexable) in your blog and get some compelling back-and-forth conversation going! This will definitely help SEO by telling Google your topic is important.

Back in the late 90s when Google started its run to dominance, it began to heavily measure the number of links pointing to a web page to establish its quality. At first, the number of links (higher the better) was a huge factor, whereas over time, the relevance of the links began to matter more. Basically, as Google evolved, it realized that websites tend to link to other related websites in a natural way. 

Link building is the process of acquiring high quality backlinks from other websites to your own website. A backlink (keyword-rich anchor text hyperlink) is inserted in the content for both humans and search engines to navigate between pages from one website to another.

Link building also happens to be the most popular and effective off-Page SEO technique. It also has major importance within the Google ranking algorithm. You should work to generate quality “do follow” backlinks from high ranking Domain Authority (DA)and Page Authority (PA) niche/related websites. 

Reference: Google created a short video to explain how links work on the Internet. 

Link building is an incredibly important step in SEO. It should be done carefully, routinely and never forced. Always try to think like the search engine when you build links so your strategy has a natural structure to it.

Linking is an extremely important part of SEO and should be done by professionals. 

Image source: singlegrain.com

Manual Link Building- GOOD

For the vast majority of SEO accounts, link building is a manual exercise where quality/related content, such as guest posting, articles, press releases, etc. are submitted to niche websites in order to gain a quality backlink. This can be a time consuming and tedious process but the outcome can definitely be worth higher search results rankings. 

Natural Link Building- EXCELLENT

Have you ever heard the phrase “Content is King?” It is so true and great content will generate its own natural backlinks. Our owner, Rhett DeMille, likes to say “Content is King and Linking is the Queen.” Think about a deeply researched PDF, a great video, an informative blog post (hopefully like this!), or a well written web page that someone wants to link to as a reference. Within this post, you notice we have linked to a lot of related websites that lend credibility to what we are saying. And this interlinking of high quality web content represents the mountain top of link building.

  When link building is done with black hat techniques, your site can be penalized, removed from the search results and your domain name can even be blacklisted. 

Example: You have a new website and a “SEO know it all” suggests that you need to acquire more and rapidly created backlinks in order to have faster and higher rankings. So you hire this person and they purchase mass backlinks from untrusted and unrelated websites. These low DA sites can be over optimized, thereby creating toxic links to your website.  

To prevent this type of activity, Google has implemented many types of algorithms to include Penguin, which specifically targets websites with spammy content. 

Our Advice: Always do things white hat- the right way.

Step 9: Google My Business Optimization (Routine: Off-Page)

Google My Business (GMB) is an extremely important component of Local SEO
It is a free tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Google Search and Google Maps. GMB provides a unique platform for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) to display their storefront address and phone number in Google Maps results. And we highly recommend that all businesses add their details in Google My Business.

GMB is not really a Citation Listing- it is more than that
Think of a GMB as a business directory listing and social media profile. You may have read earlier that citation listings can positively affect GMB rankings, and this is true. However, the two are separate, yet can also support each other in your Local SEO strategy.

A GMB listing does not require a website
You don’t need a website to create a GMB listing, but a website is strongly recommended as it forms the foundation of an effective SEO strategy when considering both On-Page and Off-Page work. 

GMB data can be reviewed in Google Insights, but not in Google Analytics
GMB is Off-Page while GA is installed within your website.

GMB Insights provides performance data within your business listing. Basically, you can explore the keywords that peoples are searching for, # of searches, # of visits to your website, # of calls, etc.

Google My Business is the Internet’s ultimate version of a citation listing and social profile. Put a lot of effort into this and your Local SEO should benefit. Remember this: Nobody loves Google more than… Google (think indexing!).

Google My Business Insights shows customer actions within your GMB listing. 

Image source: Google My Business Insights

GMB Verification Process (a Gmail or G Suite account is required)
This is a basic process, and the first step is signing up for Google My Business, you basically do the following process:

Verification process

  • Go to Google.com/business
  • Set up a new Google Account
  • Enter your business name
  • Enter the address of the business location
  • Specify service areas (Service Area Businesses only)
  • Choose your business category
  • Add a contact phone number and website URL
  • Request Google My Business verification PIN postcard via mail
  • After receiving PIN, go to GMB profile and click Verify. 
  • Enter PIN, click Verify

GMB Optimization Techniques
After uploading important business details to your newly created GMB page, you should begin the following techniques:

Optimization techniques

  • Add photos and videos to your listing. Also, be sure to enable the “Locations” setting in your smartphone. Google can authenticate imagery this way.
  • Write and optimize a compelling business description
  • Use Google My Business Q&As to understand your audience
  • Create Google My Business Posts to showcase offers and promotions
  • Add service menus and product collections
  • Start requesting and managing Google Reviews
  • Maintain your Business Profile

Gaining positive customer reviews is essential for GMB optimization. Higher numbers of favorable comments increase your business’ reputation, branding and credibility. 

However, there will occasionally and most likely be some instances where an unfavorable review is made. Maybe a mistake was made or perhaps the customer woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day… the main thing to know is this is not a terrible thing and there are some best practice ways to address this:

  • Assess and evaluate the feedback internally first.
  • Publicly respond to the review.
  • Be transparent about mistakes.
  • Ask questions when details aren’t clear.
  • Empathize and offer solutions.
  • Sign your name.
  • Request an update for review.

Source: HubSpot

When the above steps are done, the situation is almost never made worse. But it does tend to get better. Many times, a potential customer will see how you responded to the negative review and this can end up becoming a positive outcome for your business. In other cases, the negative review may even be removed by the poster. Regardless of the outcome, follow these steps and you will win a lot more than lose! 

Step 10: Reporting (Routine: On/Off-Page)

The end step of your SEO process is reporting and this is where both the optimizer and customer should understand how the campaign is performing in the same terms. Reporting should contain a few main features:

Monthly Campaign Performance Report

Whether you use a PDF, software generated report or spreadsheet, they all should feature the basics like keyword rankings, website traffic, bounce rates, page stay times and other important metrics you can pull from Google Analytics, for example. At minimum, the report should feature a summary, technical information (mentioned above) and ROI Tracking.

Image source: Google Image

While all the above is great info, you should have a monthly call with the customer as well! During the call, go over the important aspects of the campaign and take notes. Personally, I like to record my calls for my technical team to hear later as it helps them better understand what they are responsible for. 

Elements of a Monthly Campaign Performance Report- What it should contain

Market Analysis- What We are Seeing

Talk about some high level points of interest in layman’s terms. Think of something noteworthy the client would really find interesting. Sprinkle in some math to back up what you are saying. For example, this is one of our clients who offers industrial cleaning services during the COVID 19 period:

“Disinfection type keywords have seen an exponential increase in searches over the last few months. From 5/7/20 until 7/20/20, “disinfection type services” searches have increased 9,328.57%.” As a result, we recommend to add at least (5) disinfection type keywords to your campaign.”

Performance- How Your Campaign is Progressing

This is where you show keyword rankings, website traffic, bounce rates, page stay times, website speed, etc… Basically all the technical stuff that people in our field get excited about. Notice I mentioned “our” instead of the customer. While data is important, it doesn’t mean much to most of your customers. What does this mean? Don’t make this the most important section of your report- try and think like your customer.  

Recommendations

This is self explanatory. As you have been working in the campaign, this is a section to recommend proactive things like a website content refresh, new plugins, a new web page describing how your customer produces something (such as a process style blog post like this). 

Adjustments

Talk about the good recent campaign tweaks you have done here. Perhaps you added a 20th Year Anniversary ribbon to the top of the website, meta element adjustment, or maybe you did extra work on a keyword and its now ranking on the 1st page of Google. You could have recently implemented an ROI tracking system in the SEO campaign (see below). 

ROI Tracking

This is advanced stuff if you are new to this. And this tends to be used for bigger clients with larger budgets.  

If you have a willing and capable customer, set up a basic return on investment (ROI) tracking system. While this can be a bit complicated to understand this is essentially where the campaign can be justified (or not) to the customer in terms of $$$. I will try and keep this very brief and note some basic points: 

Create a basic spreadsheet and use this simple example formula: 

ROI is calculated by dividing the net return (sales profit) on investment by the cost of investment (your SEO fee) and multiplying by 100%.

Example Calculation: Total net profit = $15,000 / $3000 *100 = 500%
Hypothetically, the above formula means the client received a +500% ROI from your SEO firm for this particular month. The $3000 is the cost of SEO. 

Note #1: ROI calculation needs to be done at the end of calendar month. 

Note #2:  You will need the customer’s total sales profit for that month (in $) in order to make the calculation. A “%” of sales profit will NOT work as all your formula inputs need to be in “$.” 

You can set up ROI tracking for E-commerce as well with some basic adjustments. Moving on…

Professional level reporting is like hitting the top of the striker bell at the fair. This is where both the client and vendor can see success. 

Reporting is the most important step of the SEO Process. Numbers don’t lie and when you are really good at what you do, it shows. Always strive to improve your reporting process and everything else you do in SEO will improve as a result! 

Final Thoughts on Reporting

You can imagine that if you are not good at your craft, this is where a lot of problems will be found. Think of a bad report card… If you are new to this industry, this can be one of the most scary aspects of SEO, because it requires everything you know to come together nicely- under the spotlight. 

If you are a newbie, our advice is to keep your report basic, to the point, and don’t get to wordy. Otherwise, you could be painting yourself into a corner. Over time, add sections of value to your report and your template will only improve for the next customer you gain.

On the flip side, if you are experienced at this, great reporting builds customer confidence and dramatically increases the chance of client retention, upselling your services and referral business. Basically, there is a high chance this client is going to spend more money with you on an ongoing basis. After all, your efforts are instrumental in helping to grow their business.

At any time during reporting… like the client reviewing the report… or the phone meeting… always remember what you are obligated to do by your contract with the proposal- and not what the client may ask for in real time.  

For example, if your proposal states to “gain a 1st page ranking for each keyword within Google, within so many months…,” that means any position on the first page will suffice. If the client says “I want to be ranked #1 for this keyword” and Wikipedia just so happens to be in the top position… and you acquiesce…. Guess what? You just earned a lifetime’s worth of uncompensated work ahead of you. While this is an extreme example, there very likely will be a time where you face a situation like this. In some industries and/or larger metro areas, it can be very difficult simply gaining a 1st page ranking for a keyword- let alone holding the position against heavy competition.  

A way to avoid this problem is to review the proposal with the client before you ever begin work on their account. In the event they need “additional work not specified” in their contract, kindly remind them what you are obligated to do- and you will be glad to give them a new upgraded proposal with specific language and higher fees. 

Summary

If you are a developer or casual reader, I hope you gained something of value from this article. While there are many ways to do SEO, this is the way we do it at PalmettoSoft, and we have been quite successful at it. When in doubt about a technique, you should always do your research to find the best White Hat method. And if you are still stumped, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to steer you in the right direction. 

Don’t forget that a website needs one complete content refreshment per year- at a minimum. Otherwise, your rankings can begin to stale. 

Finally, your best performing campaigns tend to be the ones where your customers take a personal interest in SEO for their business. After all, their input and thoughts can help provide critical guidance to long term success. 

Please comment or share your experiences below. Thanks.

Rhett

Author Bio

Rhett DeMille periodically writes subject matter expert blog posts on SEO and web design topics. And several of these posts are nationally ranked on the 1st page of Google. He is also the founder, owner and operator and PalmettoSoft, a 15 year old digital marketing company based in the southeastern US. Among his peers, he is known as a “process and methodology” guy and loves the field he works in.

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