There are 2 key things you need to know before you get started working on your SEO.
- Where am I starting from?
- What am I aiming for?
Like any journey, knowing where you are starting from and where you are heading to are key pieces of information. It’s no good trying to drive across the atlantic or walk to the moon!
Where are you?
There are a number of ways to check where you are starting from and some of my favourites are listed below:
Each of these will provide some insight into your starting position.
Google analytics can tell you what organic search phrases have successfully led people to find your site and also an indication of whether what they found there was interesting (bounce rate, time spent on site).
Alexa offers a comparative measure of the number of visitors your website receives and the search phrases for which your site is recognised. Consider that there are millions of web pages out there and don’t expect to be number 1 to start with unless you are Facebook!
Actually performing searches for the phrases you already know bring people to your site (from analytics/alexa) can help you understand what your prospective customers see when they find you, where you are positioned, which page they go to, what text they read and what the competition looks like. This can help you understand how difficult it is going to be to improve. e.g. if the first page of results are well know websites, social media, press or global brands you may be up against it!
Understanding how difficult your objectives are and whether you are using the right tools to get there are critical parts of your SEO process. For most people identifying your key phrases for SEO may seem a simple task but you need to ensure that you are thinking like your potential clients and not like a business owner/manager since that will give you the wrong perspective.
The questions you need to ask are:
- What do I actually offer?
- What problem does my product or service solve?
- What are the benefits of buying from me?
If you are not sure whether the phrases you have chosen are the ones most likely to be searched for and most relevant to your product try using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to find synonyms and the most commonly searched phrases similar to your expected top search words.
Well that’s your starting point, let me know how you get on and what you find out about your current position and where you want to get to. Good luck with the start of your SEO journey!