Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as people know it is once again evolving from the traditional sense of this digital marketing process, into a holistic or more integrated approach to Internet marketing. In the strictest sense, Holistic SEO is not just about optimizing your websites for on-page SEO but it means optimizing everything that will play an integral part of search universe – keyword research, social media, content marketing, link building, on-page optimization, website analysis and your whole Internet business strategy.
This holistic approach is geared towards preparing your online presence to present and future changes in search patterns and behavior. Current changes in search engine algorithms are pointing towards a more semantic approach to search, putting the importance back to relevant content and how that content interacts with targeted audiences from a social perspective. It has gone beyond merely building up links or generating huge amounts of traffic – into a process that will eventually optimize your site for higher relevance and usability to targeted audiences.
What this means is that holistic SEO will strive towards driving not only high traffic volumes or even Click through Rates but precisely matching your targeted audiences’ intent with your site content. From a business perspective, matches at this level will have a direct impact on the bottom line for it is this kind of perfect matching that will bring in the money from generated sales. So, begin your Holistic SEO Campaign now and go straight for success using this comprehensive checklist from Digital Marketing Philippines.
1. Check Your Passion for Your Brand
But before you move any more steps further, there is one vital check item that many business owners and digital marketers fail to put into utmost consideration – their passion for their brand. When it comes to SEO, most jump right in and begin focusing on keywords and ranking without first making an assessment of how passionate they are with their business and how clear their business and digital marketing goals and objectives are. Start with these and you’ll be in the right path.
2. Check If You Have a Responsive Web Design
Your website design and structure is a critical element not only in the advent of the semantic web but also in how people are accessing the Internet – particularly those using mobile devices. As can be seen from the chart published by comScore below, more and more consumers are accessing the Internet on multiple devices with different types of screens, particularly PCs, smartphones and tablets. That is why it is important to take into consideration a responsive web design if you haven’t yet.
The whole sense of holistic SEO is to provide your targeted audiences with a unique user experience each time they visit your site, and this includes providing them with optimum website visibility no matter what type of device they are using to access the Internet and view your site. Without a responsive web design, you will lose out big time from all the targeted traffic you can generate from mobile Internet users.
3. Check the Extent of Your Keyword Messaging
Although placed away from the limelight in semantic search, keyword research/analysis is still an important factor in holistic SEO. The insights you can gain will enable you to formulate the type of keyword messaging you need to embed with your content. The key area that you need to check however as part of your holistic SEO campaign checklist is to confirm if all aspects of your business understands your keyword insights and makes use of them for keyword messaging.
Keyword messaging is used not only for SEO, but in every aspect of your business that releases some form of content or another: from internal communications like newsletters and announcements, to external communications like product descriptions and press releases – anything that can be crawled by search spiders or viewed by targeted audiences. Each should be embedded with appropriate keyword messaging according to their type of content.
4. Check How Your Team Creates Content
Up to 93% of B2B marketers are already making use of content marketing extensively but only 44% have a clear, well-planned and documented content strategy. If you want long-term success for your holistic SEO campaign, then it is imperative that you develop a strong and effective content marketing strategy that involves all aspects of your business.
If you have a content strategy in place, you can now effectively monitor how your team creates content, making sure that they now abandon the old ways of producing content by concentrating on how they can integrate a set of keywords to what they are making – and just simply focus on creating great content.
5. Check How Each of Your Pages are Created
The way your pages are designed and created is an important checkpoint for holistic SEO. You should now evolve from the old ways of creating pages and designing them specifically to rank on particular search terms, into focusing on how you can provide a superb user experience for your page visitor.
Pages that are focused too much on SEO and ranking will make you lose out on effective user engagement and eventually conversions. If you provide very little focus on keyword optimization and messaging, you will eventually lose out on search traffic volume – so there needs to be an effective balance between the two.
6. Check the Relevance of Each Page to Your Targeted Market
Aside from how well you created your web pages according to keyword optimization and user experience, you should also check how relevant each of your web page and page content are to your targeted audiences. You might fancy adding a particular page on your site because it will look good visually, but may not be relevant to your targeted audiences. If this is the case, then you would be better off de-focusing your efforts on creating such pages and focus only on page and content that matters – to your targeted audiences. It’s all about them, not you.
7. Check How Your Link Building Strategy Builds Your Brand
Like keyword research, link building has been taken out of the limelight but it doesn’t mean that link building is not any more important. It still does but from a different perspective. Link building in the whole new context of holistic SEO is not about getting as much links to your site as possible (without consideration for the source) but in getting organic and natural links from relevant sources that will help build your brand. Key elements in link building that you need to focus on include:
- Anchor Text
The Old way of doing SEO is to create as many exact match anchor texts as possible. But that method was killed by the Penguin. So be careful when doing anchor text links, best practice in the market today is to use your brand’s name as an anchor text.
- Source Websites
The source websites where your incoming links are coming from should be diversified and not focused on a single, particular type. Try to get links from forums, blogs, social media and other channels that you can link up with – just make sure they are coming from a source website that is relevant to your content.
- Linked Pages and Content
When link building, it is not necessarily advantageous to anchor your links on a single page or a single content just like your home page. While Home should still receive the bulk of your incoming links, other links should be evenly spread and linked out to other pages, particularly pages where your content marketing materials are deeply embedded.
- Inner Linked Content
Many digital marketers make the mistake of linking all their content to the homepage (even though there is a Home button present). Internal links are necessary in holistic SEO but it is imperative that each link is connected to a relevant content within your pages.
- Build-Up Time
Do not jumble or dump all your link building activities at a single timeframe. Link building should be a natural occurrence, particularly from a holistic SEO context, so should be built up over a natural span of time.
8. Check Your Available Channels of Content Distribution
The next important item to check out is if you have the right amount and type of content distribution channel where your content shall be disseminated. A good rule of thumb of how many channels you should be using would be the average number of channels or tactics that effective B2B content makers are using for their overall SEO campaign – which is now currently set to 13. The following are some of the available content channels that you can use based on a research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute.
9. Check If Your Content is Verified for Identity and
Your content identity and authorship will be a very important factor for ranking in the semantic web, that is why it is important that you focus on you mark your content for authorship. In its most basic sense, content that is verified for authorship will have better performance in search results.
You can set up your website and content authorship by making use of verified mail (it should be using the same domain as your website and content) to prove that you are an author of the site and content. You can also claim authorship by integrating a special kind of link to the HTML of your pages and site.
10.Check Your Data Measurement and Analysis Methods
Lastly, you should check if you have integrated proper data measurement and analysis systems into your campaign. There are third party applications that you can use in this regard but it would be very practical to start with Google Analytics in this regard – which you can set up for either eCommerce Tracking (if you have an online store) or Goal Tracking (if your intent is to make targeted audiences perform a specific set of actions like conversion.
Recent changes and trends in the search arena should make business owners and digital marketers moving away from traditional SEO into a Search Engine Optimization process that is holistic, integrated and effective from a semantic search perspective. Make this move now if you want to remain competitive – just don’t forget to bring this checklist with you as brought to you by Digital Marketing Philippines.
Jomer B. Gregorio is a well-rounded expert when it comes digital marketing. Jomer is also known as a semantic SEO evangelist and practitioner. Check out our Digital Marketing Services today and let us help you in achieving positive and profitable results for your business.