I am now on to week 2 of Search Engine Optimization An Hour a Day. During the second week, the book discusses establishing a baseline. As a marketing professional, my favorite part of marketing is measuring the success of a campaign, but of course success can't be established without a baseline. Below are tips I learned in this section of the book, along with some of my own best practices.
Get Started With a Template:
- Take your list of keywords that you established for your association website in week 1. Remember that these will most likely be phrases. In our case, we'd want to track a phrase like "membership management software" rather than just "software".
- Make sure you are logged out of Google and run a search for each of your keyword phrases. This is because Google will remember that I recently searched for "membership management software" and clicked on WebLink's website, therefore ranking the site higher than it would for someone else.
- Write down your rank for each keyword (the book recommends searching up to the top 30 rankings, but I often go up to 50 for sites that are new or have not gone through much optimization).
- I recommend using a simple Excel spreadsheet to list your keywords and track their ranking on a monthly basis.
- Because SEO takes time, tracking on a monthly basis is ideal for seeing results.
- Set quarterly, attainable goals.
Here is a sample template that an association may use as a keyword baseline report:
Tools to You Should Use:
- <site:yourdomain.com> Type this into Google, using your association website url in place of yourdomain.com. This will show you how many of your website's pages are indexed, you can check for old or broken links, and make sure your top-priority pages are being indexed. Google can't find your page if it's not being indexed.
- <link:http://www.yourdomain.com/yourpage.html> Again, use your association website url and type this into Google to get an idea of how many inbound links you have for a specific page. The more quality inbound links you have, the better chance you have of ranking well in Google.
- http://www.opensiteexplorer.org Utilize the free version of this tool to learn valuable information about your inbound links.
* Be sure to track how many pages you have indexed, as well as your inbound links so that you have a baseline.
Do you have any words of wisdom for establishing and creating a baseline assessment for an Association SEO campaign? Let us know!
Next week: The Competition