Google SEO Methodology - A Step by Step Guide

We have developed a simple search engine optimization methodology that you can use to optimize a page on your site for a single keyword phrase in Google. We have broken it up into 3 distinct phases: on-page SEO, internal off-page SEO, and then external off-page SEO. You can also download this step-by-step SEO guide as a PDF.

Before you can begin the SEO process for a keyword, you must first select the landing page you hope will rank for the phrase. In most instances, the best landing page to select for Google can be found with the following query: site:example.com keyword phrase. This will show you what page from your site Google considers to be the most relevant for the keyword. If you decide to create a brand new page for the targeted phrase, then you should utilize the keyword in the filename. Once you have selected the landing page you can then begin the following search engine optimization process.

Phase 1 – Optimize your Landing Page (On-Page SEO)

  1. Use keyword phrase in the Title tag. Phrase should end within first 70 characters.
  2. Use keyword phrase in Meta Description. Phrase should end within first 156 characters.
  3. Use keyword phrase in <h1> tag if there is one.
  4. The keyword phrase should be used in the page's text-based body content at least twice. On pages more than 500 words in length, make sure that keyword density is at least 1.5% (but no more than 6 or 7%). Keyword usage should be evenly distributed throughout the page.

Phase 2 – Internal Off-Page SEO

  1. Identify additional pages on your site that can also be optimized for targeted keyword phrase.
  2. Once the support page(s) has been identified, maximize the link relevance passed on to the landing page by: a) using the keyword phrase in page Title and Meta Description, b) using the keyword phrase in non-hyperlinked body content, and c) hyperlinking one instance of the keyword phrase to the intended landing page.
  3. Maximize the number of optimal internal links to your landing page. Vary the anchor text going to your landing page by using slight variations of the keyword phrase (e.g. singular/plural, synonyms, long-tail variations, etc.)
  4. This phase can be extended by creating more pages support the landing page. But unless you have significantly fewer pages than your competition, then you would probably be better served to move on to Phase 3.

Phase 3 – External Off-Page SEO (Link Building)

After you have optimized as many of your pages as possible and linked them to your landing page, you should then move on to external link building. There is no simple step-by-step process for this phase. You will have to determine how to make your content more linkable so that you can develop links naturally. You should also research your competition to find the most relevant links to your landing page. Keep the following guidelines in mind as you try to build external links for Google search engine optimization:

  • Always seek quality instead of quantity. Focus on finding pages that are relevant for your targeted keyword.
  • The optimal link from a 3rd party site is the same as an optimal link from one of your own pages. The targeted keyword phrase will ideally be in the Title and Meta Description, body content and the linking anchor text.
  • Avoid site-wide (i.e. global, run-of-site) links in all circumstances. This is an especially important guideline if the site is not keyword-relevant. Your landing page will more than likely get filtered for the targeted keyword unless you have high quality links to legitimize the relevancy.
  • Brainstorm link bait or link magnet ideas so that inbound links will hopefully develop naturally.
  • Unfortunately, the most relevant links are only attainable by providing an incentive to the site owners. Advertising relationships, partnerships and bartering possibilities should be explored to obtain the most valuable links.
  • Do not pay for a link from a non-relevant site unless it has significant traffic potential.

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