I recently hired someone to work with me on the SEO initiatives for my SEO clients and went through around 60 odd profiles and then spoke to some 20 odd candidates.
I regularly speak to Digital Marketing aspirants and this time I was interviewing for a pure SEO profile and so I decided to jot down some interview questions for them and one of the questions was “What is the first step of SEO?”
My typical question to them was that “We have to make a new website from scratch and what would be your first step of SEO for that website?
Quite a few of them said “On page analysis to see the keyword density”.
I was not happy as I didn’t understand when the website was not started so how can someone do an on page analysis as the first step of SEO.
I wanted to hear something like:
- I would try to understand the product/service.
- I would try to understand the target audience.
- I would ask myself if I were to search this particular product/service, what I would type in Google.
- I would do some keyword research to begin with and then I would do a manual search with the top/primary/generic keywords and then see the top websites ranking on those keywords
A few of them were boasting about themselves and repeatedly used the word “As an expert they did XYZ” but I am not sure how a lot of so called experts make their SEO plan and what are the steps do they include and follow for a given SEO project?
Now here is what I think should be the first step of SEO:
- I would first understand the product/service.
- Come up with a few keywords on my own: As the initial steps of SEO, one should think about the possible keywords that people would be putting in Google and other search engines to find out information. I would say that if you know the keywords that your target would be searching with, your goal will be visible to you.
- Do a thorough keyword research: Now when you know the tentative keywords, use a few keyword research tools like Google Adwords Keywords Tool, Wordtracker etc to find related keywords and see some other parameters like monthly search count, competition, avg CPC etc.
- Do a manual search with those keywords
- Analyze the websites appearing in top 10
- Take out your findings
AND NOW, the On-page SEO and off-page SEO comes into picture.
Until and unless you understand the product or service, you know the target audience and what exactly would the target audience search with, what steps can anyone take for any SEO project, isn’t it?