There are many components of an SEO campaign.  If you are just getting started it may seem overwhelming to hear about all of the different elements that are involved in executing a good SEO campaign.  That’s why it’s best to view SEO as a step by step process in order to ensure that things are being done correctly.  Rushing through the SEO process or jumping from one activity to the next without completing the prior step can result in a disjointed and unorganized campaign.

Once all industry and competitor analysis has been completed, search engine optimization involves two phases.  The first phase is on site SEO.  This phase includes keyword research, content optimization, and a high level analysis of how the website is viewed by the search engine spiders.  On site SEO lays the foundation for the entire SEO campaign but is really just the beginning of what’s needed in order to find SEO success.

Because the on site SEO process can take time (typically at least two months depending on the size and scope of the website) it can be frustrating to a website owner to think that it really isn’t going to result in any kind of quick improvement in rankings once the work has been completed.  Checking analytics everyday is only going to make the website owner even crazier.  If only small improvements, or even no noticeable improvements, are made in the first few months that doesn’t mean that the campaign is a failure.  Some website owners make the mistake of thinking that the changes “aren’t working” and that they need to further optimize the site by adding in additional keywords, anchor text links, etc.  This approach will always backfire as sites that “over-optimize” are getting penalties.  Once you’ve taken a white-hat approach to on site SEO it’s important to just let the website sit and focus on the second phase of SEO, which is link building.

While the best SEO link building process has changed many times though the years as the search engines have gotten more strict with the ranking algorithms, link building still remains an important component of SEO.  The best link building strategy today includes a strong content marketing component.  Sharing content such as guest blog posts, articles, press releases, infographics, etc. is what is going to provide you with the best opportunities to use keywords and incorporate them as anchor text links back to your website.  Content is what will be shared in social media, improving social signals and generating traffic to your site.  Traditional link building methods like submission to niche directories, blog commenting, and local profile creation are also an important part of the mix.  As inbound links to your website grow over time, it will improve the search engine trust factor and search engine ranking presence of your website content.

Essentially, both on site SEO and link building are necessary components of a well rounded SEO campaign.  Inbound links are useless if they don’t point to a properly optimized site that is user friendly and a good site that is properly optimized is useless if it doesn’t have any links or trust.