Its true that every organisation is different and has different needs, nevertheless there is a basic set of tasks I perform for every company I work with as an SEO consultant and these don’t vary much.
1) Determine which keywords/phrases people would type into google and then be most likely to buy your product if they found you. This list is partly suggested by you, the client and partly through research by me.
2) Narrow this list to those that are actually being searched for regularly on google (no point being ranked for something that no-one’s actually searching for right!)
3) Determine if the competition for any of these keywords is something we can compete with within our budget (no use targetting keywords that we are never going to rank highly for, that would be a waste of time/money!)
4) For the keywords we can compete with the competition on, determine what the opportunities are for us to generate content. ie
– do you have listings that are user submitted on your site – could we leverage these for SEO/index them to imporove our ranking etc
– do you have documents/content that we could convert to html and put on your site already?
– what kind of regular content could you naturally create and share as part of your daily business activities?
My criteria here for whether to put content on the site is that overwhelmingly the content should be *useful* to your clients – and not just there for SEO purposes. Otherwise your site is full of useless clutter from the point of view of the visitor.
5) What are the potential possibilities for getting backlinks to your site? ie
– existing business partners
– client reviews
– business directories/listings
For the most part link building is 95% a regular business activitiy that you should be doing regardkess of SEO, However, there are occassions where links can be had that are of more benefit to SEO than they are to the rest of your business. I tend to take a ‘whatever works as long as its legal’ approach. If google is ranking sites higher because of a tactic then unless I think that tactic is going to get you in trouble I’m going to be pragmatic about itand reccomend it.
6) What technical changes can we make to your site to optimize how it looks from google’s point of view and therefore bring in more visitors?
7) Let’s get your analytics set up right so we can fine tune the results!