On Site SEO First, Links Second

Written by Nick Stamoulis

An SEO campaign can be separated into two parts, on-site and link building. On-site optimization involves making changes to your website to be found by the search engines and link building is an ongoing campaign to increase a website and company brand visibility in the search engines and online in general. People without proper SEO knowledge think that it’s all one in the same and should all begin together. That is the wrong approach. On-site optimization is phase one and should be done first. A link building campaign is phase two and shouldn’t begin until after a site has been properly developed and optimized.

The first step of on-site optimization is to ensure that you have a site worth optimizing. Gaining traffic from the search engines is great, but the ultimate goal of a website should be to get the visitor to convert. In order to do so, the website should be clean and the navigation should be user friendly. Call to actions should be clearly identifiable and contact information should be easy to find. The content on a website can make or break you. It will either keep visitors engaged or make them decide to click over to another site to find what they are looking for. Content should be written for visitors first and search engines second.

Once you are certain that your website is of good quality, you can begin the on-site SEO. The on-site SEO process involves implementing targeted keywords that have been researched onto every individual page of the website. Every page of a website offers something different, so it’s important that the keyword choices reflect this. Keywords should be incorporated into the meta tags, URL structure, links, and content on the page.

After the on-site optimization has been completed it’s time to start link building. Links enhance the on-site factors and help drive traffic to a well optimized website. Relevant inbound links help to build a website as an “authority” in its industry and build trust amongst the search engines. Link building activities include article marketing and document sharing, directory submission, social networking, press release distribution, blogging and blog commenting, video marketing, and profile creation. Links will also build naturally over time as your website gains more traffic and visitors.

Link building is important, so why can’t you start link building from the get-go, you may ask. Well, you can. But the links won’t be worth much if they point to a poorly designed or optimized site. If you are going to spend valuable time link building it should be worth it, right?

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