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Successful SEO guide

Our comprehensive guide to Search Engine Optimisation best practices isn't just for SEOs, the clear explanations mean that it can be used by marketers to ask the right questions to boost their SEO

How can this guide help me and my business?

This guide is one of our most popular and rightly so. If you get it right, SEO can be a fantastic, relatively low-cost way to drive quality visitors who want to do business with you to your site. Even with all the hype about social media, many businesses and blogs can deliver well over half their traffic and conversions from SEO through their SEO and content marketing mastery or the strength of their brand.

As marketers we need to keep reminding ourselves how incredibly important search is so invest in the right resources, techniques and processes to compete. If we don’t, then there will always be more SEO-savvy competitors who are investing to ensure they deliver the best results from the search engines.

Who is the guide for?

Our comprehensive guide gives you all the latest details you need to review the SEO for your business or your clients. But not too much detail... It's designed to be quick to scan with highlighted definitions, SEO strategy recommendations and practical tips.

It's aimed at:

  • Marketing, Ecommerce and Digital marketing managers who need to understand and improve SEO to help review the key issues to discuss with their in-house team, agencies or consultants, i.e. it will help marketers ask the "Smart questions" to improve SEO results.
  • Agencies and consultants who use it to review against their process and techniques and to make sure they are aware of the last Google changes and techniques.
  • Smaller businesses who use our guide as a "do-it-yourself" guide to boost their business with SEO without the need to invest so much in SEO consultants or agencies.

How is the SEO guide structured?

To help get or keep your SEO on-track, this guide provides:

  • A workbook format with all the questions you need to ask to help get better results in Google
  • The latest on avoiding or escaping the major Google algorithm webspam updates including Panda, Penguin, Pigeon and Hummingbird
  • Ensuring you rank for smartphone searches following Google’s April 2015 ‘Mobile-friendly’ algorithm update
  • Clear explanations of the jargon for non-specialists plus highlighted key recommendations and best practice tips to action
  • Checklists of success factors to review internally or with your agency
  • Tutorials on how to use Google Analytics to improve results
  • Many examples of what works and what to avoid
  • Recommended tools to help improve your SEO

The 7 steps covered are:

  • Step 1 Do an audit, plan and set your goals
  • Step 2 Make sure the engines can find your content
  • Step 3 Get your on-page optimisation right
  • Step 4 Create awesome content for SEO!
  • Step 5 Get more quality links using content marketing
  • Step 6 Refine your internal linking
  • Step 7 Improve SEO through Analytics

Resource Details

About the authors of our 7 Steps to SEO guide

Dr Dave Chaffey is the editor of all Smart Insights resources. He has advised on SEO since he created his first site in 1997 when Altavista was the leading search engine and he switched to Google in ‘99. Ten years ago he ran the first SEO training courses for the Chartered Institute of Marketing and for several years was the tutor on the Econsultancy Advanced SEO course and also created the original Econsultancy Best Practice guide to SEO. Today his main SEO focus is improving organic search results for Smart Insights and our resources for subscribers.

David Reilly David Reilly is a Digital Skills Training and Digital Project Manager and writer. His passion is exploring future technology trends, delivering training workshops and writing about topics such as digital acquisition, content marketing, B2B marketing, strategy and what it means to thrive in the digital world. David runs the ‘Future Thinking in Digital Marketing Meetup Group’ exploring the likely impact of future technology disruptions.

David edited the 2015 update of this guide.

Vince Coyle is currently a freelance Search Marketing Consultant. Vince has fifteen years experience in online marketing, including ten years in search marketing. Vince has gained expertise in a range of areas including, technical SEO, launching and managing multi-market enterprise-level ecommerce websites, ideation and delivery of creative content strategies & paid/organic holistic testing. Vince’s experience spans both client and agency side, in organizations such as Euroffice, Universal McCann (Reprise Media), Apple & TripAdvisor. With a strong digital media background, Vince’s knowledge and interest includes SEO, PPC, affiliates, social media and comparison shopping.

Vince edited the 2015 update of this guide.

James Gurd is an Ecommerce consultant and owner of Digital Juggler, an E-commerce and Digital Marketing consultancy helping retailers develop, execute and evolve E-commerce strategies and optimise their digital channel. With a background as a Head of E-commerce and also agency side as Head of Client Development, he has experienced life on both sides of the fence. He has helped companies like A&N Media, Sweaty Betty and Smythson to manage RFP/ITT proposals. He co-hosts #ecomchat, a weekly Twitter chat for e-commerce knowledge sharing.

James edited the 2013 and 2014 editions of this guide.

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