Let's start with the basics...
What is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization. It means that any content you want found on the Internet (aka your website) is optimized for Google to find and place in the top SERPs. What does SERP mean? Search engine results pages. SERPs are what Google (or Yahoo or Bing) turns up when a user searches for a keyword or a keyword phrase.
Side note: 70% of searches are long tail keyword phrases. -Moz
If you sell goods or services on the Internet, you are going to want to have your goods or services turn up on the first SERP for relevant searches. (Aka "page 1") In fact, you're probably going to want to turn up in the top 3 listings. The first three listings on Google get 61.5% of the clicks.
How do you get there?
It's certainly not an easy feat- that being said, don't try to cut corners by hiring someone who tells you they can get you to page one in a few weeks. The BEST WAY to approach SEO is to create meaningful content that YOUR target audience will find beneficial in one way or another. However, there are a lot of other factors that you can focus on to fine-tune your content and help improve your SEO.
Certain factors that hold more weight than others when it comes to where your page ends up in Google's SERPs. Here's a breakdown:
So... what does this all mean?
This means that a comprehensive SEO strategy that doesn't cut corners has a lot more to it than just a keyword strategy or a lot of bells and whistles. Some of the language in the infographic is a bit technical. So to break it down, focus on the three following things:
1. Create good content.
All of those light blue metrics above that hold the most weight? Yeah that more or less has to do with other people linking to your content. You have to have good content to link to, so that's the number one place you're going to want to start. Create good content that will help other people. The better the content, the more people will link to it, the more trusted your content appears.
2. Create a linking strategy.
Now, if you've heard this or the term "back linking" in a negative context when it comes to SEO, that's probably because people used to try to trick Google with fake back linking. A linking strategy can be legitimate, and like most legitimate things, it takes hard work.
The best way to get links is to get your content out there! People can't link to what they don't know exists, right?
Share your content with people you think will find it useful. Find these people by searching what you are writing about. Share it with the people who are writing about the same things. Find people on Twitter having conversations about the topic. Find people in LinkedIn groups. People are everywhere. Get creative on how you find them.
In addition to proactive outreach about content you've already written, you can also work with your customers, partners, vendors, etc. on creating cross promotional content. Write a guest blog post for them that links back to your site and your content.
3. Get social.
Over the past year or two, social media sharing has played a much more significant role in SEO. You need to get your content shared on social. Make sure that your content is easily sharable from your blog.
In addition to sharing your content on social media yourself, encourage others to. Make it so that there are good quotes or tweetable facts in one of your posts. Ask them to share the content to get their target audience's input. Write controversial articles that take a stand that people will want to talk about. Again, get creative on how you get your content out there and being discussed.
There are so many things that go into social media that are legitimate so hiring an SEO consultant is a good idea- just make sure they know what they are doing and don't have a lot of tricks up their sleeve.
Putting processes around the above three areas will help you stay focused on what matters and create an effective SEO strategy.