| <!-- -->Sam Waymire

Sam Waymire

Your very own SEO master plan

If you're reading this, I bet you already know that search engine optimization (SEO) is foundational to any digital marketing strategy. It's how you ensure users can find your site whenever they search for a relevant product or service. It's how you get to the first page of Google and expose your business to new customers. Good SEO will set you up with a steady stream of leads that—unlike digital ads—you don't have to pay to keep flowing. When done right, SEO offers a greater bang-for-your-buck than any other marketing technique. It takes time to pay off, but the results are worth it.

You probably agree that SEO is essential, but you may not know how to execute it. And who can blame you? The SEO world is expansive, full of different yet related techniques that overlap and intertwine in unexpected ways. Many sites face a diverse range of SEO issues, and it can be hard to know where to start. Even worse, SEO is one field where mistakes can be expensive. Because of how search engine indexing works, months will often pass before finding out if an SEO tweak has had the desired effect. On that timeline, you can't afford to invest in changes that won't yield significant improvements.

With so many options before you, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Wouldn't it be great to have your own personal SEO "master plan?" A custom roadmap for the SEO changes that will most impact your rankings? A step-by-step guide that spells out everything you need to do to make Google fall in love with your site?

This is what I strive to deliver with every SEO audit I conduct.

What does an SEO audit entail?

Each audit begins with a thorough technical review of your website. I’ll evaluate your site's structure to ensure that search engine crawlers can easily find their way around. Then I’ll test your site's performance across devices, looking for slow-loading elements that could harm your rank. I'll also review your sitemap and robots.txt files to check that the right pages get crawled at the right times.

From here, I move on to your site's on-page SEO, which is concerned with content. First, I’ll research to find the most heavily trafficked keywords in your niche. Then I’ll scour your site's every header, meta tag, and content block for opportunities to improve keyword density. I’ll also identify high-opportunity keywords that your site isn't currently targeting. These can help inspire new content ideas that are relevant to searchers.

Next up is an off-page SEO evaluation, which covers how other sites engage with your content. I’ll measure how many external sites link to yours and benchmark this figure against competitors that currently outrank you. This gives you an idea of how many links you may need to generate to rank well for specific keywords. I’ll also identify external sites that link to your competitors but not to you. Often, it can be easy to earn a link from these sites yourself.

If you’re a local business, I’ll review the factors that impact your rank in places like Google Maps or the Google Local Pack. I’ll check the configuration of your online listings, review your directory citations for completeness, and evaluate how your online reviews compare to those of your competitors.

The best part

Lots of marketers like to offer free SEO audits to get a foot in the door with potential clients. They’ll do a quick review of your site, then share the results during a “strategy session” that somehow turns into a sales call about halfway through. In these cases, you’ll notice that the marketer tends to keep the audit details close to their chest. They'll share just enough for you to recognize that there are improvements to be made, but not enough for you to make the necessary changes yourself. Audits like these seldom include a written report or concrete deliverable of any kind. The marketer is holding all the cards, and the only option you’re left with is to hire them to do the work.

That’s not my style. My audit costs money, but it's yours to keep and yours to act on however you see fit. I synthesize my findings into a digestible report with clear steps on how to proceed. Each recommendation is ranked based on the degree to which I expect it to improve your rankings.

If you're interested in learning how your site works under the hood, you should be able to make the recommended changes yourself. If you’d rather have a professional execute the plan for you, you can hire me or anybody else to do so. I aim to empower you to make the best possible SEO decision for your business.

If you’d like me to conduct an SEO audit for your site, contact me anytime.