Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical digital marketing tool. If you want to get eyeballs on your content and increase site traffic, you need to run a strategic SEO campaign calibrated to your goals.
Maybe you know how to incorporate keywords into your copy or the value of link building, which is great. But are you able to combine the different components of SEO into a result-driving marketing channel?
In this post, I’m going to give you an inside look into strategizing and building your very own data-backed SEO campaign that you can modify and improve to drive continuous results.
But first, let’s establish the definition of an SEO campaign and explain what goes into a successful one.
What Is an SEO Campaign?
An SEO campaign is an organized effort to improve the organic search engine rankings of a website through on-site and off-site optimization. It can include keyword research, link building, technical SEO audits, content creation, and other search engine optimization tactics.
What’s the Difference Between an SEO Campaign & an SEO Strategy?
An SEO campaign is a short-term, focused effort that typically has a specific goal, such as increasing rankings for a certain set of keywords or URL, and a defined budget and timeline for achieving those goals.
An SEO strategy, on the other hand, is a long-term plan for improving a website’s search visibility. It encompasses all of the tactics and efforts used to improve a website’s search engine rankings over time. An SEO strategy takes into account the overall business goals and objectives, target audience, and competitive landscape. It’s a comprehensive plan that outlines the steps that need to be taken to achieve the goals and objectives.
What Are the Key Parts of a Successful SEO Campaign?
There are five main components to running an effective SEO campaign:
1. Goal Setting & Benchmarking
Before creating a campaign, you first need to establish an SEO goal (or goals) and take note of your current SEO standings. This will help you decide which SEO tactics you should include in your campaign and how to monitor your success.
2. Keyword Research
Keyword research is foundational to SEO and will almost always be a part of an SEO campaign. Understanding the words and phrases people use to find your services or products is critical for improving optimization and increasing traffic.
3. Content Creation
To capitalize on your keyword research, you’ll need compelling content on landing pages and blog posts. Users turn to Google for help solving a problem, whether it’s finding a nearby restaurant, comparing washer and dryer models, or researching the best dog toys. Your content should help you connect with your target audience by providing them with the information they need and a positive experience.
4. On-Page & Technical SEO Tactics
On-page SEO is the practice of improving the technical performance of your website and optimizing your pages around your keyword research.
Using different SEO audits, you can identify issues that may be affecting your SEO performance, like slow page times, missing metadata, duplicate or thin content, redirect loops, broken links, and more. Audit results should be analyzed and used to plan which opportunities will be tackled and in what order.
Running audits regularly will keep you apprised of technical issues and help you allocate or reallocate resources for maximum impact.
Note: Some agencies like to separate on-page SEO and technical SEO into two distinct categories. However, since all technical SEO fixes happen on your website, we consider it a part of on-page SEO.
5. Off-Page SEO Tactics
Off-page SEO refers to optimization practices that happen off site. This includes link building, Google Business Profile optimization, directory and citation listings, and social signals. Your goal will help you decide which aspects of off-page SEO you need to focus on, though most websites will benefit from link building.
How To Build a New SEO Campaign
Now that we have a broad overview of the components of an SEO campaign, let’s dive into the process of creating and running an effective SEO campaign.
1. Benchmark KPIs & Set Goals for Campaign
Benchmarking key performance indicators (KPIs) and setting goals at the beginning of an SEO campaign provides a clear starting point for measuring progress and determining the success of your efforts. By establishing baseline metrics for organic traffic, keyword rankings, conversion rates, and other critical metrics, you can track changes over time and make data-driven decisions about how to improve or scale your campaign. Setting specific, measurable SEO goals helps to focus the campaign and ensure all efforts are aligned with business objectives.
2. Run Keyword Research
Keywords are the building blocks of every SEO Campaign. These are the words and phrases potential customers use to find your website. To make sure you’re showing up in the searches that matter, you need to identify valuable industry keywords and then optimize existing content around them or create new content for them.
- Identify valuable keywords, their associated search intent, and a preferred content type.
- Create keyword themes around your primary target keywords to increase your chances of ranking for semantically-related terms.
- Determine if pre-existing content ranks for identified keywords. If so, see how the content can be further optimized to include an entire keyword theme.
- Create a keyword strategy for keywords without associated content and partner with your content team on a plan to create optimized pages or blog posts based on your research. Prioritize keywords that have a low keyword difficulty (i.e., less competitive) but a high search volume, if possible.
- How To Do Keyword Research
- Keyword Strategy: How To Make the Most of Your Keyword Research
- Unlocking the Power of Keyword Mapping: A Guide To Optimizing Your Content
- Long-Tail Keywords & Why They Matter
- Everything You Need To Know About Search Intent Optimization
- Using High Intent Keywords To Drive Buyers to Your Site
- How To Find High Converting Keywords (And Create Content That Drives Traffic)
- How To Find Question Keywords that Drive High-Quality Traffic
- Keyword Research Tools to Kickstart SEO
- How To Build Keyword Groups for a More Robust SEO Strategy
Once you have your keywords and an idea of where they are (and aren’t) on your page, you’ll want to see what barriers are impacting your SEO performance. To do this, I recommend a comprehensive SEO audit.
3. Complete a Comprehensive SEO Audit
When first starting a campaign, you want to get as much insight into what’s happening so you can devise a plan to address problems and maximize success. If you haven’t completed an audit as part of your larger SEO strategy, you’ll want to do so now.
A comprehensive SEO audit is the magnifying glass that lets you inspect various aspects of your website and SEO performance so you can find, diagnose, and treat issues.
A comprehensive SEO audit should look at:
- Technical SEO factors such as whether search engines are indexing your website, how it’s set up, how well it’s performing on Core Web Vitals, whether you have an XML sitemap, and more.
- On-page SEO factors such as optimization of images, content, and metadata.
- Off-page SEO factors such as backlink parity, backlink quality, backlink velocity, and Google Business Profile optimization.
To get a good idea of the different factors to take into account, check out our SEO checklist and our SEO audit posts.
Once you’ve completed your comprehensive SEO audit, it’s time to take a fine-toothed comb to the results to pick out:
- Critical items that must be addressed immediately
- Low-effort items that can lead to quick improvements
- All other items that need to be addressed
- Items that are fine but that should be reassessed at a later date
Ok, you’ve identified your starting point, created goals that align with your business objectives, and gathered all of the information necessary to create an action plan. Now it’s time to map out the next steps for your campaign.
You’ll want to determine who on your team will own each issue, the actions they need to take, and the timeline for action. Depending on who will be working on what, some of the actions can occur simultaneously. So, while the next three steps are presented in a particular order, they can actually happen concurrently.
For example, while your web devs work on improving page speeds, eradicating unnecessary redirects, and implementing robots meta tags, your content team can update existing content so it aligns with the appropriate search intent or create new content for keywords identified during your keyword research. You can also work with a link-building service to create or improve your link building strategy.
4. Address Technical SEO Issues
Your web developer should be able to address technical issues highlighted in your comprehensive SEO audit, such as:
- Missing XML sitemap
- Valuable pages being blocked by robots.txt or robots meta tags
- Lack of breadcrumbs or internal links
- Crawl budget waste because of indexed internal search pages
- Failing Core Web Vitals
- Missing canonical tags
- Missing or misapplied hreflang
- Structured data errors
- Redirect chains and loops
- Broken links
- Poor or unclear website structure
Prioritize issues that impact whether search crawlers can find or access your web pages. After all, you can’t improve your search visibility or keyword rankings if Googlebot can’t index your pages.
Once technical fixes are in place, rerun your technical audit to make sure everything is implemented properly and there are no new issues.
5. Optimize & Create Content
Content plays a primary role in how high you’re able to rank for the most competitive keywords in your niche.
Once you’ve mapped your keyword research to existing content (where possible) and created a keyword strategy detailing the types of content your team needs to create (landing page or blog post?), optimize, or edit, you can hand off this component to your content team to tackle.
Your content team can then prioritize items and start creating content briefs and outlines for the needed content. Once they publish the content, check that there are internal links to the appropriate pages. For example, our post on SEO audits links to our SEO audit services page. This shows both search engines and readers that the pages are related and allows the blog post to pass link equity back to the landing page.
- The Best Blog Post & Article Writing Template for SEO Optimized Content
- Integrate Your Content Marketing and SEO To Maximize Search Visibility
- Content Pillars: Building Pages & Content To Expand Topical Authority
- The Complete Guide To Writing Evergreen Content That Ranks
- 13 Tips To Create Great Posts With Content Marketing Research
6. Tackle Off-Site SEO With Link Building & More
Your SEO team or an external link building service can help you with off-site SEO tasks. Depending on your goals, you may need to:
- Increase link-building efforts for high-value pages
- Optimize your Google Business Profile
- Secure additional citations or directory listings
- Fix name, address, and phone number (NAP) across listings
Link building is a crucial component of off-page SEO. Google views quality backlinks from distinct referring domains as recommendations of your site. Backlinks help illustrate that your site is trustworthy and authoritative. Plus, they can send referral traffic to your pages.
Link building should be centered around your most important pages. Determine the backlink gap between your core pages and those of your competitors.
Basically: How many more backlinks do the top-ranking pages for your keywords have?
Once you know what that gap is, you can create a plan to improve your link velocity and close that gap.
Google Business Profile & Citations
Google Business Profile (GBP) plays an outsized role in local SEO. If you service particular areas or have brick-and-mortar locations, make sure your GBP is up to date and properly optimized. You can also seek out additional directory listings to help boost local signals. For example, if your local newspaper has a business directory, you can make sure you have a listing and that it links to your website.
When checking your GBP and seeking out citation opportunities, make sure your business name, address, and phone number are the same everywhere. This helps establish trust — with both Google and potential customers.
- Backlinking: What Are Backlinks & Why Are They Important?
- Quality Backlinks: The Truth About What Makes a Good Backlink
- HARO Link Building: How To Use HARO to Build Backlinks
- What Is Link Equity? (And What Does It Mean for SEO?)
- Link Velocity FAQs: What It Is & Why It Matters for SEO
- How To Optimize Google My Business
- What Are Local Citations? Here’s How They Build a Strong SEO Strategy
Measuring the Success of Your SEO Campaign
As you roll out your campaign, you’ll want to assess the effects of your efforts and make changes as needed. It takes time to see the results of SEO. However, if your efforts aren’t moving the needle within a few months, you should reassess your campaign and its goals or partner with a knowledgeable SEO agency for guidance.
To measure the success of your campaign, monitor whether the KPIs you chose during the goal-setting process are improving. Have you increased your search visibility by ranking for more keywords? Are you ranking higher for your most important keywords? Are the pages you’ve improved receiving more organic traffic? Are your high-value pages seeing more conversions?
Common SEO Campaign FAQs
How long does it take to see results from an SEO campaign?
SEO is a long-term strategy. As such, it takes time to see results. Most companies begin seeing improved rankings and increased organic traffic around the four-to-six-month mark. However, it could take longer if you’re in a competitive niche.
To improve your chances of success, take a systematic approach to implementing your SEO campaign. For example, if you’ve identified missing meta descriptions, either create a process for writing the missing descriptions and updating the pages or implement the process you already have in place and set a clear deadline.
Once you start seeing results, don’t stop! SEO is an ongoing process. If you stop, eventually, your results will diminish. To maintain and improve your rankings, you need to adjust your SEO strategy and keep going.
How long is a typical SEO campaign?
An SEO campaign is a part of a larger SEO strategy. It’s goal-oriented and lasts until the goal is accomplished. Then, a new campaign can be structured around another goal. You can run multiple SEO campaigns at once. In fact, this is recommended if you have different websites or subdomains you want to rank higher. These SEO campaigns may have different goals, which could also lead to different timelines.
Because SEO takes time, a typical SEO campaign should last at least 12 months. This is just an estimate, though. Some campaigns may take less time, while others may take longer.
How do you track the success of an SEO campaign?
Tracking SEO metrics is critical for any SEO campaign. If you can’t track your SEO performance, you can’t improve it.
When establishing an SEO campaign, it’s important to pinpoint the KPIs that will provide insight into its effectiveness. If your goal is to increase organic traffic to your services pages, for example, you would want to measure organic search traffic to each of the most important pages, as well as metrics like organic click-through rate, time on page, and conversions.
There are a variety of free or paid tools you can use to track the effectiveness of your SEO campaign.
One free option is Google Analytics. Google Analytics allows users to see organic traffic changes, conversion rates, individual page performance, and click-through-rates. While Google Analytics provides a limited take on keyword positioning and growth when connected to Google Search Console, it can absolutely help a budding SEO marketing team keep tabs on performance.
Another way to track your SEO performance is with Google Search Console. This is one of the best SEO tools to measure and track your site’s organic search traffic, visibility, and performance.
It’s also helpful to use a paid tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush to monitor keyword rankings over time. These tools can also assist with SEO tasks like backlink analyses and content audits.
Additionally, if you work with an SEO agency, they may provide tracking and monthly reports to showcase the effectiveness of their efforts. This can include specific keyword tracking or monitoring of KPIs that are relevant to your SEO goals.
Ready To Launch Your SEO Campaign?
Now that we’ve covered what goes into an SEO campaign, you can launch and execute your own and hope for the best, or you can work with a data-driven SEO agency to create a unique SEO strategy tailored to your business goals.
Here at Victorious, we use search to unleash every company’s true digital marketing potential. Our customers have a dedicated project manager that knows SEO and serves as their point of contact. This makes discussing and tracking your SEO campaigns and ensuring they align with your business goals easier.
Learn more about how partnering with us can help you supercharge your efforts. Schedule a free consultation today.