Web marketing can seem both easy and difficult at the same time. A successful online marketing campaign has a lot of moving parts, all of which have to work together in order to be effective. Any piece (SEO, content strategy, social media, usability, etc.) can stand on its own, but focusing on one over any other is like driving a car with three flat tires. It can be done, but you’re never going to get optimal speed or gas mileage.
So aside from great buzzwords like synergy, alignment and sustainability, what does it take to be successful at SEO? I’ve narrowed it down to three critical H’s:
1. Hunkering Down
Before you start doing anything to market your site, you’ve got to hunker down and do your homework. Many people expect to see results come in hard and fast when they start a web marketing campaign. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works.
Any good web marketer is going to take some time to do the research needed to develop a plan. This research might include looking into your industry, your competition, potential keywords, existing site metrics and the goals you want to achieve.
Without doing this research, there is no way to move forward effectively.
2. Heavy Analysis
With the data retrieved from the hunkering down phase, you now have to dive into heavy analysis. Any data you get from your research is useless until you have figured out what it means for the past, present and future of your website.
It’s easy to do research and come up with lists and lists of keywords. But not all of those keywords will be relevant or valuable. It’s takes some time to analyze your lists to determine what keywords are worth your efforts.
Same goes for other areas that you research. Information for the sake of information is useless. Analyze that information to develop a successful strategy.
3. Hard Work
Yes, web marketing requires hard work. A lot of it. Much of that hard work is using your knowledge, experience and skill level to implement the right tactics in the right way. Whether you are fixing site architectural issues, developing an on-going promotion plan, diving into social media, or engaging in a content strategy, it takes work to get those things to pay off.
And the hard work doesn’t ever really stop either. There is always something to fix, implement or do. And what do you do when it looks like your hard work may be winding down? Start over with the three H’s. You’ll be surprised at how much new stuff there is to learn. It’s an endless cycle, but with each cycle you get better results because of it.