If you want to see SEO results (and let's be honest, see them quickly), where should you start? Should you work on the back end of your site with a technical audit and keyword map, or should you spend your time and budget on content marketing and link building?   

This is a tricky question to answer because, in order to have a successful SEO campaign, you need strong on-site and off-site SEO.

You need to have a variety of strong backlinks from reputable websites and blogs to show Google that you are are a high-authority site with something of value that publishers want, cite and link back to. The best way to show that authority and thought leadership is by creating a great piece of content that provides value and is something that users will want to read. But at the end of the day, if your website doesn’t provide a great user experience, it’s going to be difficult to rank for competitive terms or convert visitors into customers.

So, Where Do I Start?

While it may not be easy to say "this is the most important thing," it's much easier to provide a blueprint for SEO success—which starts by building a strong foundation.

Step 1: Technical Recommendations

We've explained previously why an SEO campaign should start with an audit, but here's the short version. Google wants to provide the best user experience to its searchers. This means that if you want Google to send you more visitors, you need to provide it with a better user experience. You can also broadly lump in other onsite changes in here, like keyword strategy. It does your business no good if you’re ranking for a set of keywords that don’t convert well. By providing a technically sound website, not only will you be rewarded with better rankings, your site will also convert more of your visitors into customers.

Step 2: Content Creation

Once your website is following SEO best practices and is easily crawlable and indexable for Google, the next most important step in SEO is to create great content. Creating great content can help expand your keyword universe, earn links organically and even allow you to easily earn links naturally with less link building time. If your content isn’t of high quality, you’ll have to spend a lot more time promoting and pushing your content, and it might not result in many quality links.

Step 3: Link Building

Last but certainly not least, it's time for link building. It’s crucial to have a variety of quality links pointing back to your site to show Google that you are an authority who has something of value to offer the world. But content comes first, since great content makes earning links way easier.

What's Most Important

Every website is a unique snowflake, which means that the tactics that drive the best results for you may vary from those that have the greatest effect on your partners or competitors. However, you'll never go wrong by laying a strong foundation and building on it with great content and link building. Once you've implemented these site changes, how long will it take to see results? Read our e-book to find out!

Download the E-book: How Long Does SEO Take?