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Marketing Agency - SEO Process Template

This template outlines key SEO principles for copywriters at our marketing agency, covering SEO terminologies, keyword research, content optimization, meta tag creation, link building, and content review processes.

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Marketing Agency - SEO Process Template

This template outlines key SEO principles for copywriters at our marketing agency, covering SEO terminologies, keyword research, content optimization, meta tag creation, link building, and content review processes.

About SEO

Why SEO is Important

Welcome to your go-to guide on search engine optimization (SEO) for copywriting here at our marketing agency. Whether you're just starting with us or you're looking to refine your current skills, this SOP has been created specifically for you.

SEO is a critical part of our overall content strategy. Our goal is to help our clients' websites rank higher on search engines, which ultimately drives more traffic and increases conversions. To make this happen, it's essential that we integrate SEO best practices into our copywriting process.

This detailed, step-by-step guide will help you understand SEO from the ground up, allowing you to craft copy that is not only engaging and compelling but also SEO-friendly.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It's the strategic process of making targeted changes to a website's design, content, and technical setup to enhance its visibility on search engine results pages.

This optimization process aims to improve the site's organic (unpaid) ranking, attract more relevant traffic, and make the site more understandable and accessible to both search engines and users.

SEO considers factors such as keyword usage, site speed, mobile-friendliness, quality of content, and backlink profile. It's a critical practice in digital marketing to meet business objectives.

Mastering SEO Basics

It's important to fully grasp the key concepts and terminologies of SEO. Below are some fundamental phrases you should know:

  • Keywords: These are words or phrases that people type into search engines. Your job is to make sure your content contains these words, so it appears when users search for those terms.
  • Long-tail keywords: These are specific phrases with three or more words. They may have lower search volumes but are typically less competitive and highly targeted.
  • Short-tail keywords: Search terms of to three words, with a broad search intent. Due to their broad nature, short-tail keywords often have high search volume and competition, but may lack specificity.
  • Meta descriptions: These are brief snippets that summarize a web page's content. They appear under the page title on search engine results pages.
  • Alt text: This is a description of an image on your website that helps search engines understand what the image depicts.
  • Backlinks: These are links from one website to another. High-quality backlinks can boost a page's SEO.

Where We Use SEO

Marketing agencies use SEO keywords in several ways to increase online visibility, improve website rankings, drive traffic, and attract more potential customers for themselves and their clients. Here's a detailed breakdown of how marketing agencies use SEO keywords:

Content Creation

Marketing agencies incorporate relevant SEO keywords into the content they create. This could be in blog posts, articles, product descriptions, landing pages, and more. These keywords help search engines understand the context of the content, making it more likely to be presented in response to a relevant search query. For example, a blog post about "effective social media marketing strategies" would aim to include that long-tail keyword in strategic locations such as the title, headers, and throughout the content.

Website Optimization

Marketing agencies use SEO keywords to optimize various elements of a website, including title tags, meta descriptions, and alt text for images. This helps search engines understand what the site and its individual pages are about, which can improve the site's search engine rankings.

Keyword Mapping

This involves assigning specific keywords to individual pages on a website. The goal is to optimize each page for a unique set of relevant keywords. This way, a website can rank for a wide range of keywords, attracting a broad audience.

Competitor Analysis

Marketing agencies analyze competitors' keywords to understand which keywords are driving traffic to their websites. They can then incorporate these keywords into their own or their clients' SEO strategies to compete for similar audiences.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

In addition to organic SEO, marketing agencies use keywords in PPC campaigns. They bid on keywords relevant to their business or their clients' businesses so their ads show up in search engine results when users search for those keywords.

SEO Reporting and Analytics

After implementing SEO strategies, agencies monitor keyword performance using tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, or Ahrefs. They track keyword rankings, website traffic, bounce rates, conversion rates, and other metrics to understand the effectiveness of their SEO efforts and make necessary adjustments.

Local SEO

For marketing agencies serving clients with physical locations or targeting audiences in specific regions, they use local SEO keywords. These keywords typically include a geographical modifier, like a city or state name (e.g., "digital marketing agency in Seattle").

Long-Tail Keyword Strategy

Marketing agencies often target long-tail keywords—specific, low-volume search phrases—because they tend to attract more qualified traffic and have less competition than broader terms. They're great for targeting users in the later stages of the buying cycle and often have a higher conversion rate.

By using SEO keywords strategically in these ways, marketing agencies aim to maximize online visibility, attract more traffic, and ultimately drive more conversions for themselves and their clients.

Who Uses SEO

Digital Marketers

Digital marketers use both short and long-tail keywords in their online marketing strategies. Short-tail keywords are used to reach a broad audience and gain high visibility, albeit in highly competitive areas. For instance, a digital marketing agency might target "SEO services" to attract a large volume of traffic, despite the high competition for such a common term.

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are used to target a more specific audience and rank higher in less competitive niches. For example, "affordable SEO services for small businesses" might not get as much traffic as "SEO services," but it will likely draw more qualified leads.

Content Creators and SEO Copywriters

These professionals use keywords when creating web content, blogs, articles, and product descriptions. Short-tail keywords are often incorporated into the content's title, headers, and throughout the body of the text to help search engines understand the topic of the content.

Long-tail keywords are used to target more specific user queries and are especially important in creating content that answers a specific question or problem that users might have. For example, a blog post titled "How to Improve Email Open Rates for E-commerce Businesses" would utilize the long-tail keyword within its content.

SEO Specialists

SEO specialists use keywords to optimize website content and metadata to improve search engine rankings. Short-tail keywords may be used in meta titles and descriptions, while long-tail keywords might be used in alt text for images, as well as in the content itself.

What SEO Entails

Comprehensive Keyword Research

Keyword research is a fundamental aspect of SEO and content marketing, and SEMRush is an excellent tool for this purpose. Go beyond search volume and also consider factors like keyword difficulty, cost per click, and current ranking pages. Be sure to look for both short-tail and long-tail keywords.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to perform keyword research for a marketing agency using SEMRush:

1. Start with the Keyword Magic Tool:

First, log into SEMRush and navigate to the Keyword Magic Tool, which is found under the "SEO" dropdown menu.

Enter your seed keyword related to your agency's services (e.g., "content marketing" or "SEO services") into the search bar and press "Search." This will produce a long list of related keywords and phrases.

2. Analyze the Search Results:

On the results page, you'll see various metrics for each keyword, such as volume (the number of searches the keyword receives per month), trend (how the keyword's popularity has changed over time), and keyword difficulty (how hard it would be to rank for that keyword).

3. Use Filters to Refine Your Results:

If you're interested in long-tail keywords, you can use the "Word Count" filter to show keywords with a certain number of words. You can also use the "Keyword Difficulty" filter to find less competitive keywords that you might have a better chance of ranking for.

4. Look at Questions for Content Ideas:

The "Questions" tab is a great place to find content ideas. It shows you questions that people are asking related to your seed keyword, which you can then answer in your content.

5. Use the Keyword Analyzer:

Once you have a list of potential keywords, you can send them to the Keyword Analyzer for more in-depth research. The Keyword Analyzer provides more detailed metrics and can help you compare keywords to decide which ones are the best to target.

6. Track Your Keywords:

Once you've identified the best keywords, you can add them to the SEMRush Position Tracking tool to monitor how your site ranks for those keywords over time.

Remember, keyword research is an iterative process. Your keyword strategy will likely evolve over time as you learn more about what works best for your agency and its specific services. SEMRush offers a range of other tools and features that can help with this ongoing process.

Crafting SEO-Optimized Content

Writing SEO-optimized content isn't just about inserting keywords randomly. Maintain a keyword density of 1-2% to prevent keyword stuffing. Incorporate your main keyword in:

  • The title (ideally, within the first 60 characters).
  • The first 100-200 words of your copy (also known as "above the fold").
  • At least one subheading.
  • Naturally, throughout the body of the text.

Use LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords, which are terms related to your main keyword. They help search engines understand the context of your content.

Crafting Meta Tags and Descriptions

Meta title

A meta title, also known as a title tag, is an HTML element that specifies the title of a webpage. It's the title that you see on the tab in your browser and the headline that appears in search engine results.

Meta titles play a significant role in SEO because they help search engines understand what your page is about, and they influence whether users click on your page in the search results. A well-optimized meta title includes relevant keywords and is compelling to users.

Meta description

A meta description is an HTML attribute that provides a brief summary of the content of a webpage. It typically appears under the meta title in search engine results. While it doesn't directly influence a page's ranking in search results, a well-written meta description can encourage users to click on your page by giving them a clear idea of what they'll find if they do.

This can indirectly influence SEO by affecting click-through rates. Like a good meta title, a good meta description should be relevant, compelling, and include appropriate keywords.


Meta titles should be under 60 characters, and meta descriptions should be under 160 characters. Both should include the main keyword but also entice users to click on your link. Treat them like mini-advertisements for the content.

Implementing Internal and External Links

Link to other relevant content on our website to keep users engaged and browsing. Similarly, link out to reputable sources as references or for additional information. Aim for 2-5 internal and external links per 1000 words, but always prioritize quality over quantity.

Optimizing Images

The use of alternative text (alt text) is a critical aspect of both SEO and website accessibility. Alt text is used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page, beneficial for search engines and visually impaired users who rely on screen readers.

Here are some best practices for writing alt text:

  • Be descriptive: Describe the image and its context as specifically as possible. For example, "golden retriever playing fetch in the park" is better than just "dog".
  • Use keywords wisely: If it's appropriate and makes sense within the context of the image, use your target SEO keyword in the alt text. However, avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Keep it concise: While being descriptive is important, it's also vital to keep alt text concise. Aim for a length of around 125 characters, as some screen readers cut off alt text at that point.
  • Don't start with "Image of" or "Picture of": Screen readers already announce the image, so it's unnecessary and uses up valuable space.
  • Remember non-decorative images: Alt text is crucial for images that convey information, show text, are a link, or have a function. Decorative images can often be marked with empty alt text (alt="") to be skipped over by screen readers.

By following these guidelines, your alt text will enhance both your SEO efforts and the accessibility of your site.

Rigorous Proofreading and SEO Checks

Use tools like Grammarly for proofreading and Yoast SEO or SurferSEO to evaluate the SEO quality of your content. Make sure every piece of content is optimized before publishing.

Monitoring and Updating Content

Regularly review your content's performance using Google Analytics. Look at metrics like organic traffic, bounce rate, and dwell time. If a piece of content isn't performing well, it may need updating or further optimization.

Here's a step-by-step guide to get you started:

1. Log In to Google Analytics:

Start by signing into your Google Analytics account.

2. Go to the 'Behavior' Section:

Navigate to the "Behavior" section in the left-hand sidebar, then click on "Site Content" and choose "All Pages."

3. Analyze Page Performance:

You'll see a list of your website's pages along with key metrics like Pageviews, Unique Pageviews, Average Time on Page, Bounce Rate, and % Exit.

  • Pageviews are the total number of times the page was viewed.
  • Unique pageviews represent the number of individual users who have viewed a specific page.
  • Average time on page indicates how long, on average, users spend on each page.
  • Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page sessions, which can indicate that people left your site from the landing page without interacting with the page.
  • % exit is the percentage of exits from the site that occurred from a particular page.

4. Segment by Organic Traffic:

To see how your pages are performing specifically in organic search, you can apply an "Organic Traffic" segment. Go to "+ Add Segment" at the top of the report, check the "Organic Traffic" segment, and click "Apply."

5. Review Landing Pages:

You can also check the performance of landing pages (the first page users land on when they visit your site) by navigating to "Behavior" > "Site Content" > "Landing Pages." This can provide valuable insights into which content attracts users to your site from search engines.

6. Set Up Goals:

Setting up Goals in Google Analytics helps track how often users complete specific actions, like submitting a contact form, downloading a white paper, or making a purchase. Go to "Admin" in the lower-left corner, then in the right column ("View"), click "Goals," and then "+ New Goal." From there, you can set up Goals based on your specific objectives.

7. Regular Review:

Regularly review these reports (weekly, monthly, or quarterly, depending on your business and how frequently you publish content) to track the performance of your content over time. Look for trends, such as increases or decreases in traffic, changes in bounce rates, or improvements in conversion rates (if you've set up Goals).


Short-tail Keywords

Here are some short-tail keywords that have worked for us in the past:

  • Digital marketing
  • SEO services
  • PPC agency
  • Content marketing
  • Social media management
  • Web design services
  • Marketing strategy
  • Branding services
  • Marketing automation
  • Conversion rate optimization

Long-tail Keywords

Here are some long-tail keywords that have worked for us in the past:

  • Digital marketing agency in Phoenix
  • Affordable SEO services for small businesses
  • Pay-per-click advertising agency near me
  • Content marketing strategies for e-commerce
  • Social media management for nonprofits
  • Custom web design services for restaurants
  • Data-driven marketing strategy consulting
  • Creative branding services for startups
  • Marketing automation solutions for real estate
  • Conversion rate optimization for online retail stores
  • Full-service digital marketing agency
  • Local SEO services for law firms
  • Email marketing solutions for healthcare
  • Social media ad campaign management
  • B2B content marketing agency

How Often We Change Our Keywords

There's no hard and fast rule for how often you should change your keywords. It mostly depends on the results you're getting. If you're not seeing the desired traffic, engagement, or conversion from your targeted keywords, it may be time to re-evaluate and adjust them.

Regularly conducting keyword research is a good practice. Industry trends, search patterns, and user behavior change over time, so it's crucial to keep your keywords updated to reflect these shifts. Typically, a comprehensive review of your SEO strategy, including keyword performance, every 3 to 6 months can be beneficial.

However, remember that SEO takes time, and frequent changes might not allow enough time for you to accurately gauge the effectiveness of your keywords. If you're consistently creating new content, this will naturally allow for targeting new keywords or variations of existing ones.

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