How to Create a successful SEO campaign without an SEO agency

How to Create a successful SEO campaign, without an SEO agency

The quest for industry-leading SEO can be as financially draining as it is profitable. Despite its potential for generating pre-qualified leads and sales, many SMEs hesitate to venture into SEO due to the high fees charged by top agencies and the disillusionment stemming from past experiences with subpar SEO agencies. 

However, with dedication and the right approach, transitioning from SEO obscurity to a leading campaign is entirely feasible without relying on an SEO agency. 

This guide doesn’t offer incredible SEO hacks or even much technical knowledge past “SEO 101”. But it does give the ten practical steps I have used to take a business, in a competitive niche, from the SEO wilderness to market leading campaigns. 

If you’re a digital marketing manager within SMEs who is committed to running an in-house SEO campaign this is for you. 

1. Cultivate an SEO Obsession: 

You will need to learn a lot. Read a book, or two, about SEO to understand  the fundamentals of SEO, while also subscribing to the newsletter of as many serious SEO blogs as you can for the latest trends, updates and techniques. Consume as much as you can about SEO.

2. Do the Analysis

Utilize analytics tools such as SEMRush, Ahrefs, or Moz to assess your current standing, identify competitors, and understand search behavior within your industry. Leverage this data to shape your campaign strategy. While subscriptions to an analytics platform comes at a price, they are invaluable in developing and following an SEO plan and analyzing success. 

3. Assemble Your Team

Rather than splurging on seasoned SEO professionals, harness existing talent within your marketing team. A well-rounded team typically includes a web designer/developer, a content creator proficient in SEO writing, and a marketing assistant to handle day-to-day tasks.

4. Develop a Comprehensive Master Plan 

Divide your SEO strategy into three core areas; technical optimization, on-site content, and off-site content. Create a detailed roadmap outlining actionable steps for each area.

  • Technical Optimization: Prioritize resolving technical deficiencies on your website using insights from analytics tools and Google’s PageSpeed Insight and Search Console. An in house web developer makes this process much more focused without running up big bills.
  • On-Site Content: Align your website’s content with targeted keywords, restructuring pages accordingly. Your content creator comes into their own here, to craft engaging SEO-friendly content.
  • Off-Site Content: Devise a link-building strategy to enhance your website’s authority. Explore collaborative opportunities with customers or suppliers, create a PR outreach program and pursue guest posting on reputable platforms such as . You may also want to consider an additional analytical tool like Majestic to help with link building. Your content creator and marketing assistant will be working side by side to research and gain opportunities, and produce killer content.

5. Stay Committed to the Plan

SEO is a long road, doing the right things well can often be boring, repetitive and not show results for a number of months. Getting side tracks into side projects, or exciting new ideas will slow your SEO progress. Work through the plan for each of the 3 core areas, with a “no stone unturned” mentality. 

6. Monitor Progress

Keep meticulous records of your campaign’s actions and progress, tracking the performance of core and long-tail keywords separately. As well as giving you an up to date picture on progress, it prevents needless repetition of tasks. Celebrate incremental victories to maintain team motivation.

7. Avoid Shortcuts and Sweat the Small Stuff

Resist the temptation to take shortcuts or overlook minor optimizations.You should at all cost avoid purchasing backlinks in bulk from suspicious looking sites that appear to have good stats, these will be part of link farms, google will punish you for using such black hat SEO techniques. Instead, pay attention to small details such as image optimization, video subtitles, and internal linking, as they contribute to overall success.

8. Review and Adapt 

After implementing your initial plan, conduct a thorough review using all analytical tools to identify areas of improvement. Develop a subsequent strategy based on lessons learned. When you find a technique that works for your industry, double down on it. 

9. Focus on Marginal Gains

By the time you have got to this stage all the easy wins have gone, it’s time to focus on marginal gains. This might be implementing more schema markups and structured data on the site, optimizing that one remaining red flag on PageSpeed insight or refining the headings on a blog. Most competitors won’t be going to this length and it’s a way to stand apart. 

10. Persevere Through Challenges

This process will take months and years. Google will throw in algorithm updates that set you back or you may pour everything into a page which simply doesn’t respond. It’s not a smooth trajectory, but you always have to keep striving to do better. 

By following these steps, businesses can navigate the complexities of SEO and achieve tangible results without the need for external agencies. While the journey may be demanding, the rewards of a successful in-house SEO campaign are well worth the effort, positioning the business as a leader in its industry. However, it’s essential to recognize that SEO requires ongoing commitment and adaptation, making it unsuitable for every business. For those lacking the resources or inclination for an in-house approach, engaging a reputable SEO agency remains the most efficient route to SEO success, with less hands-on involvement.

About the Author:

Ross has seven years experience within SEO, five years of which have been dedicated to running an in-house SEO campaign overseeing a dramatic transformation; increasing organic traffic by over 1000%, becoming SEO leaders in the business’ industry.