3 Ways to Get Your SEO in Shape for 2012

Posted by Nick Stamoulis - October 21, 2011 - SEO - 13 Comments

The end of 2011 is coming up…fast. With multiple major holidays on the horizon, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is your SEO. But now is exactly when you should be thinking about it! SEO is incredibly long term, so developing a plan for 2012 now means you’ll be better positioned to grow your online brand presence and build your brand throughout the year. Why not kick start your SEO and get it off on the right foot?

Here are 3 ways you can get your SEO ready for 2012:

Do a competitive analysis.

It’s easier to create an aggressive SEO campaign for 2012 when you have a clear picture of where you stand in regards to the competition. Knowing how your past SEO efforts measure up to your top competitors can give you an idea of the playing field and what kind of SEO campaign you need to develop. Did any new competitors emerge in the past year? What niche or long tail keywords are they targeting? Did a top competitor fall in the SERP? What did they stop doing with their own SEO and can you find a way to capitalize on their stalled campaign?

You can also find sources of inspiration for your own SEO by doing a competitive analysis. Are your competitors part of an industry association that should join? What kind of topics are they focusing on with their content marketing? What niches are they ignoring that you can focus on, building your own online presence.

Run a link audit.

It’s easy to lose the forest for the trees with your link building. That’s why it’s so important that you conduct a full link audit on your own site at least once a year; now is the perfect time! A link audit is valuable for multiple reasons. First off, it shows you every single inbound link your site has, both ones you’ve specifically built and natural links that occur with time. You want to check each and every one of those links (whether it be 100 or 10,000) and see what kind of site that link is coming from. Is it a link from an online press release? A blog comment? An author biography? What type of link building are you heavily invested in? What kind of link sources should you target more frequently in 2012? You want to make sure you build your SEO on a blended, diverse link portfolio. You never want to put all your link building eggs in one basket as this leaves your site vulnerable.

You also want to check your link sources to determine if they good, quality sites that can pass valuable link juice along to your site or spammy, low-quality sites that could potentially drag your site down with them if they’re penalized. Obviously you can’t control natural link building, but you need to know where your inbound links are coming from! Some black hat SEO competitors may have waged an unscrupulous war against your site, linking to your site from spammy sites in the hopes that the search engines would penalize your site, thereby improving their own position.

Develop an editorial calendar.

The two most common complaints most site owners have in regards to their content marketing is 1) they don’t know what to write about and 2) they just don’t have the time to write that much content. Eliminate excuse number two now and develop an editorial calendar that you can follow for the first few months of 2012. If you’ve been publishing two blog posts a week, schedule in time so you can bump it up to three. Start developing relationships with partner sites now so you can submit one guest post to their blogs every month of 2012. Check out some of the industry blogs you’ve commented on as part of your link building, do any of them accept guest post submissions?

If you create an editorial calendar now, it will be easier to ensure consistent production of content in 2012. The best content marketing strategies rely on the consistent creation and promotion of quality content. Outlining how much content you need to be producing and where you should be looking for it to be published will help you stay on track through the year.

About the Author

Nick Stamoulis

Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing a full service Boston SEO and social media marketing company. With over 12 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting daily SEO articles to his blog, the Search Engine Optimization Journal.
16 comments
spookseo
spookseo

Hello Nick, I'm so grateful that you have given us these 3 ways to get my SEO prepare for 2012. I'm pretty sure that I can now construct a better SEO strategy for my business.

James Martin
James Martin

Search engine optimization, or SEO as it is called, has become a crucial part of writing a good article. If you want your website ranked anywhere near the top of results gathered by a search engine when Internet users search for information relevant to your site or business you will definitely want to keep reading this article to learn the five most important aspects of good article writing.

Tony
Tony

This is very true Nick. A good content will help anyone who wants to have good SEO for their site. It will help them be in the long run.

Blueberry
Blueberry

Hello Nick Stamoulis, Really, this is the most important information you have shared with us. According to you, I will must be do work over this area. I have already created some new and unique content for my website. Hope your suggestion will help me to extent our services and business. Regards: SEO Company USA

Car Dealers
Car Dealers

I agree, knowing where you stand in the competition can give you an idea on what you're already good at and what you still need to improve on. I agree, knowing where you stand in the competition can give you an idea on what you're already good at and what you still need to improve on.

Ryan Critchett
Ryan Critchett

As simple as the link audit is, I think that's a cool idea. I think your purpose really makes it awesome, to find out where you need to be spending your time for better, quality links and diversity. But that means you have to pull our your creative muscles! That's the cool part about SEO: it forces you to expand your parameters of thinking, and find new ways of building authority. My recent post Comment on Computer Repair In Quakertown PA by Twitter Talk Lehigh Valley - 10-19-11

Aimee Hawkins
Aimee Hawkins

yeah! i am more excited for 2012 specially on the SEO world mark, most of us are looking forward on what will happen next stuff. just like that.. your Do a competitive analysis tip is true, that will help a lot to me. i salute to people of SEO Consultants Southhampton! go check it out My recent post A Monk Walks His Path

Austin Mover
Austin Mover

Competitive analysis will definitely help you in identifying which part of your blog is poor, you can start optimizing your page to make it SEO friendly. My recent post Telling your story with a press release

Karylle Lynch
Karylle Lynch

This is great and very informative! You have a great point here "Its easier to create an aggressive SEO campaign for 2012 when you have a clear picture of where you stand in regards to the competition. Knowing how your past SEO efforts measure up to your top competitors can give you an idea of the playing field and what kind of SEO campaign you need to develop. " I totally agree with you. Before dipping in the water it's good to test it first and make a good plan. My recent post Why Safety Managers, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), OSHA Recordkeeping and Technology Are Keys to Sustainability

Duy@Razer Naga Epic
Duy@Razer Naga Epic

Hi Nick, well written post man :) I agree with you that planning and executing are very important aspect of a success business. Especially when it comes to SEO, we need to be organized and productive even more as our competitors are not sleeping. I'm currently working in a not-that-tough niche but I understand it's time to look back and make some change for the new year! Thanks for your advices, I appreciate it. Have a nice day. Duy. My recent post <h2>CommentLuv Premium is here!</h2>Offer expires on 4th October 2011<a target='_blank' href='http://www.commentluv.com?ref=clp-oldapi962'> <img class='alignleft' src='http://cdn.commentluv.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/commentluv_premium_200.gif' alt='The CommentLuv Plugin' title='Check out The CommentLuv Plugin' /> Go to <a target='_blank' href='http://www.commentluv.com?ref=clp-oldapi962'>CommentLuv.com to downloadThe version of CommentLuv on this site is no longer supported! it will stop working very soon!<h1> Hurry! <a target='_blank' href='http://www.commentluv.com?ref=clp-oldapi962'>click here!</h1>

Gerald Anderson
Gerald Anderson

Well thanks for the info. I learned a few things which can help my cause for Affordable SEO Hampshire.

Extreme John
Extreme John

I absolutely agree. Having a plan for your SEO can be a great way in doing a deep progress in your business. Thanks for sharing some pieces of advice.

Austin Realtors
Austin Realtors

Thinking in advance will get you ahead. Fresh and quality content should always be put in mind while writing a post for your blog. I agree, knowing where you stand in the competition can give you an idea on what you're already good at and what you still need to improve on.

Goa Carnival
Goa Carnival

Competitive analysis gives you complete picture of your competition and let you know where you lacking and where you doing well, this report helps you choose right strategy to dominate your market. My recent post Goa Carnival 2012

Geoff
Geoff

It's a great start ready for the new year and something all busineses online should be regularly monitoring and keeping an eye on. Fresh, unique and frequent content on a website, blog or otherwise is a great way to give the search engines a reason to keep revisiting and crawling your site so definitely make time for blogging and writing great content if you can. My recent post 6 Most Critical Elements to Onsite SEO

David Bain
David Bain

Some good tips there Nick, thanks for sharing. In relation to your second point, if someone has waged a low-quality link war against you, how would you advise combating that? My recent post #72: How to Create an iPhone App – Simon “App Man” Williams Interview