Discovery (research)

Everything has to begin with a plan. It is important that the SEO we do aligns with your companies business goals and other marketing campaigns.

Discovery is a step back and for VCM to listen.

The idea is not to reinvent the wheel. Whichever website ranks #1 tell us exactly what we need to do.

Eliminates the guesswork: data gathering

It is very important to VCM that your SEO campaign is successful. Most of our clients stay with us for on average 38 months. If we don’t understand your business model and brand then our SEO work is not going to be as effective.

This is the discovery phase.

Where we start

All new clients at VCM have documents created before we begin any of our strategising.  They are fact-finding documents that we use as an umbrella document that impacts our SEO strategy for a client. It also includes operation level data, key personnel to report to etc.

We can this a support document. See an example.

This document includes the following:

  1. Communication
    1. Working together
    2. Who in your company do we need to know? Who are the key personnel regarding our work?
  2. Alignment
    1. Company News /Special promotions and offers
    2. Which product do you wish to push at different times of year
    3. Your marketing strategy/plan outlining any new goals and targets for each quarter
    4. New sales presentations, updates etc.
  3. New client acquisition/New Case studies
  4. Marketplace analysis
    1. Define Audience
    2. Defining your ideal online customer
    3. What does your ideal customer demographic look like?
    4. Market
    5. Competitors
  5. Target Audience
  6. USPs
  7. Brand guidelines
    1. Voice, logos what can be said, what cannot be said
  8. Facts we can use/people we can quote
  9. Industry-specific guidelines
  10. KPIs: defining targets and goals
  11. Business/SEO Goals and targets
  12. Past Keyword data
  13. Past SEO data

“The process is to look at the support document and see how the data can be interpreted from an SEO perspective.”

Online Marketplace analysis

We begin with a study of the market a client is in and how that is reflected in Google’s search results. Who are the main competitors, what are they doing more successfully SEO and content-wise than the client?

The idea is not to reinvent the wheel. Whichever website ranks #1 tell us exactly what we need to do.

Competitor website analysis

We analyse three competitors’ web data. If these websites rank above or client in Google then surely if we supersede the below metrics we should rank above them all things being equal. These metrics include but are not restricted to:

  • Number of pages
  • Number of blogs
  • Backlink profile
  • Off-page metrics, social media, reviews
  • Use of language
  • Site architecture
  • Internal linking
  • External linking
  • On-page optimisation
  • Use of code

Keyword research

The majority of our clients have had SEO work done to their websites and are have enough keyword data to last a lifetime. There are many sources of data on keyword traffic and popularity. What is perhaps more important is how these keywords convert into sales and leads. The popularity of a keyword or phrase does not always reflect in high conversion rates.

Technical audit

We look at all new clients sites technically. From speed testing to code analysis. All websites have some technical problems from time to time. However, what we are looking for is how any these issues are affecting how Google interprets the website or how code flaws are affecting conversion.

The discovery phase is always about keeping in the company (client) loop, speaking often with their team and paying attention to detail. It is an imperative part of what we do here at VCM.