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SEO Best Practices Guideline

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Full SEO Audit

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Audit: Performance - page speed, page size, code optimization

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Audit: User Interface and Mobile - rendering, responsive, mobile-friendly tech

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Audit: Social - detectable social activity connected to website

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15 minute consultation call to go over audit, recommendations and SEO guidelines (if compatible with EST/CT)

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Custom analysis from your SEO expert, provided in detail

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Weekly ranking reporting









This is our comprehensive SEO gig, designed to improve your website rankings by following a proven approach over a few months.

Before we get into the details, here are some of the results we have achieved with this gig.


First, we started in late September 2017. This is a local site, showing 485/month organic traffic in Ahrefs. They are now up to 2127/month and climbing, for a 340% increase in organic traffic in 10 months.


Our next example is great results in one month – we started working with this client on May 2nd and ended June 2nd, but the results are still coming in. From 162/mo to 579/mo, a 260% increase in one month!

See more case studies here: http://help.heaviside.digital/seo/expert-seo-agency-case-studies


We offer three service levels for this gig: Basic, Standard, and Premium. The main difference between the levels is the number of pages we will do and the strength of the backlinks.

For all levels, this is the most complete SEO gig you’ll find anywhere for this price. Compare what we do here to anything else out there, and you’ll see no one comes close. 

In the first month we set up an analytics dashboard,  technical audit, deep keyword research, data-based on page SEO recommendations and implementation, and we build backlinks. In months 2+, we add data-based content writing and more backlinks in place of the one-time work that’s already done. This gig is designed to consistently improve your rankings based on statistical analysis. Here are the details:

Month 1

Month 1 is focused on getting the basics in place or checked, and doing the analysis needed to set the stage for the following months.

We’re going to check that your site is indexed and a few other technical items - and with the access to Google Analytics and Search Console you grant us we’re going to set up a Google Data Studio analytics dashboard for you that tracks your web performance generally, as well as the keywords we’ll be working on for you.

We’re going to do a technical audit and look for anything serious that could be holding back your site’s performance. We’re going to do deep-dive keyword research and rank them according to opportunity, and choose the best ones with you to focus on. We’re going to run a statistical analysis on known ranking factors on your competitor websites, and use those to inform our recommended on-page changes. Once you agree and approve them, our developer team will go in and make those changes for you on your site.

Then we’re going to place some backlinks to your site, either pillowing links to diversify your anchor profile, or guest post links, depending on the level of gig you purchase.

Month 2+

With the solid foundation laid in month 1, months 2+ turn the focus to continual improvement and expansion. We re-run the statistical analysis of your competitors and make additional on-page recommendations, and then implement as before. We’ll also build more links to your pages - both pillowing links for anchor diversity and link velocity, and guest posts for authority.

The big addition is new content, designed to rank for the chosen keywords. 


Let’s walk through the process with examples. We’ll also indicate the week you can expect to see this work done.


Our work starts with some basic setup and checks:

  • Set Up Google My Business
  • Set Up Google Search Console
  • Set Up Google Analytics
  • Set up Google Data Studio report
  • Verify correct indexing in GSC
  • Set Up Bing Webmaster Tools
  • Verify correct indexing in BWT
  • Verify Robots.txt
  • Verify Sitemap.xml

These may seem small, but all can contain some red flags that could hold up progress. We couldn’t call it “Complete SEO” if we didn’t do this stuff!

We’re also going to write a brief assessment of your website and what our rough expectations for the work are.

The key deliverable here is really the Google Data Studio report - here are partial screenshots of each of the pages:


As you can see, it has a ton of information for you about how your website is doing. The last page is going to track the specific keywords we are working on - so you’ll be able to see the progress our work is making for you over time.


We crawl your site and find any technical issue that could be holding back the performance of your site. It’s a huge report, typically 30+ pages or more!

Here’s an example:

We look at this report and find the top 5 issues that might be impacting your site and try to correct them. Note that many of the items flagged do not indicate real or important issues, and that fixing everything is outside the scope of this gig. If extensive technical optimization is required, we have a separate gig for that.


We provide extensive keyword research as a part of the first month of this gig. We want to check the keywords you provide, but also expand on them and make sure we’re working on the best possible set for the current state of your website. 

For example, If you have a relatively new site, you’re not going to compete for a 500,000/month, high difficulty search. You’ll need to set your sights on something achievable in the shorter term.

We’re also looking for potential content pieces for us to write in subsequent months.

Here’s our process:


For this, we are looking for keywords from a variety of sources. It might be the keywords you give us when you purchase that you think are the best ones for you. It’s going to be the keywords that you are ranking for currently but are not driving any traffic for you. We might look at what your competitors are ranking for, or what terms competitors are placing on their websites. There are a number of places we can find them.

The goal is to put together a list of keywords that are highly relevant to your business - but also ones that you can reasonably compete for. Once we have the full list of 200, we’re going to score them with a formula we’ve come up with that considers the keyword search volume, ranking difficulty, your current ranking position, and the estimated cost per click. We include the last one because if someone’s willing to spend money advertising on that keyword there is likely  some value there.

We end up with a spreadsheet that looks like this:



From this sheet, we’re going to choose around 2 keywords per page to hone in on for further analysis.

But we’re going to give you the whole spreadsheet of data. That’s 200 relevant keywords already scored and ready to go!


Here we’re going to take your top three competitors - that you give to us, and that we manually vet as well - and find out what keywords they are ranking for that you are not. More specifically, at least one of them is going to be on the first page for that term.

Here’s what this one looks like:

We score these with a slightly different formula that also assesses where your competitors rank, along with how many of them rank for it.

This is a great set of keywords because Google knows you’re related to these sites - and these sites are ranking for these terms - so you have a great chance of ranking for them too.

From this sheet, we’re going to choose around 3 keywords per page to hone in on for further analysis.

But we’re going to give you the whole spreadsheet of data. That’s 200 relevant keywords already scored and ready to go! That’s 400 keywords we will have delivered to you thus far and we have not even gotten to the meat of the gig yet.


Once we’ve selected the keywords we’re going to analyze further, we put them on this spreadsheet and score them (see https://prnt.sc/r4vkhl for a larger version).


Here we’re pulling data from Google, Majestic, and Moz, and combining it with a few scoring metrics. One is a normalized keyword score that ranks the ones we have selected out of 100. There is also a rating that assesses how difficult the competitors are for that term. Then there’s the estimated time to win which gives a very rough estimate of how long it could take to bring the term from outside the top 100 to at least page 2. Last we give some traffic estimates for various ranking positions.

This document is our “keyword research report.” This gig would be a great value if we stopped here - with 400 scored keywords delivered and in-depth info on 25-75 of them.

But wait, there’s more!


Google reveals a lot of information about how they think keywords relate to each other. You can use this information to help build super-topical content that is engineered to rank well and capture as much keyword space as possible.

Each gig level covers a certain number of “pages” - and for each page, we’re going to pick one primary keyword and build out the related keyword cluster for you.

This includes the keywords Google thinks are related to your keyword, the keywords that are related to the most relevant of those keywords, and the supporting keywords and queries that provide topical context around that keyword.

Here’s part of an example:


The actual document goes down to row 85! For each primary keyword, we’re giving 8 secondary keywords and five topical keywords. Then we’re taking two of those secondary keywords and finding 8 more keywords under each one of those. That’s around 30 additional keywords for each primary, or 150-450 MORE keywords above what we’ve already provided.


Once we’ve settled on the right keywords - we begin our assessment. There are over 500 known or suspected ranking factors that Google uses to decide which pages to show in the results. It’s not feasible to optimize for all of them, and even if you tried, some are contradictory.

Google also does not directly tell us which ones matter for a certain keyword query.

However - they do give us the results, and thanks to math we can determine from them which of the factors are statistically most likely to be relevant.

We run the statistical analysis - and based on the results, make specific recommendations regarding what needs to be optimized to compete with those top pages.

After we run our analysis, we’re going to end up with a spreadsheet that looks like this:


We’ll send these over to you for review - and if they look good to you, we’ll go ahead and make the changes on your website for you (up to 10 per page).


As mentioned above, our web development team takes care of the implementation of the changes for you once you have approved them.

The on-page work is the “meat” of the gig - so expect to hear a bit less from us while we’re going through this part. You’ll still hear from us weekly, but the pace of deliverables slows down.


For this week the focus is building links. Depending on the type of site it is and what gig level you purchase, we will work on the following:

  • Citations - important for improving rankings on the maps, these are links to your site that have your Name, Address, and Phone (NAP)
  • High site-authority profile-type links - typically used as "pillow links" to diversify backlink profiles
  • Guest post articles - important for improving overall site authority, as well as helping the rankings of the page linked to

Here’s a table summarizing what backlinks are provided (in Month 1) at each gig level:



Finally, we’re going to lay out our plan for the upcoming months - so you know what to expect if you’re continuing to work with us.


For the next few months, we don’t need to repeat the work we did in the first month. So we have a lot of value we need to replace. Here’s what we do:


We re-run the same pages we worked on in Month 1, and find additional opportunities to make improvements. We want to minimally see 80+ optimization scores - and that might take three months.

You might say, why don’t you just do everything that you find in the first month?

Two reasons - for one, that’s a lot of work, and we can’t do everything in month one without charging a lot more for it. The second reason is also critical - we can’t change everything at once because we need to see how the rankings and score adjust with a smaller set of changes. If we made all of the changes at once, and the rankings did not improve or went down - we would have no way to assess what was causing that. By doing the work in smaller chunks, we retain the ability to assess what is moving the needle and make an adjustment if things don’t move the way we expect.

Once we feel that we have fully optimized a page, we’ll ask you for another or recommend another one to start working on.


Just as before, our web dev team will make the necessary adjustments to your website.


We’re going to be writing a bunch of content for you. 

Which topics we choose are going to depend on a few different factors. Our strategy here is to build topically relevant virtual silos.

We do this by referring back to the keyword cluster documents we made for the primary keywords. The secondary keywords in those documents are perfect candidates for our supporting core content, if we have not used them in the on-page work already.

The supporting keywords are perfect candidates for our supporting content.

This is how we ensure the content we write is topically relevant. We then interlink these content pieces with your main (primary) page in a careful manner that establishes a virtual silo.

This is important because when these pages are crawled by Google they are topically relevant to each other, and they are linked to each other in a way that indicates the pieces are also important to each other.

The goal of this is three-fold:

  1. Help the primary keyword rankings improve
  2. Help the secondary keyword rankings improve
  3. Bring in new rankings on the keywords we’re targeting in the core and supporting articles

As you can see, our content strategy is also data- and analysis-based and not just writing random content we “hope” moves the needle for you.

Here’s what each gig level includes for months 2+:


For the core content, we start with the Keyword Cluster documents we made for you earlier. If we have not made one for the keyword we want to write about, we’ll make one. We take that keyword cluster document and use it to help make a content brief.


For each page we’re going to create a content brief designed to help us write content that is engineered to rank.

We run the keyword through a content tool that scores the top 20 ranked pages. This gives us a baseline set of metrics, keywords, and keyword densities to guide writing. 

Then we take the keyword cluster document and use it as a guide to frame out the outline structure of the content piece. The end result is something like this:


Using this brief as a guide, we will write your content with confidence that it’s going to be set up right to rank for your main keyword and the secondary and long-tail keywords that go along with it.


This is exactly the same concept as in Month 1 - but we’re building more links now. Here’s a table summarizing the different gig levels:



Last but not least, we wrap up the month with a plan should you want to continue working with us.


These are a few current examples of the ranking boosts we achieve with our on- and off-site SEO services. Sometimes there can be a huge effect right away, other times it needs consistent work over a few months. The bottom line is this: It worksContact us today to learn more about our approach and how we can help you improve your own result.