An SEO campaign is a strategic approach to improving a website’s rankings visibility, reputation, and authority. This guide includes expert tips, typical costs and suggested tools to use to help you run a successful SEO campaign.

Here, you’ll find:

  1. What is an SEO campaign?
  2. The benefits of an SEO campaign
  3. Expert tips for building a great SEO campaign
  4. Essential tools for SEO campaigns
  5. Understanding SEO campaign costs
  6. The SEO campaign timeline
  7. Choosing SEO campaign services
  8. SEO campaign checklist

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the ways you can improve your site’s search engine rankings and drive more traffic. We’ll break down the principles of a great SEO campaign and show you how to execute it yourself.

You’ll get a template for campaign planning, a list of proven strategies, and a checklist for executing an impactful SEO campaign from start to finish. Let’s dive in.

What is an SEO campaign?

SEO campaigns use a series of tasks to improve your website’s keyword rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). At its core, SEO campaigns improve on-page and off-page elements of your website, so you rank better in organic search results. The more online visibility your site has, the more opportunities you have to convert searchers into customers.

Let’s break down the components of a successful SEO campaign: great on-page and off-page SEO.

What is on-page and off-page SEO?

On-page SEO is made up of the components of your website you have direct control over. These include:

  • Keyword optimization
  • Meta tags
  • Links
  • Images and image optimization
  • Content quality
  • Featured snippets
  • Title tags

Off-site SEO refers to the elements outside of your website that build your authority.

One of the most common examples of off-page SEO is sites linking to your website – often called an inbound link or backlink. When you rack up inbound links on other sites, your site is viewed as more trustworthy by the Google algorithm.

The types of off-page SEO include:

  • Backlinks
  • Social media
  • Guest blogging on other sites
  • Local SEO
  • Influencer and content marketing
  • Reviews

Off-page SEO is harder to improve and takes longer than on-page SEO. But when your off-page SEO is on point, search engine algorithms view your site as reputable, trustworthy, and authoritative.

And a great reputation brings a lot more benefits than just a high ranking on Google’s search results. Off-page SEO elements help users understand that your business is credible and trustworthy.

What are the benefits of an SEO Campaign?

Running an SEO campaign can bring enormous benefits to your business – like these:

  • Increased organic traffic: Great SEO gets your site viewed more. Organic traffic can bring you more clients at little to no additional cost to you.
  • Improved user experience: Strong SEO also makes your user’s experience better. Great content, easy-to-navigate linking, and reviews are just a few SEO improvements that elevate the user experience.
  • Higher credibility and trust: Off-page SEO builds the reputation of your company. Being seen as a credible, authoritative player in your space is an incredible advantage for your business.
  • Cost-effectiveness: SEO campaigns cost much less than other marketing strategies. While you need to make a modest investment for the SEO tools you’ll need, you won’t have ongoing costs like you would for a PPC ad campaign.
  • Measurable results: Tools like Google Analytics allow you to see the impact of your SEO campaign in real time – so you’ll never wonder whether you’re getting results.

Expert tips for building a great SEO campaign

Now that you understand the parts of an SEO campaign, let’s look at expert tips to avoid common pitfalls while maximizing your SEO campaign’s ROI:

  • Prioritize user experience. In many ways, SEO is highly intuitive. Easier site navigation, clear headings, and well-incorporated search terms improve user experience and your page rank.
  • Quality over quantity content. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that cranking out dozens of articles will improve your rank. But this won’t work. High-quality content is more important than quantity when publishing, so create content that’s genuinely helpful to your user.
  • Don’t forget mobile optimization. On average, 55% of website traffic happens through a mobile device. Don’t miss out on those users because your site isn’t equipped for phones.
  • Update your content regularly. Keeping your content fresh is a great way to keep readers coming back. Post new content and address industry hot topics to keep customers and readers engaged.
  • Optimize for local search. If your business has a physical location, local SEO can help you attract local customers and improve your online visibility within your community.
  • Use external and internal links. Both internal and external links will improve your site’s trustworthiness and crawlability.
  • Aim for quality backlinks. It’s tempting to try to get any site to backlink to your business’s page. But the truth is, poor quality backlinks will hurt your ranking, so ensure backlinks are high-quality.

The quality over quantity principle applies to all parts of SEO optimization. Keep it in mind as you develop and implement your SEO strategy: quality matters.

Essential tools for SEO campaigns

To get the most out of your SEO campaign, you’ll need some technical assistance.

There are loads of tools on the web to help optimize your site, but here are a few of our favorites to get started:

Keyword research tools

  • Ahrefs or Semrush: More advanced tools to help you find the right keywords and gain valuable insights about traffic, traffic source, and bounce rate (when people leave quickly after getting there).
  • Google Keyword Planner: This is Google’s keyword assistant to find relevant keywords for your site.

Content Optimization Tools

Content Optimization Tools

  • Grammarly: This AI-powered tool corrects spelling and grammar while providing suggestions for comprehension and readability.
  • Yoast SEO (for WordPress): If your site uses WordPress, add the Yoast SEO plugin for real-time SEO suggestions while you write.

Technical SEO Tools

Technical SEO Tools

Link Building Tools

  • Majestic SEO: Assists in the construction of backlinks by providing reports on specific sites or pages.

Analytics and Performance Tracking

  • Google Search Console: This is where you’ll go to learn how your site is performing in searches.
  • Google Analytics: This page provides an additional wealth of metrics, like how visitors move through your site (the customer journey).

Analytics and Performance Tracking

Using tools will speed up your SEO campaign process and produce a better quality output.

Understanding SEO campaign costs

The cost of SEO can be cheaper than other digital marketing efforts, but the tools and services you’ll need can increase the costs.

Here are a few variables to consider:

    • Scale: If you want to reach a global audience, your SEO efforts will need to be more intense. A site hoping to rank in a local search has an easier task than a site hoping to rank in a global search, which will impact the cost of your resources.
    • Complexity: If your website is highly complex, your SEO campaign will require more effort. For instance, an ecommerce website with 1000s of product pages will need more work than a real estate site with a small blog. The cost adds up because of the list of pages to audit and improve.
    • Tools: One of the major costs of an SEO campaign is tools. While some SEO tools are free, many come at a monthly premium to get access to advanced features for effective keyword research, technical audits, or backlink improvement.
    • Content creation: If you’re running a blog page, you’ll have to pay for ongoing content creation.
    • Expert services: To see SEO improvement quickly, you may choose to engage an expert in running your site’s campaign. That is more expensive than doing it yourself but can maximize your ROI in the long term.

The cost of an SEO campaign can vary widely depending on the scope and scale of the project. For instance, for ongoing SEO services with fixed rates, businesses can expect to invest between $3,000 and $10,000 each month.

If the focus is specifically on local SEO, which targets a smaller, more localized audience, the monthly cost typically ranges from $500 to $1,000. For one-time SEO projects, which may involve a comprehensive overhaul of a website’s SEO strategy, the fees can fall anywhere between $5,000 and $30,000.

To make the most of your budget, prioritize the strategies that have the biggest impact on your overall rank. Content optimization is often the starting point for budget-conscious businesses.

There are also plenty of free tools that offer basic insights while you develop your long-term strategy.

The SEO campaign timeline

An effective SEO campaign is made up of four phases: planning, implementation, launch, and post-launch.

Each of these phases has distinct requirements that need to be met in order to make the most of your SEO campaign.

Let’s break down each of these phases.

  1. Planning phase
  2. Implementation phase
  3. Launch phase
  4. Post-launch phase

Planning phase

The first part of a great SEO campaign is the planning phase. While it’s easy to rush through this, laying the groundwork is how you set yourself up for a truly impactful SEO campaign.

The planning phase can be the most time-intensive of all the parts of your SEO campaign, so allocate sufficient time to research and plan effectively.

Before anything, execute a website audit to understand the present status of your site. Like what components are working well, and what areas are lacking?

The results of your SEO audit should guide the remaining steps of the planning phase. Let data drive your goals and strategy.

After assessing your strengths and weaknesses, start your journey through the planning phase:

  1. Goal setting: The first step to launching an SEO campaign is to identify specific key performance indicators (KPIs).Are there articles you want ranked higher? Metrics you want to improve?Flesh out the specifics of your goals to have a road map for decision-making. Your audit should also inform your goals.
  2. Resource allocation: While it’d be nice to spend endless amounts of time and money on SEO improvement, your marketing team is probably working on a lot of other projects, too.Identify the budget and team members you want to dedicate to the SEO campaign, as well as the timeline of their work. This will help keep your team on track.
  3. Strategy development: While you’re setting up your timeline, identify the key components of your SEO strategy.Specify the aim of your campaign and create a comprehensive plan to execute your strategy. For example to improve the quality of your site’s content? Or build more inbound links?After deciding your goals, create a content calendar and keyword planner to drive action.The development of a strategy is the foundation of a great SEO campaign, and your strategy development should be built on a lot of research.
    Target audience analysis, as well as competitor analysis, can be great places to start. Also, dive into keyword research to identify opportunities to incorporate search terms with a high search volume.

Implementation phase

With a roadmap in hand, you can do some groundwork before launching your campaign.

The components of your implementation phase will vary based on your business’s goals, but you can think of this as the preparation phase.

If your SEO campaign is to improve your content and incorporate keywords, the implementation phase will require content creation. Prepare blogs and posts to be rolled out so that once you launch, you can produce a steady output without overwhelm.

Use the implementation phase to dive into some of the background components of great SEO. For instance, review your images for tags, incorporate keywords into your headers, and optimize content for primary and secondary keywords.

If you intend to build backlinks during your campaign, start connecting with other sites. Backlink development can take time, so start your pursuit now.

Finally, consider making technical improvements. Enhancing your site speed, mobile optimization, and crawlability are key to improving your site’s technical SEO. If you need to focus on improving the tech side of things, get started right away.

Launch phase

Now that you have the groundwork prepared, you’re ready for launch.

Your launch phase will look very different depending on your strategy – but in general, this is a roll-out of all the work you’ve done.

Start posting your SEO-optimized content based on your identified schedule.

If you’re A/B testing web page copy for rank during your implementation phase, select your winner to see the effects of your data-driven site.
Chances are, you’ll be dancing back and forth between preparation and launch throughout your campaign.

For example, you may build a relationship with a company that starts backlinking you, altering your focus. Allow the evolution of your campaign to be natural – but intentional.

Post-launch phase

The post-launch phase is made up of three components: monitoring, adjusting, and improving. Let’s look at each of these parts.

  • Monitoring: One of the great advantages of online marketing efforts is the data that’s available to you. Use Google Analytics and other tools to monitor the effect of your campaign.
  • Adjusting: If something isn’t working, change it. If keywords aren’t driving the traffic you’re looking for, switch from generic keywords to high-search intent, long-tail keywords. If your content isn’t ranking, try a new posting schedule. Continually adjust based on the data you notice during monitoring.
  • Improving: SEO is constantly changing. Keep up-to-date on the latest in SEO so your site can stay ahead of the curve.

An SEO campaign isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it marketing strategy – much as we might like it to be. SEO is a constantly changing corner of marketing, and you’ll want to keep a close eye on your campaign over time.

Choosing SEO campaign services

For businesses looking to overhaul their SEO quickly, hiring an SEO campaign service may be ideal.

It’s cheaper upfront to DIY your marketing, but the long-term implications can be costlier. If you do your SEO wrong from the jump, you’ll need a reboot, which will be more costly (e.g., updating 100s of web pages and blog posts).

Hiring an expert can avoid these pitfalls and fast-track your business to success.

Experts know the ins and outs of great SEO campaigns – and can get you the wins you’re looking for (without the learning curve).

Here’s what to look for when bringing on an SEO campaign service:

  • Scope of service: Some services specialize in a niche portion of SEO, like the technical side or keyword research. If you want a full-service agency, find a company with comprehensive SEO expertise.
  • Experience in your industry: SEO varies from industry to industry. While there are best practices that exist across all markets, each industry has a different terminology and strategy that’ll take your SEO campaign to the next level.
  • Proof of quality: SEO campaign effectiveness is easy to measure. Your SEO expert should have testimonials, reviews, and data that prove they can drive results.

If you’re thinking about hiring an SEO service to execute your campaign, consider talking to our team at HawkSEM. SEO is a core competency of our company, and we pride ourselves on providing individualized, performance-oriented SEO services.

We use our own proprietary tracking program, ConversionIQ that provides deeper, richer insights into the effectiveness of your site’s SEO. Better tracking means bigger improvements.

And we have the data to back it up. HawkSEM has a long list of case studies proving our ability to make an impact. California State University Northridge saw a doubled conversion rate because of our marketing help!

If you choose to hire an SEO service, ensure that they’re competent, experienced, and data-driven.

SEO campaign checklist

Ready to launch your SEO campaign? Here’s a checklist highlighting everything you’ll need to crush it:


Execute a website audit.

Identify your SEO goals.

Define your budget, team, and timeline.

Create your campaign strategy.

Select target keywords.

Build a content calendar.


Create content.

Improve technical SEO.

Add tags to images.

Build quality meta-descriptions.

Incorporate specific keywords into website and landing page copy.

A/B testing on designs and web copy.

Find opportunities for internal and external linking.

Initiate backlinks.


Upload content per content schedule.

Implement technical changes.

Select the most effective designs and web copy.


Create a schedule for regular monitoring.

Use tools like Google Analytics.

Stay up to date on SEO trends and news.

The takeaway

Improving your website’s SEO can have a powerful effect on your business. By improving your rank, you open the doors to more views, more clicks, and ultimately, more conversions.

Data-driven SEO strategy, coupled with goal-oriented action, can make a big impact on your bottom line. Use our tips and tricks to guide your campaign’s journey.

And if you’re looking for an expert to take the lead, contact our team at HawkSEM. We specialize in performance-driven SEO campaigns that are proven to improve your ROI.

Our SEO experts at HawkSEM are thoughtful and inquisitive, and we take the time to learn what your business needs. We create a custom SEO program for each client we have, specifically curated to take your company to the next level.

If you’re looking to step up your SEO game, reach out for a free consultation today.

Contact HawkSEM for Free Consultation