Whether you’re a local business or an international consultancy, getting great SEO in Seattle is never easy. As one of the country’s most competitive areas for SEO, Seattle is a difficult place to achieve SEO success on a local level.

Why? Because you’re competing with a city full of tech-savvy business owners that aren’t afraid to invest in a search presence. If you want to compete in the tough SEO market of Seattle, try using this three-step action plan for search success.

Find high-value, high-traffic keywords

Half of the SEO battle is won or lost when you pick keywords. Choose high-traffic, high-value keywords that aren’t overly competitive and you could be sitting on an incredibly valuable search asset within a few months.

If you choose the wrong keywords, however, you could find yourself in a different position. Look for keywords that deliver large amounts of traffic in the Seattle area without the extensive competition of the more obvious search terms.

Assess your competition’s rankings

The other half of SEO is knowing your competition. A lot of SEOs assess their local competition based on PageRank and other public metrics. This is a flawed strategy, as PageRank has very little to do with a website’s relevance for a search keyword.

If you’ve picked keywords that aren’t aggressively targeted by rivals in the Seattle area, you’ll have no problem beating out websites with a higher PageRank than the website you’re optimizing. Instead, look for their relevance for your target search keyword by studying their website structure and on-site keyword usage.

Built an action plan for SEO success

No SEO campaign will get off the ground without a solid action plan. Spend a few days surveying your competition, your potential keywords, and your website and put together a plan that effectively prepares you for success.

Good SEO firms should set deadlines for results – not necessarily concrete results, but some measure of rankings or traffic nonetheless. Give yourself deadlines and work hard to stick to them by aggressively building links and developing on-site content.