Effective SEO: How To Create Your SEO Strategy
No website succeeds online without a good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. But how do you do it? The easiest way is to work with an SEO agency to help you create a comprehensive plan and take care of the details on your behalf.
It doesn't hurt to have a clear idea about the process, though. It even helps you collaborate with the SEO team more effectively to ensure they're on the right track.
Here's a quick guide to creating an SEO strategy that works, regardless of your business or website.
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1. Define Your SEO Goals
Some digital marketing experts advise doing keyword research straightaway. We believe the initial step should be to know your SEO objectives.
Your goals will help you decide how to do the rest of the steps. Let's say you're a website with an existing SEO plan. Your primary objectives might no longer be to build brand awareness or get more traffic to your site.
Instead, your priorities are improving your clickthrough rate (CTR) or achieving higher conversions. You might also start the campaign with a website audit to discover issues and fix them before proceeding with the rest of the strategy.
Uncovering your business' SEO goals can take time, and sometimes it can be confusing. Use these questions as your guide:
- What does your business hope to achieve online?
- Why do you want to achieve those things?
- How will you know if you've succeeded?
- Who is your target audience?
- What do they want or need from you?
2. Spy on Your Competition
Learning about the competition is an underrated SEO strategy. With thousands of websites published daily, your online business isn't exactly unique. You'll be going up against others offering similar products or services.
But you can use their presence, and even their success, to develop a more cost-effective campaign. Spying can help you with:
- Determining techniques that can also work for your website
- Knowing ineffective strategies so that you can avoid them
- Finding niches where there's less competition
- Spotting missed keyword opportunities or gaps you can take advantage of
You can analyze these websites in different ways. For instance, you can check their backlinks or use similar long-tail keywords. You can use tools to understand their user experience (UX) and website structures.
Either way, use the knowledge to enhance your website while building the foundations of your SEO strategy.
3. Perform an Extensive Keyword Research
Keywords are central to every SEO strategy. Your choices will shape your content, affect your ranking on search results, and determine your success.
This step leaves little room for mistakes, so you must get these keywords right the first time. Usually, the process involves using suggestion tools such as Google Keywords Planner or Ubersuggest.
But keyword research should always begin with knowing how search engine algorithms work. Learning about ranking factors, spiders, and user queries can give your website the best opportunity to land on page one of the search engine search results (SERPs). Even better, you can rank first on your chosen terms.
You can also cushion the impact of algorithm updates or modify the plan accordingly. Lastly, understanding how things work makes it easier to explain the process to clients or other stakeholders.
Once you've done this, you can continue with the other essential steps in keyword research:
- Identify your audience. Whom are you trying to reach with your website or content? With your audience in mind, you can narrow down the keywords to target.
- Research your competition. What keywords are they targeting? What terms do they rank for? Fill in the market gaps.
- Use keyword tools. Subscribe to free and paid tools that can help research keywords, including Google Ads Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer.
- Generate a keyword list. Your keywords can include short-tail, long-tail, and local keywords. The list should show related terms and phrases.
- Analyze your keyword list. Identify the searcher's intent behind each keyword. Are they looking to buy something? Do they need more information?
- Prioritize your keywords. Not all keywords are created equal. Some will be a lot more difficult to rank for than others. Evaluate each and prioritize those that meet your SEO goals.
4. Focus on the Three Pillars of SEO
SEO is a multifaceted digital marketing approach; you can get lost in the different tactics. Thus, you can end up trying to do everything at once and failing miserably.
A sound strategic plan will revolve around the three pillars of SEO:
- Technical SEO: It deals with the website's infrastructure and indexing processes. It includes optimizing your site's XML sitemaps, URLs, speed, and mobile responsiveness. Technical SEO helps search engines understand your website's structure and content.
- On-page SEO: It optimizes individual web pages to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in the search results. This type of SEO focuses on title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and image alt texts. It also promotes high-quality content. On-page SEO matters because it gives your website the best chance to rank.
- Off-page SEO: This one involves all other ranking factors — not on your websites — such as backlinks and social signals. These elements show search engines that your site is trustworthy and relevant. They also significantly influence your domain authority.
Investing time and effort into these three types will help you build a strong SEO foundation. You can then start branching out and experimenting with other tactics and strategies.
5. Review and Revise Your SEO Strategy
Your SEO strategy is not set in stone. As the search landscape changes, so should your approach. That's why you should review and revise your strategy regularly. Here are some smart practices:
- Make it a habit to check your website's analytics data at least once a month. It will help you track progress and identify struggling areas. Keep an eye on your competition. If they start to outrank you for your target keywords, make some changes.
- Consistent SEO strategy revisits can help you adapt fast. Google creates many algorithm updates every year. Most are minor, but some can significantly impact your website's search visibility.
- Measure your SEO success. After all, what's the point of putting so much time and effort into SEO if you're not going to see any results? You can use many tools, such as Google Analytics and metrics, to gather reliable data.
SEO is a long-term game. It takes considerable effort and patience to see results. However, it's worth it, especially with a well-developed strategy. Use our concise step-by-step guide to create an SEO plan to take your website to the next level.
When it gets tricky, consult an SEO agency. The best team uses a modifiable template to quickly implement customer-centric strategies.
Remember that an effective SEO campaign is the key to online success. It attracts more website visitors, boosts sales, and enhances the bottom line. So what are you waiting for? Start planning today!
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