Are you planning on using SEO for your business or existing website?
If you are, you need an SEO strategy. An SEO strategy can help you maximize your engagement with your readers and potential customers. Your SEO strategy can determine where your site ends up on SERPs (search engine result pages).
However, do you know how to create an SEO strategy? It may seem extremely technical, requiring years behind a screen to master basics. However, so long as you know what one includes, your SEO strategy can be effective.
In this article, we’ll go over what a successful SEO strategy includes to help you start taking steps towards online notoriety and sales.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
#1: A Site Audit
When we try to imagine how to create an SEO strategy, our efforts need to begin with data. In particular, an SEO strategy must contain an initial assessment of an existing site.
Knowing what is good with your site or content can tell you what you have been doing right all along. Meanwhile, the initial technical inspection of your site will reveal issues that can affect your ranking.
At the early stages of your SEO strategy, you should check your site for the following:
- Page speed overall
- Specific pages that load slowly
- URL structure
- Duplicate content (e.g., content in an HTTP page vs. the same content on an HTTPS page)
There are more things you need to check. However, the above-mentioned can take care of many of Google’s ranking factors. Addressing these can be sufficient for your site to rank.
#2: Page Title and Meta-description Improvements
Page titles and meta-descriptions are also important ranking factors. They are not just crucial for you to rank on Google but many other search engines, too.
Improvements in page titles and meta-descriptions can make your site easy to index. By having page titles and meta-descriptions with the right keywords, you can make your site more visible to search engines.
The improvements in page titles and meta-descriptions can come in many forms. Possibly, the easiest one for you to address may be keywords and character lengths.
With meta-descriptions, character count becomes an even more pressing area to address. According to most SEO “best practices,” the ideal number of characters in your meta-description should be 150 to 160 characters.
By filling your page titles with the right keywords (preferably long-tail), your site can easily signal its relevance. With meta-descriptions down to 150 to 160 characters, users can easily get a sneak peek of your content.
Here it is — more site visits, which can lead to engagement and conversions.
#3: A Content Strategy
Your SEO content strategy encompasses everything from keyword research to content and URL optimization. It is with relevant content that you can interest readers or potential clients.
You need to know what users want and need. No other process can reveal this to you better than keyword research. With the use of certain tools, you can determine the right keywords for a given topic. Then, you can incorporate these into your content and page URLs.
Certain tools available today can help. Some like SurferSEO and Frase can help you with achieving the right keyword density. After all, too many keywords, and Google may flag you for keyword stuffing.
The actual writing can also be affected by the data you have gathered. Your content strategy also needs to include checking the most popular type of content.
For example, if you have determined for a certain topic that a listicle works better than a long-form post, then go with a listicle. Again, SEO tools can also give you insight into content formats that are popular for a topic.
#4: A Backlinking Strategy
There is more than one way to skin a cat. And, there is more than one way to attract users to your site besides organic traffic.
Sure, you should be able to attract curious clicks with your site’s design and well-written content. However, with the number of websites present, you might need some help.
Backlinking allows the visitors of other websites to reach a page on yours. Creating a backlinking strategy requires a lot of social media management and off-page work. It can even involve a bit of PR work.
A backlink gives your potential client or viewer a clickable link that will direct him or her to your site. Of course, you might have to:
- Use social media to redirect users to your site
- Network with site owners and ask them to create a link to your site
- Keeping an eye out for niche authorities and “tap” them as a resource for backlinks
Whatever the strategy, a backlink or two with a reputable site will land you a higher place in the search engine rankings. For this reason, backlink creation should have a place in your SEO strategy.
#5: Analytics Monitoring
It’s your site, and it’s your business. Hence, you need to check on it every now and then. When you do, always pay close attention to your site’s performance. And by performance, we mean:
- Pages reached with backlinks
- Pages reached with organic searches
- The number of visits
- The number of site navigations
There are tools for this. To date, the most popular seems to be Google Analytics. Google Search Console has also been indispensable to many SEO analytics. So too has SEMRush and Mozbar.
The point is to check on your site’s data to get an idea of how it is performing. You may need to do this periodically. Why? That takes us to the final item on this list.
#6: Continuous Optimization Plans
There’s an old MMA saying:
“Everyone’s got a plan until they get punched in the face.”
Sports references aside, it is crucial to you as a marketer to make improvements as data becomes available. Gone are the days when any marketer can draft an SEO strategy, then kick back and expect it to take shape.
The search queries of people change. And so do the algorithms of Google and other major search engines. You need to keep up to date with current trends and developments to stay ahead of the competition.
When the time comes to make changes to your strategy, use your analytics data to guide your adjustments.
Not enough organic traffic? Create more keyword-rich content or start backlinking more aggressively.
Problems with high bounce rates? Take out that MP4 video that’s slowing down your landing page!
You get the idea.
SEO Strategy - Always A Work In Progress
A successful SEO strategy includes how to improve the content, site design, and online visibility. It also includes how and when to take stock of data to determine your site’s performance.
Equally important is this final point of strategizing:
An SEO strategy is not something that you draw up and execute once. While this approach may work at the beginning, ranking is something that does not occur overnight. After all, improvement of any kind is a gradual, ongoing process.
Indeed, Rome wasn't built in a day. And, your site’s place on the first page of the SERPs can take a long time. For this reason, any successful SEO strategy needs to have a plan for making improvements as data rolls in.
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