Did you know that over 70% of people research a company on the web before deciding to buy or visit? If you don’t have a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy in place, people won’t find you when they’re doing their research. You’ll lose out to competitors who are already harnessing the power of SEO.
Okay, so you know you need to build an SEO strategy — but where do you begin?
When it comes to SEO, there are a lot of things you need to know in order to be successful. From Google’s algorithm updates to tracking your website’s ranking, SEO is a task that never ends. But what happens if you don’t know how to do any of these things? Or if you’re not sure how they all fit together? This blog post will walk you through the process of creating, implementing, and optimizing an SEO campaign that will have your site shooting up the rankings in no time.
Why is SEO important?
You might still wonder why SEO is important for your website and whether will it help you increase traffic and collect leads from different sources. Let me tell you why you must consider this tactic as important as any other marketing strategy:
- 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine
- 53 % of all website traffic comes from organic search.
- 93% of global traffic comes from Google search, Google Images, and Google Maps.
Search engine optimization (SEO), is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website through organic search engine results. One of the most recommended practices to increase traffic is by creating content.
New Google algorithms improve every couple of years, and their main target is to deliver value to their users. Implementing thousands of hashtags or creating a Google ad campaign with the biggest budget does not cover it anymore. You have to think about users and what users are looking for.
There are three types of SEO that an SEO strategist can focus on:
- On-page SEO: This SEO focuses on the content on site pages and how to optimize it to boost the website’s ranking for specific keywords.
- Off-page SEO: This SEO focuses on links directed to the website from elsewhere on the internet. The number of backlinks a site has from reputable sources helps you build trust with search algorithms.
- Technical SEO: This SEO focuses on a website’s backend architecture, like site code. Google cares just as much about technical set-up as it does content, so this position is important for rankings.
Bear in mind that every business has different objectives, so it is an SEO’s job to examine their industry, determine what their audiences care about, and develop a strategy that gives them what they’re looking for.
Below we’ll go over some steps you can take to ensure your SEO strategy sets you up for success.
What Is An SEO Strategy?
An SEO strategy(also referred to as “SEO approach”) is a plan that outlines the steps you’ll take to improve your search engine rankings. With your plan in place, you can optimize your website to rank better in search results to drive more qualified traffic to your site.
The goal here is to rank higher and drive more organic traffic (and hopefully conversions).
Having an SEO strategy is important because it helps you stay on track when creating content. Instead of just creating what you think people are looking for, your strategy will ensure that you’re creating content that people are searching for.
9 Fundamental Steps to Create and Improve Your SEO Strategy
Building a successful SEO strategy can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Following a few simple steps, you can create an effective SEO strategy to help your website rank higher in search engine results and attract more visitors.
#1. Perform an SEO Audit
This is the roadmap that will guide you throughout the entire optimization process and allow you to benchmark against your current site.
The audit quickly identifies what is working on your site and what needs to be changed.
The audit also identifies any weak areas that can be improved and if your website is updated in line with current SEO trends, making up an essential part of your SEO strategy.
An audit can tell you a lot about your SEO standings.
It can help you to understand:
- Whether or not your website design, especially your homepage, is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and reliable
- If any issues are causing your site to load slowly
It can also double check:
- That your links- outbound and internal links alike are functioning correctly and sending users to the correct destination site
- Your performance in search engine result pages (SERPs) for your chosen keyword phrases
- If your site’s piece of content is optimized to ensure better conversion rates
Once you know where you’re starting from, it’s time to plan your timeframe, allocated budgets, and resources.
Consider a site audit like a report card on your SEO strategy. Showing you what you are doing well and what areas you can improve.
Using this roadmap, you can easily create SEO strategies to set your business up for success.
#2. Perform Keyword Research
You must optimize your pages for relevant keywords if you want your site to appear in relevant search results. When users conduct research looking for a business like yours, they use keywords to help them find companies that offer what they need.
From single words to complex phrases, keywords tell search engines what your content is about. But adding keywords isn’t as simple as just plugging in the name of the product or service you want to sell.
It would help if you researched to ensure keyword optimization, and that means considering the following:
The beauty of the English language (and the bane of SEOs) is its richness.
But words often have multiple meanings, making it crucial to consider search intent so you don’t attract an audience searching for something else.
For example, if you’re trying to attract customers to a haberdashery, ranking highly for [bowlers] may attract people who want to roll a few frames instead of those looking for a new hat.
Once you’ve identified your targets, you need to figure out which keywords are important to them.
It’s usually best to target only a few keywords, as targeting too broadly will make it difficult for the search engine to determine what your pages are about.
These are short phrases consisting of two or more words that people type into search engines to find specific content.
For example, someone looking for dance lessons may ask Google for [tango classes near me].
Keyword Research Tools
The brainstorming process is a great place to start keyword research, but to ensure you’re attracting the right audience and proving your value to search engines, you should utilize a research tool.
Most SEO professionals use Google’s Keyword Planner for this, but it can be a bit frustrating to use, so you may wish to consider other options.
These are specific search terms people use to find an exact match for their query.
They tend to be longer and are more likely to be used by people who are closer to making a purchase.
An example of this would be [vegetarian restaurants in San Antonio], which would most likely be used by someone with a craving for a plant-based meal.
This will tell you the number of searches for a particular keyword over a specified timeframe, giving you an overall idea of the term’s value and competitiveness.
[Christmas lights] is going to get a lot more volume in November and December than it will in July. A lot of terms are seasonal, keep this in mind.
Likewise, [used cars] is going to have more competition than [2006 Volkswagen Passant].
These are keywords targeting users at various parts of the sales funnel.
People at the top of the funnel are more likely to be attracted by more general terms like [Cancun vacation]. In contrast, those nearer to purchasing compare prices and brands and are more likely to be attracted by things like discounts or hotel names.
Keywords are as much about your audience as they are about your content.
Working these keywords into your SEO strategies and website content makes it easier for search engines to find your site.
They then deliver your business information to the searcher on page one of the search results!
It all starts with keyword research. There are a ton of SEO tools or keyword tools that you can use to help you choose the best keywords for your website.
These are some of the best keyword tools out there:
- SEMrush Keyword Overview Tool
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Google Keyword Planner
#3. Carry Out A Competitive Analysis
The next part of this SEO step-by-step guide involves seeing who’s ranking for your keywords currently.
If you didn’t have any competition, SEO would not be needed. But as long as others are fighting for the same keyword, you must find ways to differentiate yourself.
It would help if you had an idea of what others in your industry are doing, so you can position yourself for the best results.
By identifying and researching your competitors, you can identify gaps and opportunities that your SEO strategy can focus on. You can identify where your competitor is doing well and where they are lacking – creating opportunities for you.
Doing this analysis will better understand their SEO strategy and allow you to catch up and eventually outrank them. Keeping a close eye on your competition is good, but your goals and target audience should always come first in your strategy.
#4. Create Awesome Content
If you want to know how to do SEO, start by creating content.
Content creation is a critical component to helping you rank in search results.
Great SEO strategies are built on the bedrock of great content and fully optimized on-page SEO.
Website content, such as blogs, should contain keywords your customers may be searching for.
But it is also essential that the new content provides value by:
- Educating site visitors on a subject
- Providing answers to a question they may be asking
- Providing solutions to a problem they may be experiencing
- Giving them further information about a service, product, or event
Creating high-quality content or blogging is excellent for improving your SEO strategy.
You can also use content like videos and infographics to help enhance the experience on your content pages.
#5. Internally Link Building (On-page SEO)
Internal links are links you place in your content that lead to other pages on your site. These links are critical when you create new pages because they help Google discover additional pages on your site if it hasn’t already.
Internal linking is an important step for on-page SEO. You need to make sure that your site has intuitive internal linking and can be easy to crawl for Google. If the internal linking makes no sense or you have broken links, your ranking on google will drop, and users might think the site is old and inoperative.
Descriptive URLs are no longer working, e.g., click here or follow this link. You have to make sure that people want to click on the URL. A keyword or nice phrase that might send people in the right direction will give you better chances of conversions than plain old click here.
These steps will help you get started on your way to being an SEO master. Remember, you cannot tackle them all at once, but making some progress each day will impact your SEO ranking.
#6. Build Backlinks (Off-Page SEO)
Off-page SEO focuses on building authority by way of link building.
Links to your website from reputable websites (according to Google algorithms) increase your authority with readers and build trust with search engine algorithms.
For instance, submitting a guest post on an authoritative site that allows a backlink to your website is good.
Part of your SEO strategy should include a sound link-building strategy.
This means reaching out to authoritative sites and working together to create mutually beneficial backlinks.
This will help to improve your search engine rankings and drive inbound traffic to your site and business.
It would help if you also were sure to perform a site crawl regularly to ensure that your website is entirely free of broken links.
#7. Optimize the user experience.
Please don’t overlook the importance of your site’s technical structure and how users interact with it.
Investing in SEO means that your website will start to generate more traffic over time. If you’re getting more traffic, you want those users to take action on your website, whether making an inquiry or purchasing a product or a service. Your SEO strategy should optimize your website for the best user experience.
Changing the position of a button on your website or reducing the form size can result in a massive increase or decrease in users taking action on your website.
Your website should provide a simple user experience optimized for conversions and gives the user all the information they need to complete their action.
Likewise, you should find and fix technical issues like broken links, slow load times, and bad site schema.
#8. Make it Mobile-Friendly
If you want your content to rank in search results, you must have a mobile-friendly site. Google now uses a mobile-first index, which takes the mobile version of your site into account when ranking your site in search results. To ensure you deliver a mobile-friendly experience, integrate responsive design into your website.
Google has made changes to its algorithm to prioritize mobile-friendly search results.
In order to create an SEO strategy that takes this into account, your website should have the following technical SEO ranking factors:
- Quick mobile response times
- Text formatted to adjust to smaller screens
- Images that don’t slow down the responsiveness of your site
If your site has the extra accommodations and provides a great user experience, it will be seen as mobile-friendly by Google.
Thus ranking your website above all others that do not adhere to mobile.
#9. Track and Measure Results
There’s no point in taking the time to work on your SEO strategy if you aren’t also tracking your progress!
To know what is working and what needs attention, track and measure the performance of content and your SEO efforts. After generating the reports on your SEO strategy, you need to track the metrics and prove their impact.
The most important metrics you’ll want to consider include organic sessions, bounce rate, top exit pages, and crawl errors.
By identifying these, you’ll get a better idea of what your customers are looking for – and what’s driving them away.
There are tons of tools out there to help you monitor the success of your SEO efforts, like Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
These types of tools allow you to:
- Follow the improvement of your search engine ranking for various keywords
- See increases and decreases in web traffic
- Check how your web presence measures up against the competition
- Show what types of content are performing best so that you can continue to develop that content strategy
Detailed analytics such as these are essential in helping you to continue improving your SEO strategy.
Promoting your brand with a unique SEO content strategy means focusing on creating the highest-quality, optimized website and content.
As a result, you can rank higher on search engine result pages and let more potential customers find you, leading to a higher conversion rate.
When you look at this SEO step-by-step guide, you may feel overwhelmed with everything you need to do to improve your site’s ranking in search results.
But if you aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry — the experts at Entrepreneur Arena can help you optimize and manage your company’s SEO strategy. Contact us.