How can you create an SEO strategy that can stand the test of time with hundreds of Google algorithm updates made each year? Defining your website's purpose and figuring out the objective that you are trying to accomplish is the key to creating an SEO strategy that delivers actual business results.
When people think about SEO, they only think about the outcomes it can offer: increased traffic, improved rankings, more links pointing to the website and hopefully more sales, usually without a defined purpose that states what you want to achieve, or how you will know if you are succeeding.
If you want to achieve the kind of success that makes your bottom line explode and your competition jealous, it won't happen accidentally. You need a plan, expertise and expert execution. Here are the steps:
How to Develop an SEO Strategy
Creating a good SEO strategy is complicated. It involves a multifaceted, thoughtful approach that covers everything from targeting, content marketing, tech-heavy aspects of your site infrastructure and the creative elements. In this article, I'm going to discuss a detailed process for creating your own SEO strategy in a way that's easy to follow and execute.
Define your goals
Determine your goals as a website or business. Do you monetize your website via ads to increase traffic and return readership? Are you looking to drive sales through your website? If you're trying to make product sales, your focus should be informative and attractive product pages that optimize for both conversions and search.
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Focus on high-quality content if your goal is to attract new readers through search and the site operates on an advertising model. Quality content keeps visitors on your site longer or encourages them to return.
Identify your audience
Who are you trying to reach? How does their buyer's journey look? Identifying your target audience and learning all you can about them can help you get a better picture of your typical visitor. Although, the purpose of SEO is to rank well in search engine and to drive traffic to your website that won't mean much if your site is showing up in front of an audience that doesn't care.
An excellent way to identify your audience is by exploring your Google Analytics account. After you have defined your audience, then you can set your goals based on that audience.
Define your competitive landscape
Who are the competitors you're up against? You need a clear understanding of your competitive landscape to know what it'll take to compete. The idea is to have a look at what your competitors are doing, what tools, features, and social visibility do they possess? What are they doing that's making them rank so well on Google, and what is it that's making people want to share their content or link back to them, etc.
You need competitive insights that are far beyond title tag comparisons. You need to know everything about them. You need to know their features In-links, On-Page, Traffic & content comparison. All this speaks to why the site is popular.
Categorized Keyword Research
Now that you have a good idea of the target audience(s), we want to dive into some particular targeted keyword research. You can categorize keywords based on your site topics your site. If you're covering several topics or you have an extensive website that's covering several topics, you need to create a different worksheet for each main topic that has several subtopics within it.
Feel free to make keyword tabs for as many topics as you want and don't be afraid to make as many categories as you wish. Ditch out those keywords that are not relevant or that are not being searched for once you've done the keyword research. You could use keyword tools that allow you to create and store keyword lists like Keyword Discovery or WordTracker,
Moving to On-Page SEO
On-Page SEO is essential in helping search engines crawl your website and find all of your valuable content. Your keyword research will also be beneficial here because they will help you optimize your content and you need to ensure your website has proper internal linking with no broken links, unique content, good navigation, and appropriate page load-times.
Trying to fit as many themes as possible on a page will do more harm than good; therefore, it's vital to build specific pages around focused keyword themes because it gives the search engines a good understanding of each page.
Moving on to off-page SEO
Making connections in your industry and trying to earn links naturally with your target audience is an excellent way to improve off-page SEO as well as improve your brand's image. Other methods would be: demanding links from affiliates and creating great content.
Google rewards websites for their popularity and links to authoritative websites. The more audience that know about you, the more people are likely to link back to your site; thus improving your SEO.
Monitor and track your SEO Success
There are many metrics you can track to keep your SEO plan on track and measure your success.
- Setup a Google Analytics account to monitor how much organic traffic comes to your site on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.
- Designing a spreadsheet to track the on-page changes can help you recognize your success as well as identify areas of opportunity.
- Utilize a rank tracking service/software to monitor search positions over time like tracking indexed pages, ROI, leads, keywords, inbound links, and your ranking on SERPs.