How to Outline a Successful SEO Strategy
SEO strategy – a plan and trendy expression that everyone uses nowadays. And that is fine. Because every website needs some SEO strategy, no matter if it’s a new website, an already existing one, a huge e-commerce site or small local business. Everybody needs SEO while promoting services or products on the internet. And SEO activities without a thought-through strategy cannot be successful.
Getting 1. position in Google is definitely the best award for an SEO specialist. For the most competitive keywords, this would take a very long time and effort, comparable to the search for the Holy Grail… But, if we prepare a good, goal-focused SEO strategy and put it together with a dose of patience, we can accomplish something really satisfying.
In this text, I will outline what a successful SEO strategy needs to consist of, what are the most important aspects of this strategy and what you should plan in order for your website to thrive and be visible.
Research for Starters
You won’t be able to prepare a successful SEO strategy if you don’t perform an in-depth analysis which will give you a wider insight of where you are with your online business now. The research should cover the following areas.
This analysis might take you quite a lot of time, but it’s crucial to perform. What you should do is: review the top 10 and top 20 search results for around 10 keywords which are closely related to your business (including the keywords you want to rank on top of course). Using an excel sheet will be very helpful to put the information in the right order. If this is done, check which websites appear most often in the results and mark them as your strongest competitors. You can move them to another spreadsheet in excel.
Now you can start to analyze those competitors in more details, check their:
- on-site SEO: how they are optimized for search engines (technical SEO, content),
- backlinks profile (number of backlinks, number of linking domains, quality of the backlinks, anchors, etc.),
- frequency of updating the content,
- social media signals: activity on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. and check how many followers they have and how active they are.
Put all the information in your “strongest competitors” excel sheet. Don’t forget to prepare such a pack of information for your website and put it in the same file. It will be your base to find the strengths and weaknesses and further prepare a unique and competitive SEO strategy.
Potential Customers – Your Audience
This analysis will help you to find the needs and expectations of your clients and create content they are searching for. Once again use your excel sheet and put any information you find about reviews of similar products or services there.
Check what wording they use, how they ask questions etc. Also research what question keywords they could use for searching for the answers. For example, if you sell dog food, your customers might ask Google “what is the best dog food” which actually has a nice average monthly search volume of 60,500. You will use these kinds of keywords in your top content (consider putting them in H1, H2 headers as a title and subtitles) and in the meta title. That will help you to increase CTR which will boost the number of visits when you get the top positions on the first results page.
Prepare a Successful SEO Strategy – the Main Course
You already know what your goal is (1st position in Google), you have a background of your competitors’ SEO condition and activity. Moreover, you understand the needs of your customers. It’ s time to build an SEO strategy. Here is the plan you need to carry out before you start with the regular SEO campaign!
SEO Technical Optimization
You need to run an SEO technical audit that detects all the issues that need to be fixed in the following areas: site architecture and structure, internal linking, headers tag, redirection 301 and canonical tag, page speed, metadata optimization and so on. Then, prepare a checklist with all errors and precise guidelines on how to fix them (you can do the with the support of technical SEO). Set the deadlines and implement all of them. After that check your website again to avoid any mistakes and make sure that the implementation went well.
It’s a great deal of work to do, especially if you didn’t invest in good quality and unique content before. You will need to prepare texts, tips, articles that cover your keywords. Choose a few keywords and optimize the content only for the one single URL / landing page. Don’t use the same keywords for more than one URL, because it won’t help Google to decide which of them is significant for the particular keywords. Put the keyword you want to rank in the following places:
- URL structure, for example, domain.com/best-dog-food
- Metadata (mentioned)
- subheaders (H2, H2…)
- alt images.
A great way to strengthen your top landing page is internal linking (using your keyword as an anchor) from the other subpages related to the topic. This way you will pass SEO juice to the URL.
And finally you can plan the monthly activities in the following areas:
- content on-page – plan how many articles or other content you want to produce and publish. Note that Google likes any content updates so you should consider publishing at least 1 text monthly which should be linked to your top landing page. After publishing any article (updating or creating new URL) use Google Search Console and perform a URL inspection to request indexing.
- link building – it will help you to rank well, but only if you do it carefully and not in a spammy way. Choose high-quality websites you want to acquire links from and make sure that the links are set in relevant content. You should diversify your link building campaign by using keyword variations, also using only URLs as an anchor. Keep in mind that link building cannot be your only SEO tactic and it should be used as a booster for the other activities.
Run SEO Campaign – Well-Deserved Dessert
This is the moment you should fasten your seatbelts and be prepared for a smart, regular, fluent execution of your brilliant SEO plan.
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And the last tip: run keyword monitoring not only for your website but for your strongest competitors as well. This way you will be up to date with the results. Moreover, you will react on time if you see any anomalies or worrisome signals which demand a modification of your strategy.
To Sum Up – Your Successful SEO Strategy
Now, you know what you need to prepare an SEO strategy thanks to which your website will be visible in the search engines’ rankings. Remember to conduct detailed research and analysis before you start to work on the strategy itself. And do not be afraid of changes. You need to be flexible and optimize your actions to deliver the desired results. Optimization is the key to a successful SEO campaign.