SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the most important aspects of online marketing. It involves improving the visibility and ranking of a website on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. A strong SEO strategy can help a business increase traffic and online visibility, resulting in more customers, leads and sales. One way to develop a strong SEO strategy as a content marketer is by including SEO content marketing in your overall website development process.
There are many factors that go into SEO, including website content optimization, on-page, off-page, technical SEO, conducting an SEO competitor analysis, and relevant keyword research. In order to create an effective content SEO strategy from scratch, it is important to understand these basic components and how to apply them. Moreover, you should focus on understanding your audience and their search intent. Without knowing what the search intent of your community is, it will be difficult to have a solid SEO content strategy.
Therefore, in this blog post we will provide:
What is SEO – How to create an SEO Strategy Basics
First thing to create a strong SEO content strategy is to know what search engine optimization (SEO) is. Search engine optimization include the various SEO tactics to increase a piece of content’s Google search ranking
Moreover, search engine optimization is a digital marketing process that focuses on optimizing a website for search engines in order to improve its rank and visibility. SEO involves optimizing various elements of a website including:
- A website’s content and copy
- Optimizing the structure of the website
- On-page elements such as titles, header tags, meta descriptions, permalinks and anchor text
- Developing off-page SEO techniques such as link building and social media marketing.
The goal of SEO is to improve the visibility of a website so that it appears higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs). When a user enters a query into a search engine, the SERPs display a list of websites that match the user’s query (10 organic results per page). The higher a website appears in the SERPs, the more likely it is to be visited by the user.
A strong understanding of SEO is essential for making a well-informed and robust SEO content marketing strategy. Have a look at our 4 pillars of SEO for a deep dive into everything you need to know to optimize your website for search results.
In order for your website to perform well, you will need to have original content that forms a topic cluster of high quality content. It will take time to perform SEO content writing, as you will need to conduct keyword research around relevant content in your niche. Moreover, you can use an SEO tool or Google Search Console to find keywords that will/are driving traffic to your website.
With SEO and your content strategy, it is important to remember, your SEO content strategy is a long-term process and will take time to see results. However, it is one of the most important aspects of online marketing and it should be given priority in any digital marketing strategy.
Why is a SEO Strategy important?
SEO is important because it can help a website be more visible in the search engine results pages. Moreover, a website that appears higher in the SERPs is more likely to be visited by high-quality and motivated website traffic. This is because when a page is properly optimized, it will be able to answer the searchers intent and thus, provide them with the exact answers they are looking for.
SEO can also help to improve the click-through rate (CTR) of a website. The CTR is the percentage of users who click on a result in the SERPs and are then taken to the website. A higher CTR means that more users are visiting the website.
Websites will see an improvement in their CTR with each position they climb in the SERPs. Whereas, almost 68% of all clicks go to the top five results for any search query!
Now, a SEO strategy is important because it provides a business with actionable steps to accomplishing their digital marketing goals. Moreover, a strategy will ensure that all team members understand their responsibility, and can work together to achieve a common goal.
Now that we know SEO will help increase high-quality organic traffic, and it will increase our click-through rate, while a SEO strategy will provide us with the steps to do so, let’s discuss how to create a SEO strategy for your business.
How to create an SEO strategy from scratch
Depending on your understanding of search engine optimization, creating an SEO strategy from scratch can seem like a daunting task. Therefore, we will discuss a few key elements of an SEO strategy: starting a blog, researching your competition, researching keywords, and optimizing your website for search engines.
1. Build pillar pages for each topic:
First things first. A website can’t be optimized with SEO techniques if there is no content to be ranked. The pages of a website usually determine the pillar topics of its overall theme. With the overarching topics in place, it will give a high-level overview of what your business represents and what it will be targeting with its SEO strategy.
Pages typically target broader keywords – such as your products and services – that are usually much more competitive and difficult to rank for. However, this is where starting content marketing and optimization, specifically a blog come into play.
Let’s move on to point two: Starting a blog for your business.
2. Start a blog and be consistent with content writing:
Content marketing and blogging go hand in hand. A blog is where long-tail keywords are targeted to support the overall theme of the website. A blog will allow for you to develop cluster topics that focus on topics that are highly related to each other, which allows for the website to build a more comprehensive and authoritative narrative of the topic – ie. your products and services.
Moreover, by using a blog as a digital marketing tool, you will be giving your website additional opportunities to rank higher on Google and other search engines. And thus, attract customers that are searching for other relative topics.
If you decide to utilize a blog to build up your authority of a topic, consider the following:
- Make sure you are not keyword stuffing. Search engines, and especially Google, have had countless search updates to improve its algorithm. This means old practices like stuffing keywords or using duplicate content to increase rankings, no longer work.
- Create a good network of internal links on each of your new blogs. Linking to existing blogs that are relevant and helpful. While interlinking, make sure to use best practices when it comes to anchor text. Finally, interlinking will help Google crawl your website, as well as show how all of your content is related and build your topic authority.
- Make sure to link the new post in the pillar page as well. By interlinking the pillar and cluster page (main topic and supporting topic) together you’re reinforcing the relationship between the long-tail keyword and the head keyword the website is trying to rank for.
- Finally, be consistent with content development. If your website is new, more frequent posts will help show Google that the website is legit, and worth indexing. Once the website is more established, you can settle on a consistent content schedule – we at Clear Door SEO aim to post at least one blog per week.
3. Research your competition
Now that you have your website up and running, with pages and posts. It is time to research what the competitors are doing with their SEO strategies. What they are succeeding in, and what gaps they are leaving in your niche.
In order to get an understanding of what SEO elements are working for your competitors, is to first take a look at their website with some SEO and keyword tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Moz’s Keyword Explorer, Ubersuggest, Ahref (free tools are just fine for this!). These tools will help you to understand which keywords your competition is targeting, how well they are ranking for those keywords, and what keyword gaps there currently are for you to focus on for your SEO strategy.
After you have taken a look from the top-down with a keyword tool, you will want to look at the website itself. See how they are designing their website, what type of language they use, and the photos they choose. This technique is by no means for you to copy and replicate what they are doing. It is to gain further insight about what they are doing and why it is working. If they are outperforming the competition, there is a reason for it. Take a look and try to find out some strategies that will help you succeed as well.
4. Keyword Research
Now we are fully equipped to start researching the terms and keywords that we want to target. Ideally, a good mixture of head terms, and long-tail keywords should be used in the content being produced.
Try to come up with a good mixture of volume and keyword difficulty when selecting terms to target. It is important to get some early wins when developing a website. These less competitive keywords will help generate some traffic while you build out the rest of your website. Traffic will help show Google that your website is important and provides information to your niche’s audience. Additionally, more traffic equals more chances of backlinks and social shares. Which, as we know, are positive signals that Google wants to see.
5. Optimize your website
With keywords in hand, it’s time to start generating content and optimizing it with keywords. Knowing where to place keywords can be difficult for first time users. Therefore, it might be useful to have a look at our resource for: Where to place keywords!
A few places to optimize your content with keywords include:
- Header Tags
- Meta descriptions
- Image alt text
- Content body
While optimizing these areas, make sure that you do not keyword stuff. Keyword stuffing is negative for two reasons. One, it can raise red flags with Google and result in penalties.
The second negative is, it will seem unnatural to your readers. If your readers think your content is spammy, or if it is only written to serve the website’s needs, they will be quick to leave. The golden rule to writing content for SEO and website is to write it for the user first. Their needs should come before your own personal needs.
6. Promote Your Content
Social media is an essential component to driving website traffic to a website. Social media can help supplement your organic traffic when you are first starting out, or during off-seasons. Moreover, it will help get your content in front of people that you would have never been able to before. With more eyes on your content means more opportunities for shares and to build backlinks.
Additionally, social media will give you an opportunity to build a brand and audience. Building a brand and audience is important to find a community that will support you and continue to spread the word about your company. You can think of your community as digital marketers that can help you succeed.
Therefore, make sure to include social media and sharing content as a part of your SEO strategy.
7. Monitor your progress
Finally, make sure to monitor your SEO progress. Any good strategy for SEO will utilize the SMART SEO goals formula. The formula will allow you to set time bound goals and track if you are going to achieve them or not.
Once again, use SEO tools to track your keywords and ranking progress, as well as your website traffic inflow. By setting time aside to monitor your SEO strategy’s goals you can be proactive if things need to be changed, or even raised because of the website’s performance.
Finally, don’t be discouraged with your SEO, especially if it is a new website. Whereas SEO is a long-term process and it takes time to see results. Therefore, it is important to be patient and consistent with your SEO efforts.
SEO Strategy Monthly Plan:
Now that you have an idea about all the components of a SEO strategy, it’s time to create a monthly plan to implement the overall strategy. Make sure to stay organized and involve all of your team members that have a role in your digital marketing initiatives. One way to do this is come up with an SEO checklist, or SEO work plan for every month.
The list below takes everything mentioned above and provides some actionable steps to complete your monthly SEO strategy.
- Have your team devote time to keyword research and keyword gap analysis
- Generate a list of blog ideas that target your keywords and keyword gaps identified.
- Update and refresh old content to make it more relevant and ‘fresh’
- Look for seasonality keywords that could be targeted for relative holidays and events
- Assign all SEO and content related tasks to the appropriate team members.
- Monitor and track all activities conducted in the previous months.
- Prepare for the upcoming month and repeat the process
Key Takeaways – SEO Strategy
The blog post will help you know exactly how to create an SEO strategy. Whereas, a strong SEO strategy is important because it can help a business attract more free organic visitors to their website. Moreover, increased website traffic and especially organic traffic can result in more sales and increased visibility for a website.
There are many SEO strategies that a business can use to improve their ranking in Google SERPs, however, utilizing SEO best practices and great content will benefit it the most. For example if you focus on content creation that answers search intent well, Google will reward you with better rankings, and more free organic traffic. By writing content, and then evaluating its performance on Google Search Console as well as Google Analytics, you will be able to conduct further content optimization.
Remember that SEO strategies require constant input and work. It is not a one-off process. Make sure to constantly monitor your competitors as well as the SEO activities that you are conducting.
If you are looking for assistance from a digital marketing agency, Clear Door SEO has a proven track record in helping businesses succeed. We provide an array of SEO services, as well as SEO consulting to help you develop a SEO strategy for your business. Contact Clear Door SEO today to find out how we can help your business succeed online!