You probably already know the benefits of SEO to any business with an online presence. But has your business got an SEO strategy? A recent study revealed that only 30% of small businesses have an SEO strategy. If you have a digital marketing strategy that doesn’t involve a unique SEO strategy, we can guarantee your website isn’t reaching its full potential. To help, we’ve put together 6 tips to help you when creating an SEO strategy.
How SEO Works
Without understanding how SEO works, you’ll struggle to create an SEO strategy.
SEO (search engine optimization) involves optimizing your website to improve your website’s presence in search engine results. This is important because organic traffic, that is traffic through search engines, makes up for 53% of all site traffic. So if you’re not in the results, specifically the first page of results, your website is missing out on customers. Organic traffic comes in through searching for queries or keywords. If a query is related to your business, a search engine will trawl through the thousands of websites that have those keywords and serve them as results of the query. The reason we say you want to be on the first page of results for a given keyword is simple. Around 25% of all traffic goes to the first result on a Google search results page. The higher up you are in the results, the more traffic you get. So, how do you get there? Through SEO, of course. A good SEO strategy addresses three key elements; technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO.
Types of SEO
Technical SEO refers to the nuts and bolts of your website. If your website isn’t in good health, a search engine won’t be able to find it and rank it in the first instance. This includes things like site speed, using secure HTTPS encryption, and mobile-friendliness. All these things indicate to Google that your site will be a good and safe experience for users. On-page SEO refers to the things on a given page on your website. This could be things like copy, metatags, and image tags. All these things help Google understand what a page is about. Off-page SEO refers to everything going on off your website. This includes things like social media, but most importantly link building. This is when another external website links to your website.
Tips for Creating an SEO Strategy
You need all three SEO types to create the best SEO strategy. Our 6 simple tips will ensure you don’t miss out on any of them.
- Get Technical
Start with your technical SEO. It’s so often overlooked in favour of the other two. We refuse to believe any business that says they don’t have any technical issues to address. We guarantee there is always a technical aspect your site could improve on. You can use a technical SEO checklist to help you find all the potential issues you could address. Once you’ve found them. Add them into your strategy. Highlight the issues and give deadlines for when the changes to fix them will be implemented by.
- Complete Keyword Research
Conducting keyword research is a vital part of any SEO strategy. It helps you understand what keywords you’re ranking for and which pages are ranking. It also helps you see which ones you’re missing out on. Your SEO strategy should include a complete list of keywords you’re ranking for as well as what ranking positions you’re in for those keywords. It should also include a list of new keyword ideas you’re not yet ranking for but want to be. You can come up with new keyword ideas through suggested keywords. You can find these using keyword research tools. You can also look at keywords your competitors are ranking for that you aren’t.
- Break It Down
Now you have a list of keywords and ranking positions, break it down further. Split your keywords into ones you’re doing well on (within the top 3 results), striking distance keywords (on the first page of results), and ones where your rankings are low (on the second page or not ranking).
All of this helps you strategize how best to optimize your SEO efforts. For keywords you’re not ranking for, create an entirely new landing page or a blog. For striking distance keywords, try on-page optimization tweaks like adding the keyword to header tags. For keywords you’re doing well on, you want to defend this position with off-page SEO activity like link building.
- Link Building
On the topic of link building, the importance of this cannot be understated. Though Google will never reveal their ranking algorithm completely, they’ve said links are an important ranking factor. So your SEO strategy should include a link building strategy. You should be compiling a list of websites you can work with to create great, relevant content that links back to your site. You can find these websites by using link research tools, as well as by looking at who links to your competitors.
- SEO and Social Media
Social media doesn’t have a direct impact on your rankings, but it’s still important to consider. Good social media usage will increase your online visibility and traffic to your site. As this is generally one of the overall goals of SEO, the two essentially go hand in hand. By this we mean, the content strategy within your SEO strategy should be cohesive with your social media strategy. All of them come together to create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
- Use the Right Tools
We’ve mentioned SEO tools a couple of times, but they’re an important part of your SEO strategy. Using the right tools can help you conduct better keyword research, find better link building opportunities, and ultimately, analyze your SEO efforts better. There’s no end to incredible SEO tools available. Free tools like Google Analytics, Adwords, and Search The console should obviously be used. But it’s well worth considering paid SEO tools such as Decibel if you want to take your SEO strategy to the next level.
Creating an SEO strategy isn’t a one and done situation. You should ideally be creating a quarterly SEO strategy that changes with your business needs and goals for the best results. For more advice on marketing businesses online, make sure to check out the business section of our blog.