What is an SEO strategy? It’s a plan for your website that focuses on 3 pillars of Search Engine Optimization: on-site, off-site, and technical optimization. Below are 8 quick SEO tips for creating a strategy for your website.
Table of contents
- What is an SEO strategy?
- 3 pillars of an SEO strategy
- 8 quick SEO tips for your business
An SEO strategy is the process of organizing your website’s content so that it’s easy for search engines to crawl. Plus, it sets out ways to improve and encourage your site visitors to engage with your content.
The goal of an SEO strategy is to grow your digital presence by ranking higher in search engine results (SERP).
If you want to leverage the power of SEO, use my quick SEO tips for crafting an SEO strategy.
What is an SEO strategy?
An effective SEO strategy includes on-page, off-page and technical SEO tactics. You should address all of them to grow your visibility on search engines.
In addition, it’s the creation of a roadmap to attain success in your niche.
Ideally, an SEO agency or freelancer should create your SEO strategy. This blueprint should highlight specific actions to grow your digital presence and outrank your competitors. The goal is to be more visible and attract more clicks than any other business in your niche. The higher your traffic, the greater the opportunity to convert website visitors into paying customers.
3 pillars of an SEO strategy
SEO practitioners broadly agree that there are three key pillars of an effective digital SEO strategy. Let’s take a closer look at each one of them:
1. Technical optimization
This is arguably the most important aspect of search engine optimization. Google requires specific website optimizations for it to be considered ‘high quality’.
- having landing pages that are properly constructed for search engine crawlers,
- making use of specific metadata such as page titles and descriptions, and;
- ensuring the website loads quickly for all visitors on all devices.
These days, having a website that isn’t optimized for mobile is a critical failure. Over time, the outcome for your business could be a loss of up to 50% of your site visitors. Simply put, your website will be demoted in SERPs.
Moreover, Google and Bing will penalize your site for lacking standard security measures, such as a missing SSL certificate. This is because your site and visitors’ data will be open to interception. That’s the last thing any business owner wants.
If technical SEO seems daunting, you’re best to engage a specialist. I’d be happy to help your business uncover SEO opportunities on your website.
2. On-site optimization
On-site optimization focuses on the non-technical aspects of your site. More specifically, it concentrates on optimizing your content, URLs, navigation, web page structure, calls to action and schema markup.
Once your site is error-free, from a technical point of view, you should start looking at the content.
Your content needs to be 100% unique and should provide value to your site visitors. It should also include your main keywords, LSI keywords, and long-tail keywords. Other metadata such as proper title and meta tags, good calls to action and structured data markup are all required.
Of these, the structured data markup is the most advanced on-site SEO tactic and one that is quite powerful. Using it properly can give you an advantage over your competition in search engine results. Read more about structured data on Search Engine Land.
3. Off-site optimization
This pillar of your SEO strategy involves link building and gaining high-quality links back to your website. In 2019, link building is still crucial if you want to outrank your competitors.
Be aware, though, that this is all about quality vs quantity. Search engines put a great deal more emphasis on backlinks from authority websites versus anything else. The practice of buying backlinks from link farms is considered black-hat SEO. Your website will be severely punished by Google and Bing by removing your site from their index completely.
For link building, it’s better to have a few links from quality sources than many generic links. Quality beats quantity, in this context.
Also, ensure that you have links from other sites or directories that are active and relevant in your business niche. This helps search engines to categorize your site in the most relevant niche ‘bucket’.
Furthermore, search engines understand the intent of a person’s search, even if the search query isn’t exactly on point. Those intent-based searches will generally show the most relevant websites in SERP.
From a Local SEO perspective, you need to list your site in local directories and local business platforms.
Google My Business is perhaps the most important tool for local SEO. It powers the listings that are shown on Google Maps and in local search results pages.
8 quick SEO tips for your business
1. Choose your niche and target topics
For this first SEO tip, you need to identify the main topics that your products or services fall into. For example, if you’re an architect, your main topics might include Home Construction, Building Compliance, Home Renovations, etc.
The (free) Keyword Planner Tool from Google shows the organic search volume of the main keywords relating to those topics. You can identify (and target) popular sub-topics that have a lot of organic search volume on a monthly basis. This indicates that people are actively searching for information in these areas.
You want your website and its content to show up for those searches.
2. Split your website into sections
If you’re selling multiple products or services, it’s a good idea to organize your website around those main topics.
You can simply grab a pen and paper and create a mind map of your ideal content structure.
Remember to think about it from the user’s point of view. Perhaps even ask an existing customer what they’d expect to see on your website.
3. Identify long-tail and LSI keywords
Next up, you need to find long-tail and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords that have good traffic but low competition.
These are additional keywords that appear in your content that are related to the topic at hand. They provide additional signals to search engines that your website is indeed talking about a particular topic. This helps to improve the relevancy of your content.
Having a look at popular question and answer sites (like Quora) can really help to identify potential keywords by seeing what questions people are asking and the problems they have.
Social media platforms are useful, too, because that’s where people are asking questions, and seeking recommendations from others.
4. Add a blog to your website and start writing
This quick SEO tip is about content. Fresh content is arguably the best way to catch the attention of search engines.
This requires some keyword research and good ol’ fashioned common sense. Basically, you’re writing answers to people’s common questions that (so far) are largely unanswered by others in your niche.
Each and every new blog post gives you a chance to show up for unique search terms. You should also explore relevant subtopics and provide a good amount of breadth for your audience. That way, you can meet their needs and exceed their expectations by providing relevant binge-worthy content.
In order to get noticed by search engines, you’ll generally need at least 15-20 posts to begin with.
You also need to keep adding to that collection over time so that the website’s content doesn’t become stale. Remember, updating old posts with current information can help boost your SEO, too.
5. Provide a great user experience (UX)
Your goal is to entice and enable your site visitors to spend as much time as possible on your site. Having visitors engage with your content as much as possible is critical.
What is a good user experience (UX)?
UX is a very broad topic, but in this context, the focus should be to make navigating your website as easy as possible.
Also, that your content is arranged and presented in a readable and easily consumable format.
So, ensure your site’s navigation is flawless and that you create visually impacting calls-to-action. These enable your audience to travel between your web pages with ease.
At this point, you may realize this is all about increasing the amount of time visitors spend on your site. In the eyes of search engines, the more time people spend on your site, the more valuable your content is perceived.
6. Create an advanced link building plan
Link building is just as important as any other on-page SEO tactic. It’s an integral part of any successful SEO strategy. Ironically, high-quality link building is also quite difficult to achieve when done correctly. As a general rule, you need to focus on getting backlinks from high-authority sites.
For example, backlinks from sites like Wikipedia, New York Times, or Forbes, are valuable. One link or mention from a well-known website is worth much more than hundreds of links from no-name sites.
It is imperative to brainstorm ways on how to get more high-quality backlinks to your site. The goal is to create a name for yourself, and your business, as an authority in your niche. Google has announced that this is something they look for. It’s called EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).
In practice, this means staying current with changes in your industry. Writing detailed posts that others find useful will pay off in the medium-to-long term.
At this point, I suggest reaching out to me for assistance on ways to add high-value content to your site.
Bonus tip – define the strategy upfront. It’ll save you a lot of time and content marketing later on!
7. Stay up to date with SEO
Just like paid search (PPC), digital marketing and branding, SEO is constantly evolving.
You need to know what works, and what doesn’t, in order to fully optimize your web pages.
Some of the best SEO-related news sites are Search Engine Land, SEOMoz and SEOBook. I’d recommend reading about the changes Google and Bing have implemented on a monthly basis.
8. Measure your results
Here’s the final quick SEO tip! You need to know exactly how your site is performing after you make changes. Use tools like SEMRush to find out how you’re positioned compared to your competition.
To get help with your small business SEO strategy, feel free to contact me. I’ll create a personalized SEO strategy for your business and guide you along the way.