Creating an SEO strategy that works
We’ve developed a tried and tested process for creating a successful SEO strategy that takes into account unique business needs and barriers. Here are some tips to help you get started…
Step by step SEO strategy
Step 1: Set SMART goals
In order to strategise effectively, you need to set clear and measurable objectives for your SEO activity. For example, this could be achieving x percentage increase in organic traffic over a specified period or achieving a certain number of new organic leads. Most traffic related goals can be monitored using Google Anayltics. We also use specialsied tools to track keyword rankings across your site.
Step 2: Audit your current website and processes
An audit of your current performance is a clever place to start as it helps you to identify any problem areas or opportunities for improvement. An audit should cover all aspects of your website and marketing efforts, including technical SEO, website structure, content and backlink profile.
For example, if you are looking to refresh your SEO content strategy, try creating a matrix of all published and planned content on your website. Assess each page according to type, views, exit rate, click through rate ect. to see what performs best, which pages lead to more conversions and if there are any gaps in your strategy.
Step 3: Research and competitor analysis
Competitor analysis allows you to benchmark your business against key success factors in order to identify any gaps, opportunities or weaknesses.
Competitor analysis could include a review of organic search rankings, content, customer reviews, site authority or site health depending on your goals.
As well as known industry competitors, don’t forget to look at content competitors - the websites that rank on page one for relevant search terms for your business.
Step 4: Keyword research and topic cluster identification
The next step is to research relevant words and phrases that your target audiences are searching for. There are several tools available to do this, some are free but many come with a fee.
When brainstorming keywords, think about search intent, the different stages of the user journey and what users may be searching for at each step. Focus on phrases or ‘long tail keywords’ that are more specific rather than generic words.
Keywords should be assessed according to search volumes and competitiveness.
To level up your keyword strategy, group your keywords into topic clusters. Creating a comprehensive content strategy based around relevant topic clusters sends a strong signal to Google about the type of content you are sharing and will help to get your pages seen by relevant users.
By assigning specific keywords for different pages on your website, you can avoid cannibalisation while helping Google understand what you offer and rank you accordingly.
Step 5: Content strategy
Once you have identified the topic cluster(s) you want to target, you can start planning supporting content to create and publish. This will likely consist of a mix of landing pages, service pages, blogs, guides, videos or newsletters.
Be sure to consider search intent when deciding on content types. For example, if a Google search for ‘best innovation tools for business’ comes up with videos and listicles, users may not be looking for case studies when they input this keyword.
Content that answers your client’s questions, solves problems or educates and inspires will improve your chances of ranking. Showcase your USPs, fill a gap or take a different approach to a popular subject to gain the edge over the competition.
It’s also important to publish content regularly - whether that means once a month or daily - so planning content at least 3 months in advance is a good move.
When thinking about content strategy, don’t forget to factor in what would work for video, mobile and voice search.
Step 6: SEO optimisation strategy
Ensuring that your website is optimised according to SEO best practice is another important part of any SEO strategy.
- Resolving technical website issues that could impact site speed, crawling or user experience such as fixing broken links
- On page optimisation such as metadata and internal linking with targeted anchor text
- Off page optimisation such as link building or guest blogs
- Site structure and schema
This isn’t usually a quick fix but rather a long term, continual process.
Step 7: KPI tracking and continual improvement
Finally, factoring in performance monitoring into your plan is key. When we work with clients, we update KPI sheets weekly and provide a monthly report in order to assess what’s working and accelerate progress.