It’s Not As Difficult As It Sounds
Many small business owners think the basic concept of an SEO strategy sounds technical and hard to do – especially when researching the difference between White Hat SEO and other methods SEO articles can be full of jargon and a bit intimidating to a casual reader. While there is a lot of knowledge involved in keeping up with the frequent algorithm changes. At its base, SEO strategy is focused on something very simple: better value for the user. Search engines, like Google, set their rules and guidelines with their customers in mind. They want people who click on the links on their page to be happy.
In turn, your SEO strategy needs to be straightforward and should answer questions that are customer-centric. However many businesses get strategy confused with other things. Your SEO strategy isn’t the same as your business plan or the tactics you use to enhance your SEO. Rather than explain what your strategy isn’t, let’s look at what your strategy needs to include.
Objectives, Audience, and Competitive Landscape.
Your strategy should start with three essential questions; What, Who, and Why.
- What: Your SEO strategy needs to contain a clear objective – what are you trying to do? What would a successful SEO campaign look like? You need to know what markers you need to hit so you can clearly define whether your method is working. Do you want more visitors to find your site? Do you want more conversions from the visitors you have? Do you want customers to return to your website after making a purchase?
- Who: Once you know what the strategy does, you need to define who it’s targeted to reach. Your audience needs to be specific to better serve you and entice them. Who are your ideal customers?
- Why: Why would your audience choose you over your competition? Your digital marketing and SEO strategy look at your competition and how they differ so you can showcase your strengths.
Conversions and Goals
Conversions show the measurement of your success. An outstanding SEO strategy offers guidelines to measure analytics for each page of your site so that, when it’s not working, you can easily find why. Where did your conversion halt? Go back to your initial Who, What, Why. Often the answer for dropped conversions is rooted in who your audience is, or not targeting the message to them directly. You need to be sure that you’re tracking conversions to have any idea of what is happening to you SEO.
Content Performance and Generation
Your SEO strategy needs a schedule for how often content will be updated. Our personal experience has shown that a consistent publishing schedule gets better SEO traction. We publish four times a week now, every week, and we’ve found our content is getting indexed considerably faster than when we were publishing less regularly. Your content’s performance should also be measured. What key web page(s) contributed the most to conversion? In Google Analytics, you can see usage patterns. By adding goals — like completing a form, downloading a pdf — and assigning a dollar value, you can visualize the relationship of visitor behavior to your sales funnel.
Website optimization doesn’t only mean that the right keywords are used. It also means your tags, titles, and page optimization is spotless. Make certain your search terms and content work together. For effective SEO there’s a hierarchy of web pages and supporting blog posts. And there’s a balance of technical optimization and user experience. Over-optimize and it’s a red flag to Google. Ignore on-page optimization techniques and you send a fuzzy signal to search engines.
Link Authority and Credibility
To be effective, your SEO strategy needs to include different methods to build authority and develop link acquisition. Some of these might include thoughtful guest posting and social promotion.
Is your SEO strategy all tangled up?
This post was originally published 2/9/2016 and was updated on 8/28/2018.
How can we help?
Want to take advantage of evergreen and effective SEO strategies? Looking to learn tried and true optimization techniques?
We are The Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.