Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful marketing tool that helps businesses gain visibility on Google and other search engines. If you want to create a winning SEO strategy for your company, you need to start thinking about SEO now when you start your site, rather than a year down the road.
But, how would you define SEO success? Is it being visible for every targeted search query? Or does it mean making the traffic graph go up, up, and up to the right? Or, does it mean getting more conversions from search? Does it mean having a large website with hundreds of pages of content generating traffic on a daily basis?
Defining your goals is an important first step. When you define your metrics, you create a benchmark that you can use to identify when you hit your successful metrics. By defining these metrics initially, you create a roadmap that will help you gain clarity on what you need to do moving forward.
Then, your SEO strategy will be more successful because you have defined these metrics of success from the beginning.
What Is an SEO Strategy?
An SEO strategy is the process you use to organize your content around specific topics. This way, you’ll make sure that your content is relevant to the keywords that people are typing into Google. You do this by making sure that your content is organized around the most common words that people type into Google.
For example, let’s say that you sell shoes online. Your main keyword phrase might be “shoes.” If someone types that word into Google, you want your shoe store to show up near the top of the list of search results. To accomplish this, you’d want to write about shoes and include those key phrases throughout your content.
If you write about running shoes, you could mention that fact in your blog post, add a link to your shoe store in the footer, and even include some images of shoes. All of this makes it much easier for search engine algorithms to identify your content as being related to shoes.
You’ll also want to consider whether or not your products are seasonal. In other words, if your product sells out during certain seasons, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to rank well for those terms. So, you might decide to write about snow boots in January, but not in July.
Another good idea is to create a separate page for each season. Then, you won’t have to worry about missing out on rankings for winter boots when summer hits.
Finally, you’ll want to keep an eye on trending searches. If there’s a particular term that’s getting a lot of attention, you can bet that it’s something that lots of people are interested in. So, you can write about that trend and include information about how your brand fits into that category.
Mobile SEO Strategy
Mobile SEO is an important factor when it comes to optimizing your overall SEO strategy. If you haven’t already, you should start thinking about how your website performs on mobile devices now. You don’t want to wait until you are ranked low on mobile SERPs to make changes.
Google practices mobile-first indexing, meaning that it crawls the mobile version of your website first. Then, once it finishes crawling, it begins crawling the desktop version. So, while you might think that you need to focus on desktop SEO, you actually need to focus on mobile SEO first.
According to Google, more than 63 percent of Google searches in the United States happen on smartphones and tablets. At the time of this writing, Google processes over 8.5 billion searches per day.
So, given all of this information, it makes sense why mobile optimization is such an integral part of your overall SEO strategy.
How to Create Your Own SEO Strategy in 2022
Creating an SEO strategy in 2022 is not rocket science. But there is still a science aspect and an art to doing so. You can’t just publish content constantly and expect to always be successful, without considering SEO. The opposite is also true: too much on-page optimization is likely to be considered over optimization by Google. Both extremes can get you into trouble. Instead, you want to consider a balanced approach that takes into account best practices while also not teetering into over or under optimization.
An approach like this takes practice and work to achieve, but it can be done. Anyway, here are a few steps that you can take to be well on the way to creating your own SEO strategy in 2022.
Create a List of Keywords
Keyword research is usually the most important part of any legitimate SEO strategy. But how do you go about finding those keywords? You could spend hours trying to think up clever ideas on your own, but there’s another way:
Start typing a keyword into Google’s search field, and it’ll pop up a list of suggested phrases.
These usually make great keywords because they come straight from the source — Google itself.
(Which means you know that real people are actually searching for those words.)
The next thing you want to do is check out what’s already been typed into Google. If someone else has already searched for something similar, chances are they’re looking for the same things you are.
So now you just need to figure out what they’re looking at.
This is where Google Search Trends comes in handy. Simply type in some keywords related to your industry, and Google will show you what terms people are searching for around the world. This includes countries, cities, states, and even specific neighborhoods.
You can use this information to see what phrases people are searching for, and which ones are getting the most traffic. Then, you can start building your list of keywords based on these trends.
One final point: don’t just use the keyword list as your sole source of truth for your content. Expand from that and include additional topics and things that people may be talking about. A keyword list is meant to evolve and transform as your strategy does. Get creative. Push the envelope. Become better than everybody else. That’s another key for success right there.
Analyze Google’s First Page
OK, so you found a few keywords that are relevant to your niche. You even know what people are searching for. But now you’re ready to take things up a notch and find out who already ranks for those terms.
For example, let’s say you want to target “SEO Tools.” Here’s what the first page looks like:
Notice that the top 5 results all contain posts about different SEO tools from different publishers. They all have their own take on what’s the best and why. And look at the one on the bottom – “110 Top SEO Tools That Are 100% Free.” This just goes to show that brute-force word count is not the only thing that matters when it comes to ranking.
And here are some examples of what the first page looks look like for more specific keywords:
Now it’s time to analyze the data. Why did Google place the listing where it did? What does the placement tell us about the quality of the link profile? How much traffic is coming to the site? Is there competition for the term? Looking at these (and other elements) can help you identify what is causing that site to rank, and how you can potentially outrank that site.
The Skyscraper Technique: Create Something Entirely Different or 10 Times Better
The skyscraper technique is one of the most powerful ways to create content that ranks well. This technique is about creating unique content that stands out from the crowd. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of how people think of content marketing.
If you’re thinking “I’m just writing blog posts,” you might be missing the boat. If you are writing great content, people WILL find it and link to it. But if you write the same thing every day, no one will know about it.
So here’s the trick: Write something different. Don’t copy someone else. Instead, take what you already know and make it better.
Think about it like this: How many times do you read a book? You might answer something like ten. So why does everyone keep reading the same books over and over again? Because they’re good. They’re really good. And they’re easy to understand.
But you don’t want to fall into that trap. You want to write something better. Something unique. Something that makes people say, “Wow, I didn’t know that.”
This is where the skyscraper technique comes in. The skyscraper technique is meant to be used to create content so compelling, that people will have no choice but to link to it. And these links will come naturally, just like Google wants to see.
Make Sure Your On-Page SEO Is on Point
When it comes to SEO, there are a few things you should focus on in addition to off-site factors like link building. Here are some of our favorite on-page SEO tactics to use:
Internal Linking – One of the most important on-page SEO practices is internal linking. If you’re wondering why, think about how much time you spend reading articles online. You’ll probably notice that each article tends to refer to another one. When you do this well, you’re helping readers find related information without having to go digging around for it themselves.
Yup, internal linking still works.
Keyword Research – Keywords play a big role in SEO because they determine what people type into search engines. Once again, keywords are a great way to guide readers toward relevant content.
Social Sharing – Social sharing platforms are becoming increasingly popular. They allow you to share articles across multiple social media sites. This helps increase traffic coming from those channels.
On-page Optimization – The last part of optimizing your page is making sure that all of its elements are optimized. This means that you need to pay attention to things like headings, subheadings, images, etc.
Make Sure Your Content is Optimized for Search Intent
The key word here is “intent.”
When someone types into Google, the goal isn’t necessarily to see a list of products. Instead, they’re trying to accomplish something specific—finding a product, book, movie, restaurant, etc.
In fact, according to Google, the average person doesn’t even know what they’re looking for when they enter a search term. They just type something into Google, hoping for the best.
So, let’s look at some examples.
For instance, say we wanted to buy a car. We might start typing in keywords like “buy a used car,” “car buying tips,” or “best cars.”
But what happens if our intent is to buy a new car? What if we want to buy a hybrid car? Or maybe we want to buy a sports car?
We wouldn’t expect to get any results with these terms, right?
Instead, we’d likely try searching for more specific phrases like “hybrid car” or “sports car.”
Now, if we were looking for an apartment, we might not have as much luck. After all, apartments aren’t exactly the same thing as cars. But, if we were looking to rent out a room, we could be successful by using keywords like “rent out a room” or “apartment rentals.”
Improve the Design of Your Content
The design might be the most overlooked part of content marketing. Sure, we spend hours writing about what makes great content, how to write better copy, and even how to make our posts look good. However, there are many ways to improve the visual appeal of your blog post without having to hire a graphic designer.
Here are some quick tips:
- Use white space wisely.
- Make sure everything fits within the width of the browser window.
- Avoid making your text too small.
- Don’t use images unless they’re necessary.
- Be careful with backgrounds; they tend to distract readers.
- Keep your fonts simple and readable.
- Don’t overuse colors.
- And don’t forget to include a call to action button somewhere on every page.
Focusing on making sure that the design of your content is appealing is a great step towards achieving better CTRs (click-through rates) and reader eyeballs on your content.
Build Backlinks to Your Page
Now it’s time to actively build links. This is where you find a broken link on someone’s site and offer your content as a solution. You might say something like, “Hey, I noticed that you linked out to my blog post about yesterday. If you’d like me to write up a guest article for you, let me know.”
The goal here is to make yourself look good while offering value to the person who posted the broken link. They’ll appreciate your help and hopefully come back to work with you.
Broken link building works best when you’ve got a lot of high quality content. But even if you don’t, it still helps to diversify your strategy.
Improve and Update Your Content Substantially
If you want to improve your SEO rankings, you don’t just post the same blog posts over and over again.
You know what happens when you do that? Not much of anything. Uniqueness, quality, and value all go hand-in-hand.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure your content gets noticed:
- Remove Old Images and Screenshots
- Add New Strategies
- Make Sure Your Titles Are Unique
- Don’t Repeat Yourself
- Include Keywords In Headlines
- Use Longer Descriptions
- Be Consistent With Your Branding
- Incorporate Social Media Into Your Marketing Plan
- Create High Quality Backlinks
- Optimize Your Landing Pages
Improving and updating your content throughout the year is a great strategy, and can help Google see new value in otherwise stale content.
Audit The Existing Content on Your Site
A content audit is the process used to analyze your existing content to find opportunities for improving it. If you’re looking to increase traffic and sales, there are several ways to go about doing this. You could hire someone to write articles for you, use social media marketing to promote your products, or even try affiliate marketing. However, a great way to start is to conduct a content audit.
The purpose of a content audit is to determine where your current content falls short, why those areas are lacking, and how to address those issues. There are many different types of content audits out there, but the most common one is the general content audit.
In a general content audit, you take a look at all of your pages and identify any problems. For example, maybe you have a bunch of duplicate content on your website. Or perhaps you have a ton of images without alt text. The point is, you need to figure out which pages aren’t performing well so you can fix them.
Once you’ve identified these problems, you can then decide whether or not they’re worth fixing. Maybe you should spend more money on link building than other types of services if you’re not getting any traction.
Find Content That Doesn’t Perform Well and Either Delete or Redirect It
Your first step is to find out where the majority of your traffic is coming from. Then, sort the list by the lowest number of sessions per day.
Once you know which pages are receiving the most traffic, it’s time to take action. If you haven’t already, add a 301 redirect to move visitors to a better performing page. Or, if the page doesn’t exist anymore, replace it with something else.
You might even consider creating a new page that serves the same purpose. For example, if you sell products, you could create a product category page that lists everything within that category.
But, it’s important as well to consider the content that’s being analyzed. You don’t want to just delete content for the sake of deleting content. The reasoning behind this is because this content could be contributing to your authority and expertise, even though it might not send any traffic. In which case, deleting that valuable content would be a mistake.
On the other hand, you also don’t want to keep only long form articles. It’s important to have a healthy variety of different types of posts, while still continuing to provide value.
Evaluate Your Remaining Content
In our example site, using one method as the example (remember you don’t always want to delete content if it’s not receiving traffic…this is just for the purposes of our current example).
Now that you’ve either deleted or redirected your worst-performing content, it’s time for you to focus on what’s left. You want to evaluate your content base on one objective metric: how much traffic it’s generating.
Specifically, you want to evaluate each page based on one objective metric. In this case, I’m choosing traffic because it’s easy to measure and understand.
Traffic is an objective number that represents whether or not a particular piece of content is doing what it’s supposed to do. If you’re creating content that people are searching for, then you’re probably making money off of it.
However, it’s important not to get ahead of yourself based on traffic. You want to analyze other things like bounce rate, dwell time, and other page attributes in order to get an idea of how that page is actually performing.
For example, in Google Search Console, impressions are just how many times that somebody may have viewed your page in the search results. Click through rates (CTR) measures how many times someone clicked on your link from those search results.
Improve Your Content and Relaunch It
Now that you’ve got some great content up there, it’s time to start improving and relaunching your site. Here are a few ideas to help you do just that.
Create an Entirely Original Content Strategy
Before you begin, think about what you want your audience to take away from your content. What problem does your content solve? Who is your target audience? What are they looking for? These questions will help guide your strategy.
Figure Out What Needs Improvement in Your Existing Content
Whether you’re writing blog posts, creating videos, or building out interactive features, use data to inform decisions. Use analytics tools like Google Analytics to track how visitors interact with your content. This will allow you to identify areas where people aren’t engaging enough and give you insights into what works best for your audience.
Improve Your Existing Content
Once you have a clear idea of what needs improvement, you’ll know exactly what to focus on. Start with things that don’t require much effort, like fixing typos and grammar errors. Once you’ve addressed those issues, move onto bigger projects, like adding new images or videos. If you have a lot of content already published, consider updating older pieces with new information or adding new ones.
Add Visual Elements to Your Content Where Applicable
Adding images to your content can help spruce up an otherwise drab wall of text. By creating images that enhance the story, rather than stock photos for the sake of adding images, you can help create more impact for the reader. By working to create unique images that provide additional dimension of data that’s not communicated in your text, you can add more to your post than otherwise.
Also, consider creating a video version of your post. When you create a video version, you can add additional points to your story. In addition, having you speaking creates more authority and expertise in the eyes of your audience, because they can visually make the connection between you and what you’re writing.
Visual elements such as these are a powerful way to add more context and information. They also help make your blog more engaging and interesting for your reader, and they provide additional sharing opportunities on social media (especially in the case of video, which can end up going viral).
Update All of Your Content Regularly
If you want to keep your site running smoothly, it’s important to regularly check for broken links, outdated images, and outdated content. You don’t always know what’s causing issues, so it’s best to fix things yourself. If you do find something wrong, try to determine why it happened and how you can prevent it from happening again. There are many tools out there to help you do just that. Here are some of our favorites.
Links Checker – Links Checker is one of the most popular link checking tools on the market. Simply enter a URL into the tool and it will scan each page and tell you whether or not there are any broken links.
Google Search Console – Google Search Console helps webmasters identify and resolve 404 errors, crawlability issues, and missing sitemaps. With this free tool, you can easily see where your site is lacking and make necessary fixes.
W3C Markup Validator – W3C Markup Validators checks HTML, XHTML, XML, and DTD files against strict standards. This validator checks for invalid tags, syntax errors, and overall document structure.
Image Replace Tool – Image Replace Tool helps you quickly change multiple images on a single page. Simply drag and drop your image onto the tool, choose the file location, and select the size you want.
Online Image Resizer – Online Image Resizer lets you resize large images while preserving quality. Just upload the original image, pick the desired dimensions, and resample the image.
URL Fixer – URL Fixer is a simple online tool that allows you to clean up URLs and add custom parameters. Simply paste your URL into the box, hit save, and wait for the tool to finish processing.
Make Your Content Easier to Read
Old content on your site is unlikely to be optimized for the mobile experience. It’s important to make sure that your site’s content is readable on mobile. Because a large number of users have mobile devices, it makes sense that your site is adaptive and readable on as many devices as possible.
Don’t use smaller text on a small screen. Use big text on a small screen. Something like 16-18 pts on mobile is a good number to reach for. But, don’t go too big. You are likely to sacrifice layout quality and readability could suffer as well. Make sure you keep a balance between appealing design and readability on your mobile device.
Cover Your Topic More In-depth Than Others
When you’re updating your content, you may want to think about how you can cover more ground. By working on covering more topics than your competition, and identifying where your content is weak in topic coverage, you can improve your site’s authority and expertise. But, don’t just include topics for the sake of including topics.
You want to also include topics that have search volume, as well as something that’s exceptional for your users to read. You don’t want to include fluff that is not useful. The key here is to make sure that you continue improving your content to the point that it keeps satisfying Google’s “Helpful content” requirement, along with being significantly better than what you had before.
Creating a New SEO Strategy Can be the Catalyst for Success
When you create a new SEO strategy, this could be the catalyst that your business needs to improve its ranking in the search engines.
SEO is all about high visibility, and making sure that as many people as possible can find you.
You don’t want to be in the situation where you’re creating content for the sake of creating content without at least some strategic element to it.
That is something that will make it harder for you to compete in the future, when you do decide to get around to focusing on SEO.
It’s always better to get your new SEO strategy right from the start.
When do you plan on creating your own brand-new SEO strategy?