Nothing is scarier to a business than not ranking with or above their competitors in Google. This is because Search Engines are the place where consumers go to find the products and services they are looking for.
What Is An SEO Strategy Plan?
An SEO Strategy Plan is a road map that lays out how you are going to accomplish the goals of increasing search engine rankings, traffic, and thus generating a greater amount of revenue.
Yes, it’s a complicated process with a lot of interconnected parts, so we understand the confusion. But we also have a simple solution.
SEO strategies can seem like a completely foreign concept. Most businesses fall into the trap of ignoring your SEO and focusing entirely on more surface-level marketing tactics that have a very short half-life and generate income so long as you continue to pay the ever-increasing prices. However, a comprehensive and thorough SEO strategy can often make or break the success of your business’ online presence. What’s more, it can actually allow you to spend less on marketing over-time while still generating higher revenues.
9 Must-Have Elements to Improve Your SEO Strategy
1. Perform an SEO Audit
Before you can get started on any SEO strategy you need to understand where you stand. There are two reasons for this. First, you cant get where you need to go, if you don’t know where you are starting from. Two, it difficult to track success if you don’t know where you started. So you need an SEO Audit.
It can help you to understand:
Whether or not your website design is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and reliable
If there are any issues that are causing your site to load slowly
It can also double-check:
That your links are functioning correctly and sending users to the correct destination site
Your performance in search engine result pages (SERPs) for your chosen keywords
If your site content is optimized to ensure better conversions
Consider a site audit to be like a report card on your SEO strategy. Showing you what you are doing well and what areas you can improve on. Using this roadmap, you can easily create SEO strategies that will set your business up for success.
Keywords sound complicated, but they don’t need to be! They are simply the words and phrases that customers (and potential customers) use to search for a service or product online.
By choosing the right keywords into your SEO strategy and website content, you make it easier for the search engines to find your site. They then deliver your business information to the searcher – hopefully on page one of the search results! (Otherwise, what it the point)
When choosing keywords for your SEO strategies, they should be chosen based on:
It’s important to choose keywords that your potential customers will actually be searching for. You want to target words with lower competition, these are called easy win keywords. By mixing these keywords with higher competitor keywords you can create a well rounded mix.
To achieve this, you should be sure to include a combination of local keywords, long-tail keywords, and short-tail keywords.
Local keywords are used to help customers find you locally by choosing to target phrases such as “near me” or include your location(s) in your keyword strategy.
Long-tail keywords are 3 to 5-word search phrases. While short-tail keywords are less specific keywords, generally just one word. These short-tail keywords usually have a higher search rate but also a much higher rate of competition.
You should also consider using keywords that are optimized for voice search queries. Studies have shown that there is a continuous increase in the number of searchers who prefer using voice assistants than the usual typing. And since the way people type and speak differs, the keywords used for voice searches also vary.
For instance, while one may type “cheap pizza restaurant” when searching, this will most likely change into “what are the cheap pizza restaurants near me?” when using voice assistants. See the difference?
Voice searches are often composed of long-tail keywords in a question format using natural language.
3. Create Great Content
A great SEO strategy starts with content. That is because the content on and off of your website is king. Creating high-quality content for each page is vital to users understanding your business as well as Google.
Educating site visitors on a subject
Providing answers to a question they may be asking
Providing solutions to a problem they may be experienced
Giving them further information about a service, product, or event
Content is excellent for improving your SEO strategy. And it’s also a powerful tool when your content is interesting and easily shareable on social media. Make your content engaging and captivating, and your audience will do the rest!
Whether you like it or not, smartphones are here to stay and a major part of how consumers interact with your business! Studies show that the number of smartphone users is predicted to exceed 4.7 billion by 2020.
Google has made changes to its algorithm to prioritize mobile-friendly search results. This is because smartphones have changed the way to search for and interact with products and services online. In order to create an SEO strategy that takes this into account, your website should have the following:
Quick mobile response times
Text formatted to adjust to smaller screens
Images that don’t slow down the responsiveness of your site
5. Build Backlinks
A backlink is a clickable link that lives on a website and points to another site. When a source that is reliable (according to Google) links to your website, it boosts your authority. If you boost your domain authority you boost your rankings. However, not all links are created equal.
Part of your SEO strategy should include reaching out to authoritative sites and working together to create mutually beneficial backlinks. This will help to improve your search engine rankings and drive traffic to your site and business.
6. Get your SSL Certificate
There’s no doubt about it – customers are more worried than ever about cybersecurity. It seems like every day there is a new headline exclaiming that another business has been hacked and all of their data was compromised.
It’s no wonder why customers are extremely hesitant to visit a website that doesn’t seem secure. Google and its competitors have taken notice. So they are penalizing the SERP rankings of sites that don’t take the necessary steps to ensure that their customers are protected.
For business owners, this means that an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate is a can’t-miss step in any SEO strategy.
It is an especially important step for any business that collects sensitive data online, such as passwords and credit card information.
Benefits of SSL:
Adds to the trustworthiness of your site
Signals to search engines and customers alike that your website is legitimate
Gives you and your customers peace of mind knowing that information won’t easily fall into the hands of someone who shouldn’t have access to it
7. Use Schema Markups
One of the most powerful ways to optimize your website for search engines is through schema markups! Schema markup is essentially a code installed on your website which allows search engines to find and deliver the most important information to customers through search results.
It tells the search engine what information is the most important for customers to know at a glance, and then that information is displayed directly on the search result.
If you’ve ever searched online for a product, then you know the choices can be overwhelming!
Isn’t it helpful when you’re able to see the essential information you want right on the SERP? Without having to click on a dozen different web pages to find what you were looking for!
Imagine the competitive edge you’ll have over your competition if your customers know from the moment they see your business name that you have exactly what they need!
8. SEO-friendly URL’s
Your URL may seem like a simple, insignificant factor in your SEO strategy. But there’s a lot of information stored in such a small amount of characters.
A URL that is too long contains tons of random letters and numbers, or seems suspicious in any way will not only hurt your SERP rating. But it might also discourage potential customers from visiting your site.
First and foremost, your URL should be easy to read, Plus it should give the reader an idea of what content to expect on the page.
Leave out the strange characters and long strings of numbers that don’t serve any purpose to the reader.
It’s also a great SEO practice to incorporate your target keywords into your URLs wherever it makes sense. However, less is more – don’t try and stuff every single keyword into a URL. Spammy URL’s are just as bad as nonsensical ones.
When it comes to formatting, keep the URL short and sweet. Using 50-60 characters in the ideal length to convey enough information without overwhelming the reader. And for readability, hyphens are better than underscores for separating words.
9. Track Your Progress
There’s no point in taking the time to work on your SEO strategy if you aren’t also tracking your progress! Even the best-made plans can go off the rails if you stop paying attention.
In order to optimize your SEO strategies, a periodical, consistent progress report is a necessity.
There are tons of tools out there to help you monitor the success of your SEO efforts. These type of tools allow you to:
Follow the improvement of your search engine ranking for various keywords
See increases and decreases in web traffic
Check how your web presence measures up against the competition
Show what types of content are performing best so that you can continue to develop that content strategy
Detailed analytics such as these are essential in helping you to continue improving your SEO strategy. And to help you to identify and solve issues as well as minimize costly mistakes sooner rather than later.
SEO strategy is an ever-changing landscape, with new techniques and tools being created all of the time. Rather than thinking of SEO as a one-time task to check off of your to-do list. Think of it as a regular part of your overall marketing efforts. All of your hard work will pay off if you are willing to put forth the time and energy required.
A good SEO strategy is more than just keywords! All of these elements are an important part of a comprehensive strategy. Choosing to ignore one or more may be a huge hindrance to all of your other efforts.
Our team at LYFE Marketing is dedicated to understanding and implementing the most up-to-date and important SEO strategies so that you can focus on making your business the best that it can be!