THE DYNAMIC STRATEGY OF SEO
Nowadays, most businesses understand the basic concepts of SEO and why it’s important and SEO promotes their business in the Digital world. However, when it comes to developing and executing a sound SEO strategy for your business, not just creating content for the keywords your customers are searching for but also the link building, upgraded SEO tactics and competitor analysis.
What is SEO strategy?
An SEO strategy is a process of organizing a website’s content by topic, which helps search engines like Google understand a user’s intent when searching. By optimizing a web page around topics, then keywords within that topic, you can increase your expertise in the eyes of a search engine and rank well for long-tail keywords related to that topic.
There are three types of SEO that an SEO strategist can focus on:
This SEO focuses on the content that’s “on the page,” and how to optimize that content to help boost the website’s ranking for specific keywords.
This SEO focuses on the links that are directed to the website from elsewhere on the internet. The number of “backlinks,” and the publishers carrying those links, that link to your website helps you build trust in the eyes of a search engine. This causes your website to rank higher as a result.
This SEO focuses on a web site’s architecture, examining the backend of that website to see how each webpage is “technically” set up. Google cares as much about the code of a website as it does its content, making this specialty quite important to a website’s search engine ranking.
The following are the strategic plans in the SEO process:
- Make a list of topics.
- Make a list of long-tail keywords based on these topics.
- Build pages for each topic.
- Set up a blog.
- Blog every week to develop page authority.
- Create a link-building plan.
- Compress all media before putting it on your website.
- Stay current on SEO news & practices.
- Measure and track your content’s success.
1. Make a list of topics by using “Keywords”:
Keywords are at the heart of SEO, but they’re actually not your first step to an organic growth play anymore. To start, compile a list of about 10 short words and terms associated with your product or service. Use Google’s Keyword Tool to identify their search volume and come up with variations that make sense for your business.
You are associating these topics with popular short-tail keywords, as you can tell, but you’re not dedicating individual blog posts to these keywords. These keywords are simply too competitive to rank highly on Google if you’re just starting to optimize your website for search. We’ll go over how to use these topics in just a minute.
Using search volume and competition as your measure, narrow down your list to 10-15 short-tail keywords that are important to you, and that people within your audience are searching for. Then rank this list in order of priority, based on its monthly search volume and its relevance to your business.
2. Make a list of long-tail keywords based on these topics.
Here’s where you’ll start optimizing your pages for specific keywords. For each pillar you’ve identified, use your keyword tool to identify five to 10 long-tail keywords that dig deeper into the original topic keyword.
For example, we regularly create content on the topic of “SEO,” but it’s still very difficult to rank well on Google for such a popular topic on this acronym alone. We also risk competing with our own content by creating multiple pages that are all targeting the exact same keyword — and potentially the same search engine results page (SERP). Therefore, we also create content on conducting keyword research, optimizing images for search engines, creating an SEO strategy (which you’re reading right now), and other subtopics within SEO.
This allows a business to attract people who have varying interests in and concerns about owning their product — and ultimately create more entry points for people who are interested in buying something.
Use subtopics to come up with blog post or webpage ideas that explain a specific concept within each larger topic you identified in Step 1. Plug these subtopics into your keyword research tool to identify long-tail keywords on which to base each blog post.
Think of it this way: The more specific your content, the more specific the needs of your audience are — and the more likely you’ll convert this traffic into leads. This is how Google finds value in the websites it crawls; the pages that dig into the inter-workings of a general topic are seen as the best answer to a person’s query and will rank higher.
3. Build pages for each topic
When it comes to websites and ranking in search engines, trying to get one page to rank for a handful of keywords can be next to impossible. But here’s where the rubber meets the road:
Use your keyword list to determine how many different pillar pages you should create. Ultimately, the number of topics for which you create pillar pages should coincide with how many different products, offerings, and locations your business has. This will make it much easier for your prospects and customers to find you in search engines no matter what keywords they use.
Each web page needs to include relevant content for your prospects and customers and should include pictures and links to pages on your site to enhance the user experience. We’ll talk about those links in Step 4.
4. Set up a blog
Blogging can be an incredible way to rank for keywords and engage your website’s users. After all, every blog post is a new web page that gives you another chance to rank in search engines. If your business does not already have a blog, set one up. This is where you’ll elaborate on each subtopic and actually start showing up on Google.
As you write each blog post and fill up your clusters, you should do three things:
First, don’t include your long-tail keyword more than three or four times throughout the page. Google doesn’t consider exact keyword matches as often as it used to. In fact, too many instances of your keyword can be a red flag to search engines that you’re “keyword stuffing.” This can penalize your website and drop your rank.
Second, link out to the pillar page you created on this topic. You can do this in the form of tags in your content management system (CMS), or as basic anchor text in the body of the article.
Once you publish each blog post, link it from the pillar page that supports this subtopic. Find the point in your pillar page that introduces this blog’s subtopic, and link it here.
By connecting both the pillar and the cluster in this way, you’re telling Google there’s a relationship between the long-tail keyword and the overarching topic you’re trying to rank for.
5. Blog every week to develop page authority.
Not every blog post or web page you write needs to belong to a topic cluster. There’s also value in writing about tangential topics your customers care about in order to give your website authority in the eyes of Google. This will cue Google to pay extra attention to your domain as you add content to your primary topics.
With that in mind, make a point to blog at least once a week. Remember, you are blogging primarily for your audience, not the search engines. Write about things your audience and/or prospects are interested in, make sure you’re including relevant keywords where appropriate, and your audience will slowly start to notice and click.
Keep in mind that each topic won’t be equal in importance, and as your clusters get off the ground, you’ll need to prioritize based on your company’s needs. So, create a list of all the different web pages you would like to create and rank them. Then, develop a schedule and devise a plan of attack to get those pages built.
Keep your list updated and prioritized by what web pages will help you to best achieve your business goals.
6. Create a link-building plan
The topic cluster model is your way forward in SEO this year, but it’s not the only way to get your website content to rank higher once it’s been created.
Our first five steps were dedicated to on-page SEO tactics. Link-building is the primary objective of off-page SEO and is also a huge factor in how search engines rank your web pages. What is link-building? Glad you asked.
Link-building is the process of attracting inbound links (also called “backlinks”) to your website from elsewhere on the web. As a general rule, the more page authority the origin website has, the bigger the effect it will have on the rank of the web page to which it is linking.
Another great way to attract inbound links is to use your blog to post articles related to current events or news. That way, you have shot of getting linked to from an industry influencer or other bloggers in your industry.
7. Compress all media before putting it on your website
This is a small but important step in the SEO process. As your blog or website grows, you’ll undoubtedly have more images, videos, and related media to host there. These visual assets can help retain your visitors’ attention, but it’s easy to forget these assets are still technically computer files — and computer files have file sizes.
As a general rule, the bigger the file size, the harder it is for an internet browser to render your website. And it just so happens that page speed is one of the most important ranking factors when search engines decide where to place your content in its index.
So, the smaller the file size, the faster your website will load, and the higher you can rank on Google as a result. But how do you shrink a file size once it’s on your computer?
Ultimately, keeping your files in kilobytes (KB) can sufficiently protect your website’s page speed.
Be careful when compressing your images, and check the file’s actual size once you export it back to your computer. While some tools might not be true to the size it shows you, others can sacrifice some image quality when compressing the artwork.
8. Stay current on SEO news & practices
Like the overall marketing landscape, the search engine space is ever-evolving. Staying on top of current trends and best practices is a difficult task, but there are multiple online resources that can make it easy for you to stay on top of SEO news and changes that may impact your website and your SEO strategy.
Here are a few resources to check out:
9. Measure and track your content’s success
SEO can take a lot of time and effort. What good is spending all this time and effort if you can’t see the fruits of your labor? There are many metrics you can track on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to keep your SEO plan on track and measure your success.
Because the metric you care about is organic traffic (traffic that comes from a given search engine), seek out a tool that allows you to track both your overall organic traffic number and how your pages are ranking under each long-tail keyword your pages are targeting. SEMrush is a great reporting tool for just this purpose.
Create a monthly dashboard using Excel, Google Sheets, or a web analytics package so you can monitor how much traffic comes to your website from organic search.
Also, tracking indexed pages, leads, ROI, inbound links, keywords, and your actual ranking on SERPs (search engine results pages) can help you recognize your success as well as identify areas of opportunity.