Creating an effective SEO strategy is easier said than done.
Because SEO is changing all the time. What worked five years ago won’t necessarily work today, so you need to keep up to date on the latest trends.
In this article, we’re going to look at some of the best practices you can follow to give your SEO strategy the highest chance of success.
Keep reading to find out how to implement these trends into your workflow and create a successful SEO strategy.
1. Map out your keywords
To create a successful SEO strategy, you need to find the keywords and phrases to target.
Keywords are the words or phrases consumers use to search for products or services. To get as many potential leads as possible, you want to rank well for keywords that are relevant to your business.
But how do you know which keywords to target?
Good question. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer.
It depends on what you want to get out of your SEO, what your competitors are doing, and what tools you’re using to find the keywords.
So before you fire up the research, figure out what you want to gain.
Do you want to increase awareness? Change your brand perception? Become the market leader?
The answers to these questions will give you a solid starting point. Once you’ve figured this out, take a look at platforms like Google Analytics and Keyword Hero to find the keywords you want to target.
2. Match Your Keywords and Content with Search Intent
Once you’ve identified the keywords to target, it’s time to align these with search intent.
Search intent is the reason behind the search.
Let’s say someone searches for the phrase ”learning languages fast.” The search intent suggests the user wants to learn a new language and to do it quickly.
They’re trying to find a website that tells them how to learn a new language or a platform that offers this service.
But if they land on a site that’s not relevant, chances are they’ll bounce pretty quickly. And a high bounce rate isn’t good for SEO.
So make sure you understand the reason behind the key phrases you’re targeting. This will make your content relevant for your consumers and encourage them to stick around, which is better for user experience and SEO.
3. Analyze Google’s first page
Google’s first page is where you want to be.
Actually, Google’s #1 spot is where you want to be.
Research shows that the #1 organic result is ten times more likely to get clicked in comparison to the #10 spot.
So how can you get on the first page?
A good place to start is by analyzing the pages that already rank in the top ten. This will show you the following:
- An indication of what people are looking for: Reviewing the content that already ranks well will show you what type of content you need to produce to rank for that keyword.
- Any gaps in the content: Is there anything missing from the content that ranks well? If you can find a niche that hasn’t been covered, you might get more traffic because of it. The more traffic you get for a keyword, the better you’ll rank.
So spend some time figuring out what already ranks well. This will help you get as close to the top spot as possible.
4. Publish quality content consistently
When it comes to content, there are two things you need to bear in mind:
- Your content must be high-quality: As we’ve already mentioned, SEO has changed a lot over the past few years. Ten years ago, it was enough to post a short blog stuffed with keywords and phrases. Today, not so much. Your content needs to provide value to the reader. If it doesn’t, Google won’t rank it highly.
- You must publish content consistently: If you want to rank well for certain keywords, you need to produce blog posts regularly. If you don’t, your rankings could drop.
Quality and consistency are two key factors for content and SEO, so bear this in mind when it comes to your SEO strategy.
5. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
The number of mobile users is growing. Research shows that the number of unique mobile users grew by 117 million from 2020 to 2021.
Not to mention, Google now crawls websites for mobile-first indexing, meaning that the search engine will use your mobile website for indexing and ranking. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, your rankings could suffer.
So how can you optimize your website for mobile?
The answer is simple: Use a mobile web design.
From iPads to iPhones and everything in between, a mobile web design will fit any screen. As a result, users can easily navigate your site on their handheld devices.
Take a look at Track-POD to see a mobile site in action:
6. Improve overall user experience
As we’ve already mentioned, high bounce rates can impact your overall SEO rankings.
To make sure visitors don’t instantly leave your website, you need to create a good user experience (UX).
Here’s what we’d suggest to improve your UX:
- Review your current UX: To find out what to improve, you need to know what your current UX is like. We’d recommend using a heat map service like After Click to view user behavior. This might flag any potential areas of concern where users are dropping off or not finding what they’re looking for.
- Make it clear what you do: If visitors land on your site and don’t understand what you do, they’ll probably leave. So make sure it’s 100% clear what you do as soon as they land on the site. Take a look at StuDocu as an example. As a study resource platform, its website makes clear what it does as soon as users land on the page.
These are just a couple of elements you can put to the test to improve your UX. Ultimately, every website is different, so you’ll need to spend some time identifying what improvements are relevant for your consumers.
7. Get rid of anything that slows down your site
Page speed is a ranking factor, so you need to think about this in your SEO strategy.
Fortunately, there are many free platforms out there that allow you to check your site speed, including Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Once you’ve run your site through one of these platforms, it’ll show you what areas are slow and give you some suggestions to speed things up.
As time goes on, your site speed can change, so we’d suggest creating a workflow automation to remind you and your team to check this regularly. The last thing you want is for your rankings to drop because you hadn’t noticed your site speed had dropped.
If you’re already experiencing dropped rankings and are far from fixing the situation, you might want to perform a business process reengineering to completely redesign your system for an effective and efficient boost.
8. Use images, infographics, and video
Using images, infographics, and videos is good for SEO.
Because it helps readers digest and understand your content.
Think about it. If you have a 3,000-word article with no images or videos, it’ll be pretty hard for the reader to make it all the way through.
Text-heavy content has a time and a place. But when it comes to SEO, you need visuals.
They help your audience understand the content better and increase user engagement — especially if they have to click to play a video. This type of engagement bodes well for SEO, so make sure you incorporate visuals as part of your strategy.
9. Update your content regularly
The work doesn’t stop as soon as your content is live. To maximize the impact of your content, you need to update it regularly.
For two reasons:
- Keep returning users engaged: If you have the same users returning to your sites regularly, updating your content is a great way to keep them engaged and coming back for more.
- Show Google you’re active: Google prioritizes sites that have newer content. By updating your content, you show Google that you’re active.
This could be anything from updating your blogs to amending the copy on your homepage. It doesn’t have to be huge changes. It just has to be updated regularly.
10. Repurpose old content
In addition to regularly updating content, you can also repurpose old content to improve SEO.
Let’s use an example.
VPNGuru has a keyword-rich blog post about NordVPN.
Following the success of this blog, the company repurposed the content as a video.
As a result, VPNGuru has more content on a topic it wants to rank for. Consumers also have access to more content they want to see. It’s a win-win.
You can produce more content that ranks for the keyword you want to target by reusing existing content. Think about this when you’re planning the activities in your SEO strategy.
Internal linking can strengthen your SEO. Let’s take a look at why:
- Prolonged user time on site: Adding internal links encourages users to stay on your site for longer. And the longer they stay on your site, the better Google will rank it.
- More links to your pages: The more links your pages receive, the higher its value to search engines.
But you don’t want to link to any old page.
You need your internal links for SEO.
This means carefully selecting your anchor text and the pages you link.
Let’s say you’re trying to rank for the phrase “internal linking expert.”
You add a hyperlink to this phrase on your homepage, and the link directs people to the page that you’re trying to rank for. As a result, the user stays on your site longer, and the page you’re trying to rank on Google has a higher chance of moving up.
External linking is also good practice for SEO, especially if you’re linking to authoritative sites.
Because the domain you link to can influence how much the search engine values the link.
Here’s what you need to consider when linking to external sites:
- The reliability of the site
- Its domain authority
- The popularity of the site
- The relevance between the anchor text and the page you’re linking to
Keep this in mind when creating your SEO strategy, and you’ll give yourself a better chance of ranking higher.
Evidence suggests that the more external backlinks you have, the better it is for SEO.
In a recent survey, 58.1% of SEO experts believe that backlinks have a huge impact on SEO rankings.
But how can you get external links from authoritative sites?
There are two ways you can go about it.
- Reach out to sites: Contacting sites directly to tell them about your website is a good way to encourage them to link to your content. In return, you could offer to link to their site, too.
- Produce thought-leading content: If your content is unique and cutting edge, you’ve got a higher chance of getting backlinks. For example, if you’re publishing research about a certain topic, chances are a lot of businesses will link to that high-quality research to substantiate their articles.
Guest posting involves writing an article for another website. These articles usually feature a backlink to your website and an author bio, which provides information about you and your business.
When it comes to SEO, guest posting is a win-win for all parties.
It helps one business get backlinks from another source, and it helps the other business get more content and outsourced links. As a result, both businesses benefit.
So take this into account when it comes to your SEO strategy. It might seem like a time-consuming task, but it’ll help you get more external links from sites you deem relevant.
15. Hire experts
If you’re worried about making sure your SEO strategy is successful, consider hiring an expert.
As you might have gathered, SEO is a complex topic, but SEO experts know what they’re doing. They understand the latest trends and know how to use available tools to get the best results.
So if you want to make sure you’re following the rules by the book, reach out to a content marketing agency.
Put your SEO skills into practice
So there you have it. You’ve now got a solid foundation to create a successful SEO strategy.
But remember, this is just a starting point. As we’ve already said, every business is different, and SEO is changing all the time. So spend some time figuring out what works for you and your business to make the most of your SEO efforts.