SEO, when done right, does offer great outcomes; increased traffic to the website, more interaction with users, and even more sales. To many people, SEO is just that- an activity executed over some time by positioning some high-level keywords in the content, having well written content and tweaking some website elements and it is a go.
Developing the right SEO strategy requires a structured approach based on five (5) major pillars, these pillars being;
First, begin by outlining the outcomes that you anticipate from the SEO and this will help you in identifying the specific steps to take to achieve the optimization and the outcomes thereafter. You need to have a clear understanding of the following;
- Goals and Objectives– identify what it is that you want, how to go about it, as well as evaluating your current status of how you are doing and where you want to be. Set specific benchmarks and milestones that will be indicators of your progress.
- Know your target audience or Segments– determine who you are targeting to reach and know their behavior and trends that point to how you need to configure your exercise to meet their needs.
- Know you competitors- identify your key competitors and their level of competition and the competitive landscape so that you know how to compete in it.
After understanding the above evaluation, it is then important to identify the specific actions to take at this stage. These include;
- Set business goals and performance assessment– set SMART goals for your business as this will form the main basis for the SEO strategy. Identify where you anticipate your business to be.
- Keyword Research- Analyze the current traffic levels, the user trends and intent, and the stage in the marketing funnel. This will enable you to know what keywords to use in order to capture their interest and draw more traffic.
- SEO Audit- carry out an audit of your current SEO status and account for your stocks including your website’s structure, technology infrastructure, and impact on your site’s speed as all these affect the ranking on search engines.
- Backlink Audit- Analyze how many links you have that link to your content or website and where they originate from. Also check whether you have any suspended links that are linking to self or to inexistent pages.
- Content and Conversion Audit- know your current traffic and conversion levels, and know what measures to take to nurture the traffic that you will attract with SEO and ensure conversion.
After creating traffic, it is then necessary to ensure you achieve sales by conversion rate optimization. At this stage, carefully analyze your website pages where people interact with the website in an effort to optimize then to create more leads.
You can use the following approaches to evaluate, implement and test the optimization.
- Conversion Audits- take stock of your webpages and identify which ones are performing well using key metrics like time-on-site.
- Content Strategy- map your content across the various stages in the marketing funnel to find the gaps and areas of improvement.
- Content Optimization- optimize your content for SEO and also to drive greater returns and testing the outcomes based on best practices.
- Optimize the Landing Page- optimize thelanding pages as it is the first point of interaction with the site’s visitors. Optimize the elements of design and layout.
- Wire-Framing- after the various strategies are identified, create mockups or prototypes that will enable every one of the stakeholders to understand the changes before the actual optimization is implemented.
You now need to optimize your website so that it achieves high ranking and categorization by the search engines. This optimization is data-intensive and takes time in testing and fine-tuning the process. The goal of the whole exercise is to have a website that is relevant, loads quickly and is easily indexed on search engines.
The various optimization approaches at this stage include;
- On-page SEO- here, you optimize tags, elements, internal links, titles, etc. that define the website’s structure and operability (quick response).
- Content Optimization- optimizing the content enhances the site’s ranking on the search engines through keywords as well as enhancing conversion.
- App Optimization- optimizing your on-site apps enhances the users’ experience and data collection.
- Profile Optimization-build an online profile that is consistent and active, through which you can build interactions with users.
- Authority and Trust
You need to enhance your website such that it is trustworthy and authoritative to search engines and also enhance your target audience’s opinion of your website.
This stage is at times challenging, but you could engage agencies that would guide you in developing a good SEO strategy that captures this and there are numerous SEO Services contracting companies.
- Authority Strategy Development- build not just traffic and ranking but also trust and user loyalty from your users
- Link Acquisition- you build links from authoritative sites linking to your website, which improves your site’s ranking- sort of like referrals.
- Digital Media Relations- here, you build relations and interactions with your online users. Relation goes a long way in influencing purchases, building traffic and communication, which are beneficial in acquiring user input and feedback.
- Social Promotion- build a connection and reach with your audience through social media channels.
Today’s SEO is complicated and as such, it has to be guided by a solid SEO strategy and taking a deliberate and multifaceted approach that encompasses every aspect of the website right from its technology infrastructure to creative content marketing. The strategy needs to outline the expected outcomes, goals, target audience and the competitive advantage that the SEO would bring.