Guide To Planning A Successful SEO Strategy
SEO success hinges on a very simple theory. The more you put in, the more you get out.
If you’re keen on improving your online visibility through higher search engine rankings, the only way you can achieve this over the long-term is by running a well-planned and well-researched SEO campaign.
In this article, I’ll highlight four key points to follow when developing an SEO strategy. Trust me, my decades of experience in this field have proved that there is absolutely no substitute for planning and preparation and the more time and effort you invest up front, the greater your chances of success.
Four steps to planning a successful SEO strategy
1. Do your keyword research thoroughly
In terms of SEO, keywords are the words and phrases that people enter into search engines to find your website. That’s why you need clarity on which ones best describe what your business does and what your content is about so that your target audience can find you. Good keyword research is fundamental to the success of your SEO and without thorough keyword research, you’re playing darts in the dark.
There are lots of different ways to do keyword research. The trick is to find keywords that people actually use, and that are also niche and highly relevant to your business. You also want to choose keywords with good search intent, this means what the user is actually searching for.
- someone searching for “SEO” is probably looking for general information about what SEO actually is.
- someone searching for an “SEO Agency Perth” is looking for an SEO agency to work with in Perth.
- someone searching for a “DIY SEO Course” is looking for an SEO course they can do themselves.
Remember, the search engines continuously update their algorithms, so you should periodically review how you are using your keywords and if you are using the best ones for your business as your industry evolves.
2. Research what your competitors are doing
The reality is that you won’t be the only one targeting your chosen keywords – your competitors will be too! That’s why it’s important you investigate who is already ranking for your keywords to see what you could do better. Remember that Google want to present the best quality results each some a user does a search, so consider what you can do to make your website the best!
A good place to start is entering your proposed keywords into Google and see what comes up. Click on competitors that are a similar size to your own business and review their website and consider how you can make your website better?
You can use the same technique for coming up with blog post topics, and for keyword phrases that you want to rank for. Type possible blog titles in Google and see what other content has already been created, if you want yours to rank first make sure it’s better and more comprehensive than the other results.
But a word of caution here. It’s not wise to rely solely on your competitors to inform your SEO strategy and just because a competitor may be ranking well for a specific keyword, it’s hard to know why to the untrained eye, so just focus on being the best quality result in all aspects of your website.
3. Work out your SEO strategy
Analysing what your competitors are doing in terms of content is important, but you should also be looking at how they are doing in terms of other SEO components such as backlinks, site speed, site security, meta tags, mobile friendliness, internal links etc.
Discovering your competitors’ backlinks is a good starting point and you’ll find my blog on 3 Easy Ways To Find Your Competitors Backlinks a helpful resource for this. For example, it will highlight which domains link to your competitors and you can then use this information when planning your own content.
My blog on Our Favourite Free Tools For SEO may also be useful to review both your own and your competitors’ websites.
4. Plan your content carefully
Your competitor analysis gives you a crucial context for planning your content because you’ll know what works for them, what type of content is popular, where their backlinks come from and so on. But you don’t want to emulate them.
Getting found online means your content has to stand out from all the competitive clutter. It has to be like the Aldi slogan – good and different. Actually, it should be better and different.
When planning a successful content strategy, you need to find ways of meeting the searchers’ needs as well as ticking the boxes in terms of the search engine algorithm. Don’t just reproduce what others have done. Look at your keywords and find fresh new ways of presenting the content. Quality content is a cornerstone of any successful SEO strategy, and original, engaging, helpful, readable and relevant material always wins.
And one last thing … your plan should include scheduling new content to be added to your website on a regular basis. Read our blog on 50 Ways To Generate Ideas For Your Business Blog. And, if you only have a little spare time, remember there are also several SEO tasks you can do in one hour.
Is planning a successful SEO strategy really that easy?
Business owners often ask me whether it’s possible for them to manage their own SEO strategies successfully. Planning is one thing, but making sure that you start your SEO strategy in the right way and continue to execute it well is an entirely different ballgame.
If you’re planning to do your own SEO, you’ll need all of the following on an ongoing basis:
- Technical expertise
My free SEO Starter Kit will point you in the right direction if you’re completely new to SEO.
Making sure your SEO strategy continues to deliver the goods requires continuous monitoring, evaluation and tweaking to get the balance right. Some business owners choose to outsource their SEO to a specialist who manages their SEO, whilst others prefer to do it themselves. If that’s how you want to approach your online presence, I’ve got the perfect solution for you.
If you’re interested in DIY SEO but aren’t sure how to plan (and execute) a successful strategy, have a look at my online course, The SEO School. This modular, self-managed course takes you through all the stages of SEO, from keyword research and planning to ongoing monitoring and analysis once the strategy is in place. Find out more on the website or use the contact form to get in touch – I’d love to hear from you!
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