Anybody can come up with an SEO strategy; it’s not that big of a deal. However, given how search trends are constantly changing, it’s very difficult to come up with an SEO strategy that’ll be successful. Yet, it’s not entirely impossible.
Before you can jump into the strategy itself, you first need to prepare for it. And to do that, you have to do a lot of research. Agencies like Up Digital, who tend to innovate when it comes to delivering SEO strategies, and even freelancers, who’re working all alone, dedicate a huge chunk of their time and resources for planning the strategy. And all of them believe that there are 3 steps that are integral to making an SEO strategy a successful one.
In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at these steps, and why agencies and freelancers alike always start planning their SEO strategies beginning with these steps.
Step 1: Conducting an Initial Audit
Before you can start fixing your website’s SEO-related problems, you first need to understand what went wrong, or how the current SEO strategy is working out for you. By running an audit on your website’s overall design and search engine optimization rankings, and analyzing the audit results, you’ll be able to realize which strategies are working and which aren’t. Afterward, you can isolate the problems and work out ways by which you might be able to improve them.
The audit will also allow you to get an overview of your website’s organic performance and the factors affecting it. This, in turn, will help you generate a strategy that involves the best practices necessary to improve the website’s organic reach.
When conducting the audit, you’ll be looking at a lot of different factors including internal and external link building, information architecture, content quality, keyword density and optimization, the presence of duplicate content, meta tags, website loading speed, and so on. SEO professionals use various premium tools to run these checks. If you’re not familiar with them or don’t want to go through the hassle of doing it on your own, you can just hire a professional freelancer or agency to run the audit for you.
Step 2: Running a Competitor Analysis
At the end of the day, the main aim of digital marketing is to improve sales. It’s expected that by 2024, companies worldwide will be spending over 500 billion US dollars on digital advertising. A lot of that money will go into the digital marketing side of things, where the goal is to generate more traffic. But how would they know how much traffic is “more traffic” or how high should they aim? The answer to this is very simple – by studying their competitors.
Analyzing your competitor’s rankings will help you develop a good idea as to how high you need to aim. By observing their SEO rankings, you’ll be able to set a target and proceed accordingly. You can also work out strategies that will help you surpass your main competitors.
While analyzing your competitor, you need to be on the lookout for a few things.
Firstly, stay updated on their market positions. Keep track of their rankings and campaigns at the same time, so that you can pinpoint the exact campaign/s that lead to a change in their position.
Next, keep tabs on the platforms they use to run these campaigns. This will help you learn where they’re putting their efforts and how it’s impacting their growth.
Finally, look at the quality of their content and how they utilize their keywords. Since they’re your competition, you’re likely to use similar types of content and keywords, and running this analysis will give you an idea as to what it is that they’re or you should be doing differently.
Step 3: Finding the Right Keywords
Keyword research helps you to find out the words and phrases that can impact your rankings. It’ll let you know which words are easy to rank for, which ones your competitors are ranking for, what customers are searching, and so on.
In a nutshell, keyword research will not only help you find the right keywords for your business or content, but it’ll also keep you informed of the latest search trends across the internet.
There are plenty of keyword research tools available online. Among the free ones, Google’s Keyword Planner is quite popular. Apart from that, some of the best premium keyword planning tools include Moz, SEMrush, and Wordtracker.
Once you’re done with these 3 steps, you can move on to the other ones, and then start implementing your new and improved SEO strategy.