SEO or search engine optimization is one of the core elements without which digital marketing never becomes whole. Digital marketing is a celebrated concept by now, and you might even be helping your brand to have a solid presence through diverse digital marketing channels like websites, social media, emails, etc. While traversing through this journey, you might be held up at lots of places when results do not come as expected. You might be wondering as to what has gone awry in your SEO plans.
This blog is all about shedding some light on the importance of SEO and offers a handful of crucial steps to formulate an effective SEO strategy.
Why Should You Bother About SEO in Digital Marketing?
We should bother more and more about SEO as it’s a core tool in the digital marketing arsenal.
Before moving any further, let me clarify the difference between digital marketing and SEO and how they are indispensable to each other. Consider the below example.
Imagine a situation wherein you open a store without any signboard anywhere. No name, no logo, no displays…People may accidentally stumble upon your store and may get in out of curiosity. But the moment they realize that you are not selling what they are looking for, they will exit from your store swiftly. This is an example of a website that is not optimized for search engines. You have just built and launched a website. Yea, you’ve got a digital presence. But no one will find you unless a proper SEO strategy is in place.
On the other hand, if the shop has proper signage, you will be attracting many customers who are looking for the exact products that you are selling. This kind of shop is an example of an optimized website. In other words, it’s a website that is decked up with smart SEO strategies. And that’s what a successful digital marketing expert will be doing to make his webpage to appear in search.
Now, let’s see what SEO is.
What is SEO?
SEO, the acronym for Search Engine Optimization, is a digital marketing strategy covering all the tactics to increase the ranking of your webpage in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). It is the process of enhancing the quality and quantity of traffic to a website/web page from search engines. Search engines are the crucial spaces to promote your business’s products/ services.
SEO is a tactical procedure through which we make a web page easy to find, easy to crawl, and easy to categorize. The ranking of a website is its prime attention and it targets unpaid and organic traffic. It makes your website more discoverable or visible to your potential customers, thereby directing more traffic to your website. All these mean more opportunities to convert prospects into customers.
Now, if your goals include achieving top positions on SERPs (search engine result pages), growing organic traffic, or increasing organic revenue, you can’t ignore SEO in your digital marketing strategy. To be more precise, you need to craft a roadmap to achieve these goals and this roadmap is nothing but SEO Strategy.
There is another concept called SEM or Search Engine Marketing, which is a strategy through which you get traffic to your website or web page through payment positioning, mostly through ads. The crucial difference between SEO and SEM is while the former is free and counts on organic search strategies, while the latter comes with a cost and banks on paid advertising. Moreover, SEO takes time to take effect, while the result from SEM is instantaneous. SEM is not within the scope of this blog and hence we focus on SEO and SEO strategies.
What is SEO strategy?
SEO strategy or SEO approach refers to a comprehensive proposal or plan to improve a website’s search engine rankings in order to capture more organic traffic.
As many have wrongly understood, SEO strategy does not just involve the creation of content revolving around keywords that you believe your customers are searching for. Yes, it does involve organizing content by topic/keywords to improve the probability of appearing in search results. But it also covers multiple elements such as technical SEO, content strategy, on-page SEO, link building, user experience, etc. SEO strategy is a process that encompasses the right utilization of all these components to gain organic traffic from search engines.
In the simplest and straightforward terms, an SEO strategy is a process that you follow when your goal is to get more organic traffic.
Now, before moving on to discovering how to formulate a winning SEO strategy in 2022, it’s prudent to get to know what value it gives. Or in other words, why should we invest time and effort in formulating an SEO strategy in 20222.
Is SEO still relevant in 2022?
As per a report by BrightEdge, 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search making it the most treasured marketing channel. As per HubSpot’s State of Marketing survey, about 61% of B2B marketers identified SEO and organic as the major lead generator than any other marketing initiative. That’s why every brand and business that operates online today – small, medium, and large enterprise – needs SEO. Period.
Think about this: every time people (your potential customers) enter a query that’s relevant to your website into a search engine (Google currently holds 92.27% of the total search engine market share), you wish that they click on your result (website/webpage). In order to help them click on your website, they should find it on the top SERPs of the search engine. It happens only if you make your page highly discoverable online and SEO is the way to do it, then, now, and in the future. If customers do not click on your result, it means that your competitors are ranking well for that relevant keywords and they have a sound SEO strategy in place.
The same SEO tactics that brought results in the past may not be effective today. SEO is a highly evolving realm. It continuously reinvents.
As a leading digital marketing company, GetMySites is smartly aware of what constitutes a sound SEO approach for the coming years, and we are happy to help you with that.
Types of SEO
When you are planning to formulate an SEO strategy, be informed about the different kinds of SEO. Knowledge about these is essential to prepare an SEO strategy that suits your brand.
- On-page SEO: It is nothing but the practice of optimizing the content that’s actually on site pages for search engines and users.
- Off-page SEO: It is nothing but all the activities that are done outside of your own website to influence your rankings within SERPs. It attends to improve links directed to the website from other web pages on the internet. The more the number of backlinks a site has the easier it is to build trust with search algorithms.
- Technical SEO: It is nothing but all the SEO activities accruing to the website’s backend architecture, like site code.
What are SEO tools?
There are diverse numbers and varieties of paid and free tools to execute SEO analysis. Moz, SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc. are some paid tools. The following are the most effective and popular free SEO tools.
Google Search Console – a collection of tools to monitor a number of indexed pages, security issues, resolve server errors, site load issues, and security issues, and more to help you rank your pages better.
Google Keyword Planner – a keyword tool that helps you research and discover keywords to target in your website content and rank for the keyword topics.
Steps to create an SEO Strategy in 2022
Step 1: Make a list of topics and keywords
Keywords are integral to SEO and hence keyword search is crucial to an SEO strategy. Now, in order to have the most relevant keywords associated with your business, it is better to make a list of topics as the first step of any genuine SEO strategy. Start with a list of topics that your content will talk about. This will help you filter out the most significant keywords.
Write down a list of about 10 words and terms connected with your brand or product/service. Try entering these words in an SEO tool. Identify their search volume, and try variations that make sense for your business. What you are creating now is a list of short-tail keywords or search phrases with only one word or not more than three. They represent very broad topics. For example, ‘SEO’ is a short-tail keyword, while ‘make an SEO strategy to get leads’ is a long-tail keyword.
Step 2: Make a list of long-tail keywords
Based on these pillar keywords or short-tail keywords, make a list of long-tail keywords. These keywords dig deeper into these topics and help you develop more relevant content that directly deals with the concerns of your customers, and the solutions they are looking for. You can create different blog posts and web pages centering on these long-tail keywords. You should also take precautions not to overproduce content that doesn’t aim for specific keyword phrases. You also need to stay away from targeting the same keyword repeatedly resulting in keyword cannibalization.
- Bank on the following methods to find effective short-tail and long-tail keywords:
- Use broad SEO tools like Ahrefs, Moz and SEMRush etc. for keyword related data
- Use dedicated keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, KWFinder, Semrush or Ubersuggest, etc.
- Using Google Search Console to know what your website already ranks for and identify opportunities for optimization.
- Evaluate Google SERP one and two to confirm search intent.
- Check Google Suggest’s autocomplete and “people also ask” features to discover related keyword ideas.
Step 3: Align Content with search intent
Understanding the search intent for selected keywords will help you stay away from the useless process of producing content for content’s sake. In order to produce effective content we need to understand the ‘why’ behind a query or the search intent. Web search queries generally fall into one of these categories: informational, navigational, or transactional.
Aligning content with search engines starts with analyzing the top 10-20 results for your keyword in Google. Observe any specific patterns and jot them down. If these results mostly produce ‘how to’ blogs, you may also better publish a ‘how to’ blog on your site.
Step 4: Create Something Different or Better
You can enhance your Click-through Rate (CTR) only by differentiating your message in the SERP from the other results. If it’s difficult to differentiate your content, use more gripping language that aligns with the intent to stand out.
Either you need to create something bigger or better than something that’s already out there. If the first SERPs are full of 25 SEP tips, you need to come up with 50 or 101 tips. Another way is to create totally unique content that grabs the attention of the right audience.
Step 5: Optimize For On-Page SEO
Keyword-optimizing your content for SEO is a crucial step involved in building a winning SEO strategy.
- Internal Linking: link your pages with other high-authority web pages of the same site. Take care to choose the right keywords as anchor text.
- Title tag optimization: place a well-thought-out keyword in your title to induce readers to read it.
- Meta description optimization: Optimize them with the primary keywords.
- H1 optimization: Your H1 is your chief headline and it announces what the page is all about. So take care to optimize it correctly.
- Short, keyword-rich URLs: Short URLs fare far better than long URLs.
- Image optimization: A file name and image alt text should contain relevant keywords.
- Content optimization: Finally, ensure that your content is ready to attract all attention by making it keyword-optimized, informative, and unique.
Step 6: Create a link building plan
While all the above steps revolve around on-page SEO we need to focus also on off-page SEO tactics, and one among them is link-building. When you get backlinks or inbound links (a lot of them) to your website from other sources on the internet your search engine ranking automatically improves. These links that point back to your pages from other sites (high authority sites) notify search engines about the relevance and quality of your content.
You can get started by sharing links with local businesses in exchange for links to their own sites. You can even write a few blog posts with links to your own sites and get them published on other sites.
Step 7: make an impactful content design
You need to focus on content design to grab the attention of your potential customers and to generate more leads from your content. The best-written content will look exciting only if they appear in an appealing design. Give attention to visual content as they work well on social media platforms. They help you gain backlinks, social shares, and traffic.
Visual content can be of different types like Graphs and Charts, Screenshots and Pictures, Blog Post Banners, Native Videos, Infographics, Data Visualizations, Embedded Blog Post Videos, Flowcharts, Slide shares, Interactive Content, etc.
Moreover, you need to take care of compressing media files before uploading them as it helps in mobile optimization.
Step 8: Track progress and improve the content
The entire content and content design are done, your task doesn’t end there. You need to monitor organic traffic and should implement changes to your content from time to time. Track your metrics to know if your SEO strategy is working fine.
You can stick to a plan of optimizing your old content and blog posts by updating information and images, changing keywords as per changed intent, refreshing some content by giving it more depth and value, updating out of date information and statistics, and creating a monthly content plan that can be followed by your team.
Building an SEO strategy that supports your business goals is the key. A solid strategy helps you discover where you are, where you must be, and the best way to reach there. Take into account budget, resources, and timeframes. Always be clear about your actual needs. Are you looking to improve customer acquisition, decrease bounce rate, strengthen domain authority, etc. Create an SEO strategy that helps you address your specific goals and needs.
Are you still confused about creating a smart SEO strategy plan for your business? Do not fret. We can help you. Contact us now!