Boost Your Digital Presence: How to Develop a Killer SEO Strategy
Building a strong SEO strategy template is still a top priority for most businesses going into 2019. Organic SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid search ads. If you’re going to invest in a marketing strategy, make it your SEO foundation.
The right combination of creativity and analytics will send your page to the top of Google’s search rankings. You just need to know which areas to focus on in order to get the best ROI. This guide is going to break down every facet of a strong SEO strategy that is effective in 2018.
Why You Need an SEO Strategy Template
Search Engine Optimization is a term that is thrown around a lot. What does it actually mean to be optimized for search engines? Well, when your SEO is strong and you have a roadmap for the future, your website will climb up the pages on search results relevant to your keywords.
The higher you rank on Google, the more visitors you’ll get. More than a two-thirds of clicks happen on the first five search results. Less than 6% of people even bother to click to the second page of results.
A strong SEO strategy will include higher brand recognition, customer loyalty, and overall trust. That all results in higher conversion rates.
This isn’t rocket science, nor is it something only accessible to expensive marketing budgets. SEO isn’t something you can just implement overnight, hit a button, or use a single tool. You have to coordinate multiple projects and specialized pieces into place to start seeing results.
SEO Delivers Qualified Leads
When you target words and phrases that customers are actively searching for, you’re connecting directly to valuable leads. This is something you don’t need to pull out sales techniques for, you’re getting the most organic interactions with SEO. This can generate genuine connections with your audience, rather than relying on just advertising metrics.
This also brings up a common oversight for businesses who aren’t SEO-savvy. Unlike something like PPC ads, you can’t convert a single ROI for SEO as a whole. You will have to rely on individual analytics and monitoring feedback.
It all starts with a plan for a better web presence. You’ll need to curate a comprehensive SEO strategy to see the best results. Great content, great user experiences, and natural interactions will build a foundation of trust. Before you know it, you’ll have multiplied your traffic and conversion rates.
Popularity snowballs when you have a great SEO strategy in place.
Step 1: Analyze Your Current Strategy
Before you start doing anything, you need to do a bit of recon. First, starting with your website and SEO, then comparing it to your competitors. You should do an SEO analysis for all your pages, including social media strategies.
You’ll need to find any leaks in your SEO, from broken links, poor web design, mistargeted keywords, to not enough funnels for traffic. An effective SEO strategy cannot be built on top of a compromised foundation. New arrivals aren’t going to be as forgiving as your regulars, as your website grows.
Having a second pair of eyes is important in order to get the most accurate SEO strategy template. It’s hard to see your own flaws, your ego gets in the way, even if you are knowledgeable about SEO.
Lay Out Your Goals
What do you want to accomplish with your SEO strategy? If you’re under a tight budget, you’ll want to make a list of priorities and objectives. You can start with the metrics you’d like to see for product sales, page views, subscribers, and page rankings.
Break down your metrics into demographics, location, conversion rates, social media signals, and click-through rates. Then, you can pinpoint any leaks in your strategy.
Step 2: Research Keywords
Keyword research isn’t a one-and-done aspect of organic SEO. You need to be targeting the best performing keywords at all times. The keywords you picked out a few years ago may not be at the top of the list anymore.
Buyer behavior changes over the years, the most searched phrases shift constantly. This is especially true for anyone not selling evergreen products. Local SEO must also be accounted for when researching keywords.
Even if your business doesn’t have a local location, targeting local SEO keywords is a great way to maximize return on investment.
Both generic and creative keywords will keep your web pages competitive. Unless you have a full-time SEO marketing team working for you, keep tabs on emerging trends, phrases, and search behavior.
Optimize for Voice Search
Don’t forget that many people are making the majority of their searches on their phone. Most of them being voice-assisted searches. In 2016 it was reported that 20% of mobile searches were made with digital assistants. In 2020, that number is expected to climb to half of all internet searches.
That means you’re going to have to rethink keyword optimization and incorporate more natural phrases and sentence structure. Long-tail keywords are the future, so start planning ahead now.
Step 3: Social Media Optimization
Social media marketing and SEO strategy templates are inseparable. Your social media signals boost your website traffic and your website traffic boosts your social media. You’ll want to curate your social media accounts to extend your reach, brand loyalty, and networking opportunities.
Prioritize variety over quantity of posts on social media. You should aim for roughly 3 posts on Facebook or LinkedIn, 5 posts on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Make sure each and every post as a relevant image or video to with it.
82 percent of marketers say it is “important” or “very important” to use images in posts. Headlines are also very important–they need to catch attention while staying factual. It’s a delicate balance, but “click bait” can be a good thing if you have honest intentions.
It’s also smart to create multiple variations of the same headlines to prevent your posts from getting stale on social media feeds. Anyone who scrolls too fast past your first posting might stop after reading a reworded headline.
Step 4: Revive Old Content
Coming up with new, unique, and entertaining content all the time is a hard job. If you maintain a blog, you should plan every post with the intentions of reusing it on some level. Whether it is a complete repost, a reference, or an update with new information–old content never dies.
How often should you be reusing old content? It depends on the evergreen nature of it. If this is content that is time-sensitive, you would keep a log of it to return later. If it is pertinent to industry developments or announcements, go back over your posts every six months to a year.
Content that is years old, go over everything that can be repurposed or purged to keep content fresh.
Proofread and Test Post
Before you go sharing a new public post, make sure you’re taking your time to proofread. It’s not just for obvious grammatical mistakes, but for readability and pacing. Having an editor is a worthy investment if a lot of your content is long-form articles, guides, and tutorials.
Be aware of unsavory language or political statements that could alienate your demographics.
Step 5: Optimize Visuals
SEO strategy extends into image properties and click-through-rates on your images. Images on your website need to be compressed for faster webpage loading while retaining maximum quality. They also need to be tagged and given meta descriptions. Even the image filename can be used for SEO.
Take advantage of the power of infographics, too. Hiring an artist to visualize important information about your business, niche, or competitors can be very effective. People trust infographics more than blocks of text.
If your images, including infographics, are good enough to share, you can start ranking on Google and Bing image searches. This is a great opportunity to get a leg up on larger competitors.
Make Navigation Clear
Strike a balance between streamlined and contrasting visuals. Don’t make things too complicated for the user. Make it easy to find and search old content.
Pay special attention to how your website looks on mobile devices. Not all responsive themes are successful at converting full web pages and retaining clarity.
Step 6: Write Better Meta Descriptions
These valuable snippets of information appearing in web searches used to be fairly short. Since last year, metadata has expanded, thanks to Google allowing longer descriptions. Going forward, your meta descriptions should be around 230 characters, roughly the size of a tweet.
It’s not a requirement to go back and redo all your meta descriptions if they are already adequate. Google will expand any metadata that used to be cut off. Don’t take this change the wrong way, it’s not a reason to create a long-winded pitch.
Keep it short, sweet, and informative.
Step 7: Enrich All Content
We’ve already mentioned how important images are for readership and SEO ranking. Take a look at all your original content and gauge whether or not it could use an audio or visual component. What about an interview on tape?
Even if your posts all have images already, go through and re-examine your headings, font, text size, and writing grade. Formatting is important for retaining viewership and writing convincing copy.
Credibility is key to growing a following on social media and blogs. If your posts don’t contain any references or sources, then you’ll appear less professional, credible. Think about who you’re choosing to source for your content. Don’t link low-value sites or sites without tenure.
Start with high-authority blogs and websites. Prioritize established brands, but don’t force references just to appear relevant. If you want an SEO strategy template for organic SEO, you must avoid stuffing backlinks as well as keywords.
This is for the sake of the reader as well as Google’s bots. They can detect an unnatural flow of keywords and backlinks.
Rich Snippets and Schema Markup
Meta descriptions are just the bare minimum of metadata. Rich snippets are visual attention-grabbers of all search queries. If you ever plan on landing posts in Google’s newsfeed or top results with recipes, summaries, and etc., you need to craft rich snippets.
This is valuable real estate that can be just as valuable as paying for ad placement. In fact, click-through rates have been reported to increase up to four times with rich snippets.
Step 8: Optimize Page Loading
Sacrificing speed for aesthetics is a common mistake. If your page is taking longer than three seconds, on average, to load, you’re scaring off visitors. There are a number of things that you can do to speed up load times without sacrificing visuals.
Here are some really effective ways to speed up your website:
- Minimize HTTP requests
- Enable Gzip Compression
- Index your database
- Avoid self-hosted videos
- Use CSS sprites
- Switch off the plugins you won’t use
- Minimize use Of tracking codes
- Utilize browser-side caching
- Reduce redirects
- Follow Google’s PageSpeed Insights
- Run a compression audit
- Choose the right host
- Use adaptive images
- Use Content Delivery Network
SEO is a Constantly Evolving Strategy
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into SEO. Having a strong SEO strategy template is paramount to keep up with trends, buyer behavior, and Google algorithm changes. There also needs to be free-flowing communication between the marketing team and business owners.
Prioritize great content, then start moving down the checklist of good SEO practices. Yes, it’s going to take a little longer to publish content that is optimized for search engines. If you don’t have that kind of time, you may want to consider hiring an SEO company that can help you.
At Greenwood SEO, we can produce a customized SEO campaign that will get you noticed and produce higher conversion rates. Contact us today to get a customized quote and comprehensive plan for success.
We will rebuild your marketing strategy from the inside-out, giving you the edge over all your competition.