With so many SEO techniques available for marketers, it can be challenging to know which ones offer the biggest impact and most favorable results in your SEO strategy. Should you focus on link building, on-page and off-page SEO, or content strategies and an expanded blog?
Worry no more. We know the challenges people deal with, which is why we’ve put together a list of crucial SEO tips that address some of the most important elements of SEO.
Laying the Ground for a Successful SEO Strategy
We always say we don’t do cookie cutter campaigns. That’s not quite true. There are a few things that are set in stone; we don’t deviate from them, because they work. Before crafting an SEO strategy:
1. Fill out a Marketing Discovery.
We always start our clients with a Discovery, a document that outlines your current activity online, what you think is important to your upcoming SEO campaign, what your goals are, and what you’re willing to do to reach them. It answers questions like:
- What key words are people search for to find my product or service? What terms are important for me to rank for?
- What have I done for my online marketing, and what am I willing to do? For example, if you aren’t blogging, are you willing to add a blog?
- What digital assets do I have that I can capitalize on?
- What platforms could I use that I’ve been ignoring?
Get as in depth as possible. Our Discovery is eight pages long, and we get a lot of comments about how our clients have a better picture of what they want once they’ve filled it out.
2. Conduct a speed audit.
Conduct a thorough speed audit and remove anything from your website that slows it down. A slow-loading website is SEO death. Brace yourself for a shocking reality. Your website will lose, on average, seven percent in conversions for every one-second delay. Forty-percent of Internet users will abandon a website that takes longer than three seconds to load. Now imagine the following.
You have a website/page that takes longer than three seconds to load. This means you can only influence 60% of visitors beyond that point. Keep imagining! Every second beyond the three-second mark will cost you seven percent in possible conversions. Page speed is vital. With a slow loading website you could be losing a ton of business.
3. Conduct an in depth site analysis.
As important as it is to have a fast site, it’s equally important to make sure there are no other factors that will get in the way of your SEO strategy’s success. A site analysis should cover areas such as:
- Other technical issues beyond speed (broken code, for example)
- How pages are built (e.g. too many H1 headers)
- Images are optimized
- The correct terms are being targeted
- and more!
Get as much information together about your site as possible. If there are errors, fix them. If weakness are uncovered, mark them down. They should be targeted as part of your SEO strategy.
Building Your SEO Strategy Foundation
Once the three steps above have been taken care of you’re free to move forward with laying the foundation for a customized SEO strategy, confident that you know and understand your website and standing in the search engines. Here are a few tips to keep in mind and at least visit during the creation of your SEO strategy:
1. Incoming and Outgoing Links
Link to other relevant and authoritative sites when possible. We know that many marketers and site owners assume that linking to an outside source is a bad thing because it encourages visitors to leave a page. The reality is that it will benefit the source you want to link to, and it will also benefit your site from an SEO standpoint. Linking out to a reliable source makes your site more valuable in the eyes of Google.
2. Write for humans and not primarily for search engines.
Website owners and bloggers have made an adjustment to address SEO, and many are leaning too much toward the old method of depending on keywords to influence search results. The key is to write engaging, relevant, and valuable content that searches can find.
The most effective content strategy approach is to write both for search engines and the benefit of readers. If readers cannot find your material they cannot engage with it. If they cannot engage with it search engines will consider it to be irrelevant. Never forget that the user experience is among the most critical considerations of good SEO.
3. Develop a marketing plan that creates urgency in others to link to your site.
The main way to do this is by creating high-quality content that addresses the information people need and find useful. Invest whatever time, money, or resources into creating content that earns readership.
4. Make sure that you have analytics in place the moment you start executing your SEO goals.
It only makes good sense to be in command of software that can track what works and what does not.
5. To grow, your online presence will need a strong social media footprint.
Google will judge your site on its lack thereof. It may be that many marketers believe Google has not added social media into their ranking algorithm yet, but who can know for sure? You have to assume the presence of social media really does impact search engine rankings.
Even if it doesn’t directly impact, we know it has impact in another way. Through social media, links are created, as well as comments, community, interest and authority. These are all positive signals of a relevant, quality site. Don’t miss out on them because you think the search engines don’t care about social. Create the content and community that keeps people talking, and you’ll see positive change happening.
6. Produce engaging content.
Producing engaging and unique content is still a major challenge for many marketers. It takes a lot of know-how and discipline to maintain a content production schedule. Google places high emphasis on websites that show a high level of expertise, trustworthiness, and authority. The best content is also original content that demonstrates a high degree of thought leadership.
One of the best ways to create thought leadership is to innovate, write research papers, write engaging blogs, create shareable videos and interesting podcasts, and write books. Of course it is easier said than done. However, it makes perfect sense to also include these in your SEO strategy, in way that makes sense for your goals.
We’ve covered nine areas that you should at least consider while creating an SEO strategy. Over 20 years’ experience has proven that including community actions, conversation, on page optimization, and engaging content, among others, is a great way to ensure your SEO strategy is successful.
Another great way is to hire the experts. We’ve been in the business of creating exceptional marketing campaigns for over two decades. Let us put that experience to work for you. Contact Level343 (pronounced 3-4-3) to get your campaign on the right track.