In today’s internet landscape, it is absolutely essential that all businesses, large and small, incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) into their marketing strategy. We briefly touched on the importance of SEO in services pages, but want to take the opportunity to explain exactly why you need an SEO strategy, what is included in an SEO marketing strategy, and how to create an SEO strategy.
Why You Need an SEO Strategy
Simply put, there is much more to SEO than simply adding keywords to your website. Just like any business, marketing, or sales plan, you need to carefully consider and plan out your approach to search engine optimization. Search engines are now primarily focused on providing their users with search results that best match their intent, content that will provide the best, most complete answer to their questions.
What is Included in a Search Engine Optimization Strategy
- Technical SEO – Technical SEO refers to the optimization strategies you take to make sure that search engines can effectively crawl your site. Technical SEO should be built into your website and it includes: making sure you use SSL, ensuring your site is mobile-friendly, keeping your content unique, ensuring you have a clear site structure, making sure your site loads quickly, and creating an XML sitemap to submit to search engines. We will discuss Technical SEO even further in a future article.
- Onsite SEO – Your website needs to be optimized for SEO on a meta and a micro level. The best place to start applying onsite SEO strategies is to make sure you have a clear hierarchy on your site. This was briefly mentioned in our technical SEO section, but it bears repeating. Your site needs to have a clear, logical structure if you want it to be properly crawled by search engines. In addition, onsite SEO involves:
- Keywords – You need to choose good keywords that are appropriately competitive
- Backlinks – You need to have quality backlinks to your site/pages, preferably from authority sites
- Title and Description – Each page needs to have a good, solid title and description that includes your keyword(s) and the description needs to have a relevant call to action
- Content – Your content needs to be thorough and either answer any question your customer might have or help them in some other way. Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms, but they are primarily focused on providing results that most accurately respond to the user’s intent. The more complete and authoritative your content is, the better.
- Descriptive URL – All your site’s URLs should be keyword optimized
- Social Media – Your business also needs to have a presence on social media. This will lend even more legitimacy and authority to your site.
- Product Images – Your website should include high-quality images of your products and their titles and descriptions should also be optimized for SEO.
How to Create an SEO Strategy
When you are just beginning to develop your SEO Strategy for your website, there are some basic steps worth following. Please note: these primarily pertain on onsite SEO, especially since your technical SEO should already have been addressed when you set up your site. When you create a new page or post, or are updating a current page/post, we suggest you follow these steps to ensure they are SEO-friendly:
- Find a Great Keyword – It will take you a bit of time to fully develop your keyword research strategy, but it is a crucial first step. Many businesses will utilize a paid keyword search tool to help them identify the best keyword for their purposes. Your overall goal will be to find a keyword that has a high Click Through Rate (CTR) that you also have the possibility of ranking for.
- Analyze Your Competition – After you’ve picked your keyword(s), search for it yourself and analyze the results on Google’s first page. What is similar about the top 10 results; are there additional keywords they are using that you could use as well? How can you make your content stand out among those top 10?
- Diversity and Improve – The best way to outrank the sites that make the first page of Google search results is to either create something different or better, or both. Brainstorm ways you can diversify your content and make it even better than what’s currently available.
- Write a Memorable Meta Description – Users will not click through to your website if you don’t have a memorable meta description with a good call to action (CTA).
- Leverage Onsite SEO – Within your page/article, you’ll need to include relevant internal links and have a keyword-focused URL
- Review for User Intent – Make sure your content matches the user’s intent – that it closely answers the exact thing users are searching for. The better your content matches their intent, the better your site will rank
- Make it Visually Appealing – Your page/article needs to look great. If it doesn’t, users won’t stay on your site very long, which will negatively impact your ranking
- Leverage Offsite SEO – Offsite SEO mainly relates to link building. As previously stated, you’ll need to build links to your content, ideally from authority sites. This typically involves a lot of research and outreach to other websites, but it is worth the time and effort as it will dramatically improve your ranking.
- Review and Improve – You should regularly review your content and improve it – this is in addition to frequently adding new content. Search engines want to consistently provide their users with the most up-to-date and complete information available on the web. You’ll need to ensure that you keep your content fresh and current if you wish to keep (or improve) your ranking.
This is a brief overview of search engine marketing strategies. SEO can be a very challenging concept to grasp, and even more difficult to master. Many businesses large and small, leverage web optimization services and SEO consultant services to help them improve their search rankings. When you leverage the professional SEO services from Oak Marketing, you can ensure that you are receiving top-notch, custom SEO and web marketing services that will drive traffic to your site. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business grow.