Updated: Dec 8, 2021
Keyword research is a vital part of SEO. But an SEO strategy that is mainly focused on keywords won’t really get you far. You may not hear it often, but a comprehensive SEO strategy or even one that’d yield results involves much more than just keywords. Many businesses understand the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) and why they need it. However, in practice, only a few know how to get the work done.
In this post, we’ll go over what SEO is and help you better understand what SEO strategy is, as well as how to create one for your business’ content marketing goals in 2022.
What is an SEO Strategy?
Search engine optimization is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page on organic search result pages. SEO strategy, on the other hand, is the process of organizing your web content to maximize the likelihood of gaining organic traffic from search engines.
If you’re looking to improve your content marketing results, having an SEO strategy is non-negotiable. It helps you with organizing your content, creating content to meet users’ needs, and making it easy for search engines to index your web pages. Search engine bots will find it hard to index your content if your SEO is below par. Again, it is not all about keywords; but keywords are a vital piece of the puzzle, and for that, you want to be sure that you are creating content with the keywords that people are actually searching for.
What to Consider
Another important factor you want to keep in mind is the type of SEO you want to focus on. This will inform your strategy. SEO can be any of the following:
On-page SEO: Here, the focus is optimizing existing web content on your pages in order to boost the website's ranking for specific keywords and improve search visibility and traffic to your website.
Off-page SEO: This focuses on all the measures that help you improve the website’s ranking outside of the pages on the website. Basically, you want to create as many high-quality backlinks (incoming links) to the website as possible. The more links you have from other reputable websites, the better your search visibility.
Technical SEO: Technical SEO focuses on the backend architecture of your website. This includes the site code.
Regardless of the type of SEO you want to implement, you want to make sure that the person in charge of your SEO understands this. That way, you will be able to focus on what their audiences care about, and create a strategy that solves that problem.
Steps to Set Up an Effective SEO Strategy
Taking a cue from HubSpot’s proposed SEO strategy, here are the steps to take to build an SEO strategy to help you achieve your marketing goals:
Make a list of topics
Begin by making a list of topics that are relevant to your business and the queries of your audience. To make the process simpler, you may need first to compile a list of words or terms that are relevant to your business. Then use an SEO tool like Google's Keyword Tool, Moz, Ahrefs, or SEMRush to research these words. The purpose of this search is to identify the search volume of those terms and create variations of them that are relevant and more in sync with your product or services.
This is how you build popular short-tail keywords. For instance, if your business specializes in providing local pediatric services, and you discover the search volume for virtual pediatricians is high, you might want to use keywords like:
affordable virtual pediatricians
virtual pediatricians consultation
24 hours virtual pediatricians
virtual pediatricians Central California (or whatever your target audiences location are)
A combination of these keywords can help you create content that improves your website traffic and visibility. Also, look at competitor websites and find out what they are talking about.
Make a list of long-tail keywords
To capture more specific search queries, you need to compile a list of long-tail keywords based on the pillars or short-tail keywords you listed in step 1 above. The difference is that more people use short-tail keywords than long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that users are more likely to use when they're closer to making a purchase. You’ll also notice that they have smaller search volumes. For instance, “where to buy best running shoes” and “affordable car insurance carriers in Scottsdale” are long-tail keywords.
After building your long-tail keywords list, use them to create blog posts or web pages that explain the specific topics within the short-tail keywords (pillars) that you researched and compiled earlier. Long-tail keywords are important because the more specific your content is, the more likely you’re able to attract traffic and gain leads.
Build pages for each topic
Depending on the number of relevant topics you came up with in steps 1 and 2, plus the number of business needs you want to address, try to create elaborate blog posts and web pages for each topic. Starting with the pillar list, you can use those topics to create overview blog posts that link to other more detailed blog posts/web pages with specific details on each topic.
Create a blog
Blogging is a very effective way to build traffic and gain more search visibility on search engine result pages. Each new blog is a different web page, so it would help if you used that opportunity to optimize for your keywords. Blogging can be easier if you understand your audience well and know the keywords to use. Some important things you should do are:
Try not to include your long-tail keyword more than 3-4 times throughout each post.
Always link to other content on your website, especially the pillar pages you created for the topics. This tells Google that there’s a relationship between the current page and existing pages on your site, which is also good for organic ranking.
Create a consistent blogging schedule to provide your audience with insightful content. At least, once or twice each week, try to publish a relevant post. Keep in mind that you can also talk about general topics that are related. Just ensure they are valuable to the audience.
Create a link-building plan. Link building or backlinking is critical to your SEO strategy. As you build these links, be sure to link to and acquire links from high authority sites (sites with high ranking on SERPs) to your website. An excellent way to do this is by guest blogging. You can see that keywords are not the only focus when building an effective SEO strategy.
Stay up-to-date on SEO Best Practices
Read other blog content and try out new developments. For details on SEO best practices, you can check out this blog. Some online resources that can help you achieve this include Moz, HubSpot, SEOBook, and Search Engine Roundtable.
Track and Measure your success
Improving your overall SEO score involves measuring essential metrics and tracking your performance. You can identify loopholes and make modifications to improve the results you get. Your SEO strategy is not complete until you can measure its effectiveness. There are several analytical tools to help you do this. Alternatively, you can create your own dashboard using Excel or Google Sheets. In addition, you can track the organic rankings on SERPs of your indexed pages, conversion rate, and ROI to help you understand your success with SEO and recognize opportunities for improvement.
There is More
SEO involves a lot of work and is time-consuming. Besides, it is a continuous process. You don’t optimize once and fold your hands. As the behavior of users changes, the need to stay in touch with their needs comes to bear in your SEO strategy. SEO is one of the most dynamic aspects of digital marketing, which is why you need experts who can stay up-to-date on SEO best practices. If you find yourself struggling with your SEO or digital marketing campaigns, perhaps, that’s your cue that you need expert help.
If you have more questions or need help getting started with or improving your website SEO, feel free to reach out to us. At Mission HR, we look forward to using our insights and expert guidance to enhance your SEO metrics. We use our digital marketing expertise to help businesses successfully implement the best growth strategies for their businesses.