SEO strategy for 2022 shouldn’t only focus on keywords, these days, most businesses understand the basic concepts of SEO and why it’s important. However, when it comes to developing and executing a sound plan for your business, just creating content for the keywords your customers are searching for is insufficient. This will explain what SEO strategy is, and how to create to meet or exceed your content marketing goals.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing the website to help it rank higher on SERPs and gain more organic traffic. In essence, a search engine optimization strategy is a highly specialized content strategy that helps a business discover opportunities to answer questions people have about their respective disciplines.
There are three types of SEO as explained below:
- On-page SEO
This SEO focuses on the content that is actually on site pages, and how to optimize it to boost the website’s ranking for specific keywords.
- Off-page SEO
This SEO focuses on links directed to the website from elsewhere on the internet. The number of backlinks a site has from reputable sources helps you build trust with search algorithms.
- Technical SEO
This SEO focuses on a website’s backend architecture, like site code. Google cares just as much about technical setup as it does content, so this position is important for rankings.
Bear in mind that every organization or team has different objectives, so it is an SEO experts’ job to examine the industry, determine what audiences care about, and develop strategies that provide the audience with what they are looking for.
What is SEO strategy?
Even nowadays, many people keep asking, what is SEO strategy? For a casual Internet user, this may seem so technical, however, more and more businesses are utilizing its advantages. This is a process of organizing a website’s content by topic to improve the likelihood of appearing in search results. Essentially, it is the process to follow to maximize the opportunity to gain organic traffic from search engines. Having this is important because it focuses on the tasks to stay on track when creating content. Instead of just creating what we think people are looking for, our plan will ensure that we are creating strategic content and information that people are ultimately searching for and may generate traffic and leads.
For content marketing, an SEO strategy is a critical piece of the puzzle because it is how our content will come to be seen in the first place, especially in search engine result pages (SERPs). If our content is scattered and unorganized, search engine bots will have a harder time indexing our site and identifying our area of authority and ranking our site pages.
Mobile SEO Strategy
Mobile SEO is an important factor to keep in mind when creating our overall content SEO strategy. This optimization involves ensuring our site and site content are available and accessible to visitors on mobile devices, so they can have the same experience and receive the same value as desktop browsers.
Mobile optimization is incredibly important, as Google practices mobile-first indexing. This means instead of crawling a desktop site, the google algorithm will use the mobile version of the site when indexing and ranking pages for SERPs. In addition, 61% of Google search queries in the U.S. occur on mobile devices. Our SEO strategies would be ineffective without prioritizing mobile optimization. While it is not an entirely separate process, there are distinct considerations for mobile SEO like monitoring page speed, responsive site design, local search engine optimization, and creating content that is high-quality, regardless of the device it is viewed on.
Effective SEO Strategy To Consider
An effective SEO strategy is a detailed plan for increasing a website’s search engine rankings to attract more organic traffic. This should be built on various pillars, including technical SEO, SEO content strategy, on-page SEO, link development, improvement of site existing content, and user experience. Below are some steps and tips to ensure strategies create the success goals every organization establishes.
1. SEO Content Strategy
This is a process of categorizing a website’s content to increase its chances of showing in search results. Essentially, it is the procedure to use to increase the chances of gaining organic traffic from search engines. It is significant because it assists in staying on track when generating material. Rather than simply developing content based on what you believe people want, your approach will ensure that you are creating content that people are seeking.
2. Make a list of topics and find long-tail keywords.
Keywords are at the heart of SEO, but they’re not the first step to achieving organic growth. Instead, the first step is to make a list of topics we’d like our content to address. To start, we should compile a list of about 10 words and terms associated with our product and/or service. Mach 1 Design can utilize its various keyword search algorithmic software to research these words, identify search volume, and develop variations that make sense for our business objectives.
By doing this, we are associating these topics with popular short-tail keywords, but we’re not dedicating individual blog posts to these keywords. Let’s go over an example of this process using the image below. Let’s say a swimming pool business is trying to rank for “fiberglass pools,” which receive 110,000 searches per month. This short-tail keyword can represent the overarching topic for creating the content, but the business will also need to identify a series of related keywords to include in the content. For example, we could opt to use the “fiberglass pool prices,” or “fiberglass pool cost,” to achieve additional rankings for the overall keyword of fiberglass pools.
Using search volume and competition as our measurement, we can create a list of 10-15 short-tail keywords that are relevant to our business and are being searched for by our target audiences. We then rank this list based on monthly search volume. Each of the keywords that we’ve identified is called pillars, and they serve as the primary support for a larger cluster of long-tail keywords discussed below.
During this step, you’ll begin optimizing your pages for specific keywords. For each pillar you’ve identified, use your keyword tool to identify five to 10 long-tail keywords that dig deeper into the original topic keyword. For example, we regularly create content about SEO, but it’s difficult to rank well on Google for such a popular topic with this acronym alone. We also risk competing with our content by creating multiple pages that are all targeting the same keyword — and potentially the same SERPs. Therefore, we also create content on conducting keyword research, optimizing images for search engines, creating an SEO strategy (which you’re reading right now), and other subtopics within the SEO umbrella. This helps us attract people who have varying interests and concerns — and ultimately create more entry points for people interested in what we have to offer.
Use our long-tail keywords to create blog posts or web pages that explain the specific topics within the pillars we’ve selected. Together, all of our long-tail keywords create a cluster around a pillar topic. Search engine algorithms depend on the relationships between clusters to connect users with the information that they’re looking for. Think of it this way: the more specific our content, the more specific the needs of our audience can be, and the more likely we’ll convert this traffic into leads. This is how Google finds value in the websites it crawls — the pages that dig into the inner workings of a general topic are seen as the best answer to a person’s query, and will naturally rank higher.
3. Execute and define cluster content.
Content clusters are SEO approaches that define cluster content and cluster content keywords into pillar and cluster pages to maximize a website’s structure and internal links. It entails using many tiers of web pages to properly organize your material based on how relevant it is to a certain topic. It is gradually gaining popularity as a terrific approach to position a site as an authority on a variety of topics. Contextual content clusters are a form of topic modeling method in which you generate a “cluster” of content around one topic as part of our content marketing plan. While keywords are important in your subject cluster, the overarching goal is to make your entire cluster of material as topically relevant as feasible.
4. Build pages for each topic.
When it comes to websites and ranking in search engines, trying to get one page to rank for a handful of keywords can be next to impossible. By using the pillar topics we develop to create a page or post that gives a high-level overview of the topic using the long-tail keywords we develop for each cluster in step two. These pillar pages can essentially be a table of contents, where we’re describing the main topic, and briefing readers on subtopics you’ll elaborate on in other posts. Ultimately, the number of topics for which we create pillar pages should coincide with our business needs, like the number of products and offerings we have. This will make it much easier for our prospects and clients to find us in search engines no matter what keywords they utilize in searches.
5. Set up a blog.
Blogging can be an incredible way to rank for keywords and engage our website’s users. After all, every blog post is a new web page and an additional opportunity to rank in SERPs. If our firm does not already have a blog, we should consider creating one. As we write each blog post and expand on our clusters, we should do three things:
- Not include our long-tail keyword more than three or four times throughout the page as Google doesn’t consider exact keyword matches as often as it used to. Too many instances of our keyword can be a red flag to search engines that we’re keyword stuffing to gain rankings, and Google will penalize us for this.
- Second, we will always link out to the pillar page we create for our topics. We can do this in the form of tags in your content management system (CMS), or as basic anchor text in the body of the article.
- Once we publish each blog post, link to it within the parent pillar page that supports the subtopic. By connecting both the pillar and the cluster in this way, we’re telling Google that there’s a relationship between the long-tail keyword and the overarching topic we’re trying to rank for.
6. Create a consistent blogging schedule and strategies.
Every blog post or web page we create doesn’t necessarily need to belong to a topic cluster. There’s also value in writing about tangential topics our customers care about to build authority with the Google algorithms. With that in mind, we should make it a point to blog at least once a week. Remember, we are blogging primarily for our audience, not search engines, so we must study our target market and write about things that they are interested in. It may aid to create a better content strategy to remain consistent and focused on our goals.
7. Create a link-building plan.
The topic cluster model is our way forward in SEO, but it’s not the only way to get our website content to rank higher. While our first five steps are dedicated to on-page SEO, link-building is the primary objective of off-page SEO. Link-building is the process of attracting inbound links (also called backlinks) to our website from other sources on the internet. As a general rule, sites with more authority that link back to our content have a more significant impact on your rankings.
We will dedicate some time to brainstorming all the various ways we can attract inbound links. Maybe we’ll start by sharing links with local businesses and directories in exchange for links to their sites, or we’ll write a few blog posts and share them on different social media platforms. We can also approach other blogs for guest blogging opportunities through which we can link back to our website.
8. Compress media files before uploading them to the website.
This is a small but important step in the SEO process, especially for mobile optimization. As our blog or website grows, we’ll undoubtedly have more images, videos, and related media to support our content. These visual assets help retain our visitors’ attention, but it’s easy to forget that these files can be very large. Since page speed is a crucial ranking factor to Google, it’s important to monitor the size of the media files we upload to our site.
The bigger the file size, the more difficult it is for an internet browser to render our website. It’s also harder for mobile browsers to load these images, as the bandwidth on their devices is significantly smaller. So, the smaller the file size, the faster our mobile optimized website will load. But, how do we compress images and still retain quality?
It’s worth considering the use of a compression tool to reduce file sizes before uploading images, videos, and gifs. Mach 1 Design compresses images in bulk and shrinks image files to microscopic sizes. However, if we choose to compress our media, keeping files in the kilobytes (KB) range is a good rule of thumb.
9. Stay up-to-date on SEO strategies, news, and best practices.
Just like digital marketing, the search engine landscape is ever-evolving. Staying on top of current trends and best practices is important to our evolving strategy, and multiple online resources can help us do so. Mach 1 Design utilizes various resources to stay abreast of new google algorithms and best practices to ensure our customer’s websites, content, and strategies on SEO are current and efficient in earning SERP rankings.
10. Resolve technical SEO issues and measure and track our content’s success.
SEO takes a lot of time and effort, and, because of this, we’ll want to know if this plan of action works. Businesses must discover and fix common on-site technical SEO issues and problems with their websites to avoid customer loss and preserve business growth. It’s important to track metrics to understand the success of the overall process and identify possible areas for improvement. We can monitor organic traffic using our preferred web analytics tool or create our dashboard. Also, tracking indexed pages, conversions, ROI, and our rankings on SERPs can help us evaluate our success as well as identify areas of opportunity.
Effective SEO Process
Once we’ve created our strategy on SEO, we should also build a process to continue optimizing for new keywords and evolving search intent. Here are a few tips we can take:
1. Historically optimize our content.
Devote time each month to updating old blog posts with new and up-to-date information to continue ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). We can also use this time to add any SEO best-practices that weren’t initially addressed, like missing image alt text.
2. Look out for changing keywords and new search intent.
After a few months, track how our blog posts are ranking, and which keywords they’re ranking for. This can help us adjust subheadings and copy to leverage new search intent that your audience may be interested in.
3. Add more editorial value to your old content.
Sometimes, we’ll find that a post is completely out of date. In this scenario, we should go beyond the average historical SEO update and give it a full refresh. We can do this by updating out-of-date information and statistics, incorporating new sections for added depth, and adding quotes or original data to give the post more referral traffic.
4. Create a monthly content plan.
To keep up with our SEO strategy, it can be helpful to create and refine a monthly content plan exhibited in our Content Calendar. We can place it into a spreadsheet, and we can track it accordingly. The list below is an example of a monthly content calendar plan that takes the above steps into account.
- Conduct keyword research for Personal Injury.
- Create a Content Production calendar
- Create blog posts that leverage opportunistic keywords.
- Identify blog posts that can be updated or refreshed.
- Identify other SEO opportunities, such as holidays & local topics.
- List content ideas in a Search Insights Report.
- Create thought leader content articles & videos.
- Track content progress at the end of each month.
With a monthly SEO plan like above, plus a tracking document like a content calendar, we can build out and execute an efficient SEO strategy. We can also identify and leverage low-hanging-fruit topics to discuss related to our industry and/or ideal client interests.
Create A Content SEO Strategy That Supports Your Business Goals
Ranking in search pages can be difficult. While it may seem enticing to create content that is centered around high-traffic keywords, that strategy may not always help us meet your business goals.
Instead, we should create an SEO strategy that helps us address our individual business needs, like increasing new client acquisition, for greater marketing success. If you feel you need SEO assistance, contact [email protected] 318-349-4998 for a free consultation