You should have already heard about SEO (search engine optimisation) at some point, especially when you’ve been running a business website. Do you know where to get started?
It’s okay if you have little to no clue on the matter, though. Simply ask around and you’ll see how a lot of entrepreneurs struggle coming up with an SEO growth strategy that hums. Why? That’s because planning how to optimise your online sales platform can be overwhelming and time-consuming, especially when you’re an absolute neophyte in the complex world of digital marketing.
The good news is that developing a sound SEO strategy isn’t impossible to do. To lend you a hand as you’re about to embark on a journey toward search engine visibility, here are helpful steps you might want to jot down.
Come up with a list of Topics
Keywords may still sit close to the heart of SEO but it’s important to organic growth has been somewhat diminished over the years. These days, a more important first step is to make a list of topics you want to cover from one month to the next.
To begin, compile a list of words and terms associated with your primary product or service. Then try identifying the search volume for each word on the list using SEO tools, which should help you determine a few more variations for your list of topics.
Although you may be associating the newfound topics with popular short-tail keywords, it isn’t really wise dedicating individual blog posts to these very competitive search terms. Instead of optimising your site for such keywords, treat them as the overarching themes with which to revolve the content you’re creating for your website.
Create a list of Long-tail Keywords
If the short-tail keywords serve as a theme, their long-tail cousins should help you dig deeper into the topics you’ve chosen in the previous step. Instead of competing in a race where your website stands little chance of winning, explore new paths to get to the top. Instead of optimising for popular short-tail keywords, aim to create content on subtopics revolving them.
By going specific to the posts you write about, you may attract people with varying interests in your product/service. Every new content creates more opportunities for target consumers to better understand the need for your business.
Google also favours websites that dig into the many inner workings of a general topic because these domains often provide substantial answers to specific search queries. This naturally translates into a better ranking for your online platform.
Build Pages for each Chosen Topic
Getting one page to rank for a handful of keywords? That’s just reaching for the moon right there. In reality, getting ranked for those will require you to be a little more thorough in your approach.
To get you started, you’ll have to make a web page for each of the topics you’ve chosen in the first step and then make an outline of each keyword. Ideally, you may have to mention the long-tail keywords you came up in the second step, too. Think of the said page as a table of contents where you brief readers on the sub-topics you’ll elaborate on in subsequent blog posts.
For the most part, the number of these pillar pages should match how many products, services, and locations your business has at the moment. That way, it’ll make it easier for prospective customers to find you in search engines regardless of the keyword they use. And one more thing to remember about the content you make for your commercial website: do your best to incorporate pictures as well as links to pages around your website for better user experience.
Set up a Blog
In case you missed the memo, blogging is an incredible way to rank for keywords and engage site visitors. Plus, every blog post is a new web page that gives you another chance to rank in search engines. We can’t emphasise this enough: a blog will give your online business a huge boost in terms of visibility.
As you write each blog post, remember not to stuff one too many keywords into the page. Try linking out to various pages on your website, too. Afterward, show and link each new post to a pillar page that shows every sub-topic you have covered so far.
Setting up the blog this way will be a way to tell search engines that there’s a relationship between the long-tail keywords and the topics you’re trying to rank for.
Blog Every Week
Once you run out of sub-topics to write about then it’d be time to write about tangential topics that your customer base actually cares about. The value in doing this is that it establishes website authority in the eyes of search engines. Do that and Google will pay extra attention to your domain as you continue to add content related to your primary topics.
Once you wrap your head around this little change of pace, aim to write a blog at least once every week. However, try blogging with your audience (rather than search engines) in mind. Keep your topics revolving around what your audience is interested in, making sure to include relevant keywords wherever appropriate as you go.
Do this in regular intervals and netizens will slowly start to notice the value you’re making and click through the content you put out every time.
Think of a Link Building Plan
The first few steps in this SEO growth strategy plan may have been dedicated to on-page SEO but this doesn’t mean you can treat off-page optimisation as an afterthought. Even with all the algorithm updates in recent years, off-page SEO remains to be a huge factor in how search engines rank your website. That says a lot about its importance in any SEO campaign.
When it comes to this part of SEO, link building should come to mind. It’s the process of attracting inbound links—called “backlinks”—to your website from elsewhere around the Web. A rule of thumb here is that the more page authority the origin website has, the bigger impact it will have on the rank of the page to which it is linking. How do you do this?
One way to go about it is by sharing your links with other local businesses in exchange for links to their websites. You could also tap guest blogging opportunities and approach bloggers in a similar niche to write content for them and allow you to link back to your website. You can even post articles related to current news (like your industry’s take on a recent and relevant national event) so you get a chance to get links from industry influencers, bloggers in the same industry, or even trusted news sources.
Compress Media Files Before Putting them on Your Website
At this day and age, page speed has become one of the most important ranking factors. In fact, search engines gauge this metric to decide where to place your content in their index. With that, you’ll have to be mindful of every media file you put into your website. As a rule, the smaller the file size, the faster your web pages will load.
For this purpose, you’ll have to use an image compression tool to reduce the media file’s size before you upload them to your website. In the end, keeping images and videos in kilobytes can help protect your website’s average load speeds.
Start Strategising Today
These tips should get your SEO strategy rolling! But don’t just sit and appreciate the effort you’ve put in so far (it’s far from over, trust us). With organic SEO often taking time before it gains traction, it’ll be wise to keep track of key metrics on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This way, you get to gauge the success your efforts have so far.
To get started with your very own SEO strategy and stay on top of it until it bears fruit, get in touch with our SEO Agency today!