SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is considered a marketing discipline. Having an SEO strategy in hand helps websites to rank higher in search engines. But where do you start your SEO strategy?

As an SEO Agency that helps clients to plan and execute an SEO strategy for their website, TopRankings have the answer. Starting a strategy might look easy, but actually preparing the step-by-step process of it is proven to take so much time and also implementing it needs a lot of consideration along the way. To start your SEO strategy here are some guiding tips that can help you in setting things up:

Be aware of the present SEO strategies

If you compare the SEO strategy of the past and of the present, I believe you will spot a big difference. Knowing the difference helps you to identify what you should avoid when preparing a strategy and also helps you to understand why the present SEO strategy came to existence. One big factor that contributes to the big change is the rise of RankBrain. According to Moz, RankBrain is a component of Google’s Algorithm that uses machine learning. To give you a clear idea of what RankBrain is, RankBrain personalised search engines. This way, Google understands more the intent of the searcher rather than just the keywords.

In the past, Google only identified relevant result via identifying the keywords searched and the keywords present in a particular content within a website but now, those keywords are being analysed and are understood by Google which provides a topic-related relevant search result. In other words, you cannot just create content full of top keywords but instead, the idea of the content must be of value and what the audiences are looking for.

SEO keyword research is an important part of SEO, but since Google already provide results based on what the searcher is looking for and not just the keywords itself, SEO keywords combined with concept-based marketing become prominent or in other words, more effective in SEO Strategy. Aside from this change, small tweaks that used to be done to increase ranking no longer works the way it used to in the past. Google no longer just focuses on the keywords nor the content alone, but is now also taking into consideration the credibility of the website and the user experience of it.

Know the company

An SEO strategy for a particular company always includes knowing what the company stands for, its vision and mission, its services and its goals. Knowing the company sets the perimeter of the strategy, you get to have a clear idea on what to include in the strategy as well as the priority level of each section of the website. Also, part of understanding it is understanding its values, those values can be emphasised and used in the strategy to show the credibility of a website. Once you get to fully know the company, knowing what will attract its target audience to it would be less challenging.

Understand and recognise the audience

The audience is the consumer of the company or website, a very important player in the industry. Understanding what their needs and wants are as well as the factors affecting those can help in building an effective SEO strategy. Studying the audience is one way to ensure relevant data on how to proceed in creating content, just guessing content that you think people would look for is a bad idea. Knowing what the audience would look for is a good point to start and a good place to have your strategy built around.

Now, SEO strategies, of course, have goals and it should be attainable, something that you know can be achieved, so understanding all the audience is not efficient as well as unreasonable for some. To get a better grasp of where to start on an SEO strategy, identifying the target audience must be one of the first steps. But how would you identify the target audience? You must know what you offer and can offer, analyse your current market, and gather opinions from outside the company on what they think is the selling point for your product or service offering. Knowing all these things will help you know who your target audience are as well as how to get them to visit your website.

Observe the landscape

In SEO, as much as the website and the audience is important, understanding the surrounding of the company is very important. It gives you not just additional knowledge on how to create an effective SEO strategy to boost traffic and rankings, it also allows you to know what to avoid. Part of knowing the landscape is knowing your competitor because they are the ones who are most likely going to be fighting with you on search engine rankings. Understanding how your competitors work around with their content provides an insight into how you should work with yours to rank higher against them or rank competitively with them.

In SEO, it’s not just the key competitors that you should look out for, but also smaller competitors websites and their blog posts that is worth evaluating. Why? Because why should smaller competitors with well written long tail targeted blog post, that are so much smaller than your website can get a much higher ranking when in fact Google considers credibility in regenerating result on particular topics? Gaining insights into these keyword topics can help you build an SEO strategy to gain a stronger organic presence and footprint and authority for your business.  

Recognise what topics are needed

Now that you have understood the present SEO Strategy, the company, the audience, as well as the landscape (competitors, other factors),  then creating a set of topics that your content will revolve around will be easy. You have developed a certain understanding of what the company can offer, what the audience is looking for and what the landscape is offering, therefore you can funnel ideas into useful content topics.

Identify relevant keywords of a topic

When it comes to SEO strategy, keywords have been one of the most popular parts of it. Whenever someone hears about SEO they immediately think of having just the top keywords, although it’s true, having relevant keywords for the right topics is very important. Although it has already been mentioned a lot that keywords are no longer the sole important thing in creating an SEO strategy, it is still a vital part of SEO. Why? Because for example, a person is looking for reviews of a certain book, you can have keywords like the title and author of it but the name of the main characters are important too, thus having the right topic is not enough too, having the right keywords to assist it will matter a lot.

Determine the common mistakes

SEO strategies won’t be effective if some parts not executed well can create roadblocks to your strategy’s success. Some of the things that you can be considered as roadblocks are short or thin content, duplicated content, overuse of SEO keywords etc. Short content is content that wasn’t able to provide as much knowledge or value to someone. This content would merely be describing the skin of the topic without discussing the anatomy of the whole body.

Duplicated content, from the word itself, is content that is considered a replica of another content. Plagiarism, of course, is one reason that you should be afraid of, as well as Google penalising you but in some cases, duplicated content within the website is possible. Some websites provide the same content  that sits on different pages of their website, this is not a plagiarism issue but might be considered by Google as duplicated content and to avoid it you can use canonical URLs. This way, a website has only one blog content yet tagged to different URLs. Those URLs will all be redirected to that same blog posts. To learn more about common SEO mistakes you can read 8 SEO Mistakes to Avoid Making in 2018 where you will get a better idea of risks to avoid to avoid.

In every SEO strategy, there’s always the SEO goals. SEO goals are very important as it guides and helps in facilitating the plans in a strategy. So how do you set your goals? It is important that your goal is a SMART goal. SMART or Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely can help you in setting your goals.

Setting up your S.M.A.R.T. goals

First, SEO goals must be specific, meaning your goal must be well-defined like what do you want to achieve, how, when etc. For example, what phrases do you wish to rank for that have buyer intent and enough search volume to justify being targeted for SEO. Second, measurable. Goals must be measurable that you have the ability to know and track your progress, it helps you in reevaluating your current SEO strategy. Are the phrases gaining traction on Google within a reasonable timeframe, are you empowered to track the organic presence of the rankings, can you measure organic visitors on Google Analytics showing a climb in organic traffic to your website.  Third is attainable. Attainable in a sense that with all the effort and will, there’s the chance to achieve it. It doesn’t mean it should be too low that you can achieve it, it just means that your SEO goal must be reasonable given all the current resources that you have. Ensure the phrases you are targeting are realistic and not too broad. Fourth, Relevant. The goal must be relevant to what you’re really aiming for, what your company is and has to offer, and what the target audience needs. Lastly, goals must be timely. Setting when to achieve a goal is important, setting the time too short or too long can be detrimental to your strategy. The deadline in achieving the goal must be reasonable and is within reach but at the same time embodies efficiency. In our experience if you’ve not embarked on SEO or have chosen the wrong SEO Agency – then your SEO Campaign in the right hands of the right SEO Agency may typically take between months 6 – 12 to make significant inroads against your competitors who may have commenced SEO and dominated for years before you.

SEO Strategy is now one of the major tools in online marketing and you won’t be able to ignore this fact. This fact is very important yet you should also note, it’s not an easy one, planning it alone could be time-consuming and implementing it may be difficult. But with the guiding tips discussed in this article, it will help you start up your SEO strategy like a pro. The tips, which are, understanding the current trend in SEO strategies, the audience, the landscape, the topics, the relevant keywords, the mistakes, as well as the SMART goals can significantly reduce the challenge you will encounter in building your strategy and even bring business success that you deserve.

SEO Strategy begins with a mind that understands the importance of SEO in a company and the growth it can offer to it. Leaving it with a specialist means the potential to get the best out of it is high, and the business result that you’re aiming for becomes much more achievable. TopRankings invest time in every SEO strategy it handles as it continues to grow in its industry and is always prepared to take up new challenges. Feel free to get in touch today for an obligation free discussion.

Successful SEO Campaigns commence with a well thought through and researched SEO Strategy. When delivered in expert hands this translates to online organic growth and dominance against your industry competitors. Every business website should be a lead generating asset. If you require assistance with your SEO Campaign and are not experiencing the growth and results your business deserves our team at TopRankings are ready to consult and assist you to meet your online goals.  Since 2007 our evolving and proven SEO Strategies continue to deliver results in highly competitive industries for businesses Australia wide. Feel free to get in touch today for an obligation free discussion.