Where Do I Start My SEO Strategy?

Posted at 05/09/2019

Most businesses have a limited understanding of how to create an effective SEO strategy. Their limited knowledge of SEO causes them to fall behind in the ranks on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. As a business owner, knowing the basics can help you create a comprehensive SEO strategy.

Once you understand the basics of SEO, contact an SEO agency to create and refine your existing SEO strategy that will yield good results in the various search engines, especially Google. Your SEO strategy needs to include the following to be successful:

  • Learn What Your Target Audience is Searching For

How can you optimise your website for SEO if you do not know what your target audience is actually searching for on search engines? Figuring this out is easy. For instance, you are searching for a hotel in Melbourne. Your search history will look like this:

  • Hotels in Melbourne
  • Place to stay in Melbourne
  • Accommodation in Melbourne 

Just as you brainstorm ideas, you will brainstorm all the possible phrases your target audience may use to search for your business. Jot down all the phrases that come to your head. If you have a store, ask your customers how they found you and if they say a Google search, ask them the phrase they entered to find your business location. 

  • Determine the Most Popular Search Method to Find Your Business

What search method is your target audience using the most to find your website? Some of your target audience may be using the words and phrases you noted down to find your business whereas others may be using another search method entirely.

You can enter the phrases you jotted down in Google. If you have come up with a long phrase, use it still to conduct a Google search. Scan over the search results to find a common phrase. Sticking to our example, the phrase the search results had in common is “Hotels in Melbourne” and “Melbourne Hotels.”

Even though you can use this phrase for SEO purposes, take your findings to an SEO agency still. An SEO specialist can further confirm if you should use this phrase as the main keyword to rank on Google. They can also conduct SEO keyword search to recommend you other keywords you should target. 

For instance, they can suggest a few long-tail keywords that you can use throughout your website, such as “Cheap Hotels in Melbourne.” Google’s autocomplete search box is also a good way to determine the most commonly used search phrases. If you do not want to go through the hassle of finding keywords, hire an SEO specialist to help you.

  • Focus on User Search Intent

The three types of searches your target audience may perform include navigational, informational, and transactional. If navigational, users are searching for a specific website. If informational, users are searching for a specific topic. If transactional, users are searching to buy a specific product or service.

Just because you think a phrase is a transactional search such as “Best Hotel in Melbourne,” does not mean the search results that will come will bring up your hotel in the city. For instance, when you enter this phrase on Google, the top-ranking search results may be blogs or listicles such as “5 Best Hotels in Melbourne.”

The search intent here is to find a list of the best-ranked hotels in Melbourne. Therefore, knowing the user search intent behind the question is important.

  • Use Short and Descriptive URLs

Google determines the topic of your webpage based on its web address. Try to get the web address right the first time because changing it later is not recommended. According to Google, websites should create a simple URL. For instance, your web address should be domain.com/Melbourne-hotel. Even though you should add a keyword in the URL, do not add them if they look unnatural.

  • Create Captivating Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions

When you search for hotels in Melbourne, the heading of the result will be your meta title while the text underneath it, your meta description. However, know that there are times where Google takes the liberty to modify the meta titles of websites.

When you are creating meta titles and meta description, include the keyword you want your website to rank and ensure that it entices users to click on it. Keep your meta titles under 60 characters with spaces and meta descriptions under 155 characters with spaces.  Together, these two can affect the click-through rate.

  • Create a Logical Structure with Headers and Subheaders

Search engines will better understand the structure of your website if you use headers. We suggest using the standard HTML format for headers to make it easier for web crawlers to understand the structure of your website.

Use Header 1 for the on-page title for your website and include the main keyword in it. You can have several Header 1s on each page, but we suggest you only use it once. Use Header 2 for the titles of your website’s main sections. 

You can include the main keyword in them also. However, it needs to look natural, not forced. From there, you will write subheadings using Header 3 within Header 2. When you create content, follow this structure because it will make it easier for Google to categorise your content and increase its readability.

  • Ensure Website Accessibility

Ensure your website is accessible to users and search engines. Check your website’s loading speed. Is your website taking too long to load? Websites that take too long to load are more likely to lose business, as users do not have the patience to wait for it to load.

You can visit an SEO agency that can perform a few tests to determine the loading speed of your website and resolve the issues causing it to lag. Is your website mobile-friendly? Websites without a responsive website design will not load properly on smart phones, laptops, handheld devices, and other digital devices.

With most users using their smartphone to perform searches, a website without a responsive design will lose customers. Do you have an SSL certificate? A website without an SSL certificate (HTTPS) is deemed untrustworthy by most users. Use an SSL certificate, especially if you sell things and accept payments through your website.

  • Create a Sitemap

A sitemap  allows the search engine to quickly find and index pages of your website. A sitemap just lists all the pages available on your website. It helps Google locate your content and understand how the different pages on your website are connected. 

Additionally, you need to create a robots.txt file. The robots.txt.file tells web crawlers about the different sections of your website and which ones they should index and not index. 

  • Create Internal Links between Relevant Pages of the Website

Strategic internal linking of different pages of your website can speed up the process it takes web crawlers to crawl your website because it directs them to the right pages. Create a strong structure by linking several relevant pages with each other. For instance, you can link “Melbourne Hotels” with “Melbourne Amenities.” 

  • Get Backlinks from Other Websites

Link building is a crucial element of your SEO strategy. It takes hard work and effort, but in the long run, it is worth it. Dedicate yourself to promoting and building backlinks to your content. Backlinks influence the ranking algorithm of Google. How do you get other websites to link to your content?

Investigate your competitors to determine how they are building backlinks. Apart from this, you can also try the following link building methods:

  • Replace an Inferior Link with Your Superior Link

Find websites that link to other blogs. If the website has linked to an inferior content and your content is much better put together, request the website if it is possible for them to swipe the other page’s link for yours. Sift through the potential websites that can backlink to your content and narrow down to a few and then reach out to them.

  • Look for Broken Backlinks

Alert websites with broken links and ask them to replace the dead link with your active link. You can even create a page to replace the broken link if you do not have it up already on your website. Once you have created the page, reach out to the website owners, asking them to replace the broken link with yours.

  • Monitor Your SEO

Keep track of your SEO by measuring organic traffic and where the keywords and phrases you are targeting rank on the search engine. If you already have keywords in place, contact an SEO specialist to measure the organic traffic and if the keywords you are currently using need to be replaced with ones that rank well on Google.

When creating your SEO strategy, start with getting to know your audience, performing on-page and off-page SEO, performing keyword search, and tracking your SEO. Creating an SEO strategy sounds daunting at first, but with the help of an SEO agency, you can create a solid SEO strategy that with an ongoing campaign accelerates your business sales leads and product sales.


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