Over the past five years, search engine optimization has become one of the most important marketing tools on the internet. For some, it means making it to the first page of results for a popular query. In other cases, it can mean appearing in the defined results of a very specific search. In the ever-growing digital world, SEO can make or break your brand: if customers don’t see you online, they can’t find you.
On Google alone, over 3.5 billion searches happen every single day, and 75% of those searches are completed after viewing the first page of the search results. So, knowing this information – and the intense competition your brand faces in the digital space – how can you make sure your company rises to the top in a sea of search results? The answer lies in the construction of a highly-detailed SEO strategy that can be easily optimized to perform well against Google’s search algorithm and ranking system.
Define Your Goals
When crafting an SEO strategy, it’s essential to define both long- and short-term goals. These goals allow you to track and measure your success as you implement components and remove tactics that don’t seem to be working.
Short-term goals can include measuring the number of views of a video or page visits to a purchase page. These goals are meant to be checked and adjusted regularly, with frequent experimentation encouraged to result in better analytics for your site.
Longer-term goals are more intensive and therefore are measured over longer periods of time. An example of a long-term goal might be gaining domain authority, which gives your site a greater chance of ranking higher in search engine results.
Remember that key performance indicators of your work are derived from setting measurable goals.
Find Your Target Audience
Next, you’ll need to identify your target audience. This is a crucial step because high-quality SEO efforts require specificity. No brand can reach everyone – and why would it want to? It’s much more cost-effective to target a certain demographic who will have a strong interest in your company.
To find a target audience, you must understand who is most likely to interact with your brand online, then begin learning more about them. Think of this step like going on a date – you’ll want to discover your audience’s demographics, habits, lifestyle, and preferences to make sure you’re delivering the right content to the places they’re frequently visiting.
After you’ve found your audience, it’s time to start reaching them.
Build and Execute a Strategy
Now, we’ve arrived at the most crucial step for this process – building and executing a strategy.
The backbone of any successful SEO strategy is identifying keywords. How? By putting yourself in your audience’s shoes.
What does your target audience care about? What are they trying to learn? Understanding user intent behind a search is crucial to ensuring that you deliver content that your audience wants to see – therefore supporting a higher chance of conversion. When creating this list, consider your business’s products or services, and attempt to put yourself in the mind of your audience to understand what they think of your offerings. This will aid you when deciding the right keywords to target.
Other factors to keep in mind when building a list of target keywords include how often a keyword is searched and how difficult it might be to rank ahead of your competitors for a specific term. Identifying and using these strategic keywords within your content allows you to rank higher and ensures you appear more often in your most coveted search queries.
Create and Regularly Edit Content
As your strategy takes shape, you’ll want to start creating new content and editing existing content to be optimized through SEO.
This can include adding or boosting the frequency of pre-identified keywords throughout the content on your site, ensuring that URLs are relevant, and providing clear meta titles and descriptions. These factors ensure that when Google crawls your website, it will find helpful information that will boost your search engine rankings.
If Google can’t figure out who you are or what information you’re trying to convey, you won’t appear at the top of search results – or in the results at all. That’s why it’s so crucial to be clear and detail-oriented in your site’s messaging.
Measure the Results
Finally, you’ll want to measure your results. For short-term goals, consider checking back once per week or month. For longer-term goals, consider a three-to-six-month timeline.
As you evaluate the successes and shortcomings of your strategy, be sure to analyze your organic search traffic rates, changes in search terms and your search engine rankings. If you’re not seeing significant differences, it may be time to try a more intensive strategy.
Implementing an SEO strategy ensures that your target audience can find your company easily as well. It also gives you access to new customers who may not have known you existed. While it can be time-consuming, there’s a lot of created value after implementing a strong SEO strategy – so why not give it a try?