Effective SEO Strategy
An SEO strategy is a comprehensive action plan aimed at improving website rankings and boosting organic search traffic. It serves as a detailed to-do list that directs your attention toward activities that drive more visitors and revenue through SEO.
This post will provide a comprehensive guide on creating and implementing a successful SEO strategy, covering each step in detail.
Let’s get started.
Step #1. Benchmark Your Current SEO Performance
To begin setting goals, tracking results, and analyzing effectiveness, it is highly recommended to start by benchmarking your current statistics.
As a baseline, you need to observe:
- Organic traffic
- Keyword ranking
These insights provide a comprehensive view of your site’s overall performance, both historically and currently.
Organic traffic refers to the number of visitors to your website that come from non-paid search. To determine your current organic traffic, you can utilize a preferred SEO tool or, if available, Google Analytics.
Keyword ranking refers to the organic positioning of your website in search results for a specific keyword. It determines the visibility of your pages on Google search.
Keyword rankings are crucial since higher-ranking pages receive increased organic search traffic.
The #1 organic search result has a 10x higher likelihood (27.6% vs 2.4%) of receiving a click compared to a page ranked at #10.
Note down the top five organic keywords, along with their current position and volume, and record them in your template.
Reminder: You can access the template right here.
Next, assess the number of websites that have links directed towards your site.
Websites with a significant number of backlinks often achieve higher organic search rankings. Backlinks act as a vote of confidence. When numerous reputable sites link to your website, search engines conclude that it deserves greater visibility on the SERP (search engine results page).
- Authority Score: A metric that measures the ranking feasibility of your site, based on backlinks and other factors (higher values indicate better ranking potential).
- Referring Domains: The number of websites with at least one link pointing to your website is referred to as views.
- Backlinks: The total number of links pointing to your website
Step #2. Analyze Your Competitors’ SEO Strategies
You can obtain valuable insights into the keywords to target, content to create, and links to build.
An alternative approach is to analyze existing successful strategies and utilize them as a foundation for future growth and development.
Analyzing your competitors’ SEO strategies provides valuable insights and perspectives.
- Capitalize on your competitors’ weaknesses
- Replicate your competitors’ strengths
- Prioritize the most important SEO tasks
Find Your Competitors’ Valuable Keywords
Next, let’s examine valuable keywords that your competitors rank for, but you do not.
Every one of those keywords presents an opportunity for you to attract more traffic.
Audit Your Competitors’ Backlinks
Backlinks are crucial for SEO. They serve as a validation from one site to another, indicating credibility. Without backlinks, achieving a high ranking can be challenging.
A useful approach is to conduct a backlink gap audit to identify websites that link to your competitors but not to your own website.
If other websites are linking to your competitors, it is likely they will also be willing to link to your website. This is especially true if your content is superior to that of your competitors.
Step #3. Set Your Goals and KPIs
Setting goals and KPIs, or key performance indicators, is a crucial step in developing an effective SEO strategy. It allows you to assess success and identify the need for any necessary adjustments.
Goals are the desired outcomes that individuals aim to achieve.
KPIs are measurable values that provide a means to track progress in achieving your goals.
As an example, you may have a particular SEO objective to achieve a $100,000 increase in organic revenue within the upcoming 12 months.
Your KPIs for this goal could include organic impressions, organic traffic, rankings, and views.
The selection of appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor is entirely contingent on your specific goals and strategic approach.
Here are five KPIs you should keep a close eye on:
- Organic traffic
- Keyword rankings
- Average CTR (click-through rate)
- Coverage issues
Let’s examine the two remaining KPIs: average CTR and coverage issues.
Average CTR, also known as Click-Through Rate, represents the percentage of people who visit your website after encountering it on Google.
Additionally, it is important to track it for various reasons.
Google incorporates click-through rate (CTR) in its ranking algorithm. A higher number of clicks on a page suggests its relevance to a specific keyword and may result in an increase in rankings.
The most convenient way to obtain this number is by utilizing Google Search Console.
A coverage issue occurs when a search engine attempts to access a page on your website but is unable to do so successfully.
Examples of views include 5xx server errors, 4xx errors, duplicate URLs, and noindexed pages.
Crawling and indexing problems encountered on your website are commonly referred to as coverage issues or errors.
Regularly tracking these issues as a key performance indicator (KPI) is important because error pages are not indexed. Indexing is a crucial process by Google where web pages are stored in its database and displayed in search results.
If your pages are not indexed, they will not rank for anything.
To view your Coverage issues in Google Search Console, navigate to Index and then select Coverage.
You will be able to view a summary of the errors, warnings, valid pages, and excluded pages.
To view details regarding each error or warning, simply scroll down.
In the screenshot provided, you can easily view the type of error, validation status, trend, and the number of pages associated with that error.
Step #4. Audit Your Site’s Existing Content
A content audit is a systematic analysis of your content to identify areas for improvement and optimization.
This step is crucial for gaining insights into improving your site’s SEO performance. It allows you to identify underperforming pages, understand the reasons behind their poor performance, and provides guidance on how to rectify the issues.
Here is an overview of how to conduct a content audit.
Find Low-Performing Pages to Delete or Redirect
To identify underperforming pages on your website, the initial step is to assess and take action by removing, redirecting, or optimizing them.
These pages are not generating traffic or sales, so addressing this issue is a top priority. Low-quality content is a significant indicator to search engines that the provided content is inadequate.
You can easily find poor-performing content using Google Analytics.
Please note that if you have published a considerable amount of content on your website, there will be a substantial volume to review and analyze.
Identify content on the list that received minimal views in the past month, excluding well-performing content.
Once you have identified these pages, your next step is to either:
- Delete the content outright
- Optimize it or combine it with another piece of content on your site
- 301 redirect the page to a similar page on your site
- Merge multiple pieces of content into one post
The appropriate course of action depends on the content itself.
If you have written a blog post about an event from five years ago, it is advisable to consider deleting it.
If you come across a post that is generally solid but lacks depth and usefulness, consider combining it with another piece of content or optimizing it to enhance its views.
Evaluate Your Content Based on Traffic
After removing, merging, or redirecting underperforming content, let’s now focus on the remaining materials.
To assess your content effectively, focus on one objective metric: views.
Traffic refers to the quantifiable metric that indicates the success of a piece of content in fulfilling its intended purpose, particularly from an SEO perspective.
Please base your “Traffic” metric on overall performance to determine what is working well for you, as there is no industry benchmark for this.
Improve & Relaunch
Now it’s time to enhance your existing content by considering different perspectives and viewpoints.
There are various strategies to enhance your content, but here are a few effective approaches that are applicable to most content types.
Add Visual Elements
Including visual content in your posts, such as graphs, charts, and infographics, can provide visual breaks and simplify complex concepts or processes, enhancing the reading experience.
Find and replace dead links, old images, and update the content to match industry changes. This method ensures smooth functionality, keeps your content current, and maintains proper on-page SEO.
Make It Easier To Read
Improving the content readability on smartphones and tablets is crucial to enhance accessibility and stay competitive, as old content may not be optimized for the mobile user experience.
Cover More Ground
When developing content, it is worth considering transforming a single post into a comprehensive guide that thoroughly covers an entire topic. This strategy aims to provide readers with a comprehensive solution or answer to their problem or question, rather than solely increasing the word count of your content.