By Julie Walker
1. Goals and metrics
Set your goals right at the beginning. Sending traffic to your website is good but pointless if you don’t have a goal or measurement in place. Putting goals in place right at the beginning will help you measure your SEO success. Examples might include:
- Increase monthly web traffic by 40%
- Grow the number of web enquiries by 30%
- Increase user information requests about different services or products by 100%
Your goals and metrics should be measurable and attainable, and your website needs to support them by providing tangible value to the end user, this is how you will impact your rankings in a positive and definable way.
‘Goals and metrics should be measurable and attainable.’
Your target audience is a specific group who are most likely to want and search for your product or service online. Marketing to a highly specific target audience means you can develop key messaging that truly resonates with them, thus making it easier to connect with them. You might define your target audience by age, gender, income, location, interests, or a range of other factors. Start with taking a look at your existing audience who interact and purchase with you. From here you can go more in-depth and create personas, which are much more focused.
‘Develop key messaging that truly resonates.’
3. Online analysis
Your online presence from your website to existing social posts is your starting foundation and a thorough audit of it is an essential part of your strategy. This can help you identify what is working and also spot any weaknesses that can be improved. The audit should include your website speed (search engines grade on site speed), architecture, traffic, social media, backlinks, and current ranking keywords. Luckily there are numerous tools out there to help with this part of the process, both free and paid. Our favourites are:
- Website speed – find out how how fast your website downloads on desktop and mobile using Google Page Speed Insights
- Website analytics – find out who is visiting your site and what they do when they are there with Google Analytics
- Backlinks and keyword rankings – do you who links to your website and what keywords your business ranks for? If not, try using SemRush
Identifying and researching your competitors is key in order to pinpoint any gaps and opportunities that your SEO strategy can focus on. Discovering where your competitor is doing well and where they are lacking will open up opportunities for you to build into your plan. A better understanding of their SEO strategy will give you the opportunity to catch up and eventually outrank them. Remember though, while it’s always good to keep an eye on your competition, your own goals and target audience should be foremost in your strategy build.
5. Keyword research
With your target audience in mind, think about search intent, which is the purpose of their online search. There are four search intents, informational (looking for an answer to a specific question), navigational (looking for a specific website), transactional (purpose is to buy something), and commercial (research with intent to buy). What word or words might they use to find their answers? This will be the starting blocks of your keyword analysis.
Choosing the right keyword is a critical part of a successful SEO strategy, you need to think like your target audience and identify what relevant keywords they will use. Again, there are tools to help you with this! Two go-to sites are:
6. Website updates
Updating your site is an essential part of your strategy and can involve improving your site speed to updating your online presence with your newly found keywords, from page titles, headings, images, serps, blogs through to your social media platforms. Look carefully at your internal link building and also investigate implementing schema mark-up (code that you place on your website to help the search engines better return more informative results for users).
Backlinks are links from external websites that direct traffic to your website. Those links must come from trusted sources and credible websites in order to see some noticeable results in terms of boosting your ranking. Also, you can benefit from creating links from your website to other trusted websites.
Use SemRush or equivalent software to check who is linking to you, make sure relevant anchor text is used on these external links and also check your site regularly for broken links as these can harm your ranking.
Part of your strategy will be focused on content creation, from writing copy for your website that is newly optimised with keywords, blog writing, newsletters, social media posts down to your company’s Wiki page. Creating content, in particular blogging, is essential for improving your site’s ranking and it’s a powerful tool to generate more traffic to your website, especially when shared on social media.
The important thing to remember is to always create content that provides value for your target audience. Think about how you can provide a solution for a pain point your target audience has. Search engine algorithms are extremely sophisticated and rate sites that provide content that is new, original, interesting, and informative.
SEO is a long-term process and the first significant increase in traffic will happen after four to six months of starting your SEO strategy. With a great SEO strategy, you will start to see a genuine return on investment from your website and your business will be found by more potential customers online.
The more you work on SEO, the better the results will be. It’s a little bit like going to a gym – you will only see results if you consistently stick at it. And when the results start coming in, you still need to keep up the good work. Be one step ahead of your competition, keep an eye out for new trends, SEO updates, and any search engine algorithm developments that might impact your website. This will allow you to adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.
With the right focus and a little bit of effort, your results-driven SEO strategy will increase your web conversions and lead generation – sweet as a nut.
If you want to find out more about how SEO can help support your business goals and objectives, get in touch with me at email@example.com.
‘Your goal-driven SEO strategy will increase web conversions and lead generation.’