What Should Your SEO Strategy Include?
Google (and other search engines) are looking for high-quality content that gives a positive user experience. So, your first task is to do some housekeeping. Polish up your website and make it look great. Don't ignore those pages that you don't regard as important, as it's vital that you look at the entire site.
All broken links need to be removed and you must create content that is fresh, authoritative, relevant and up to date.
You then need to focus on your keywords. There are several free keyword research tools that can guide you as to which are the best ones to use: Google Keyword Planner; SERP Checker; Keyword Generator; Keyword Difficulty Checker, and so on.
It's worth investing the time in using a keyword research tool, as this will help you to find relevant ones that will boost search traffic to your site.
On-Page SEO (On-site SEO)
This is all about making your website stand out. Keywords are important, but your content has to be relevant. Google searches for all relevant content on your page that matches with a particular query. If there's not enough of it, you'll be overlooked and the bots will move on to find other sites.
SEO is fluid and dynamic, so you need to keep on top of any changes. For example, Google updated its algorithm more than 4,500 times in 2020 to improve its search engine and return relevant results.
Your on-page SEO will include working on:
As mentioned above, these should be short, lower case, and need to mention the primary keyword as far left as possible. You should also use hyphens in place of the underscore character.
The HTML code that links to your website. It appears in the browser title bar at the top of the search page and shows the name of the page. This should be clear and readable so the search engines and humans can see exactly what is on offer.
As the first glimpse of what your website is all about, this snippet is vitally important. It should contain your primary keyword and be no more than 155 characters long. It must be clear and readable, convincing the customer that your site offers what they are looking for.
It's been mentioned a few times, but it's important! A good keyword tool will help you find the best ones. Google Analytics is a good place to start and will help you determine the right keyword density. Google Search Console is also a useful tool.
If your website lists items of any kind, search engines can sometimes struggle to understand them in the HTML code. We're talking about things like lists of events, recipes, prices, books, movies, etc.
This data should be displayed in a format that can be easily understood, both by humans, Google, and other search engines. Google will sometimes grab this data when it appears in a table and use it as a rich snippet on the results page, making it more likely that a client will head to your site. For this reason, structured data is an important tool in your on-page SEO. To help you out, there are tools that will sort out the data structure for you, such as
H1 and H2 headings are very important to SEO as they use HTML code to ensure that your keywords are visible. The H1 heading is usually in the form of a title, and this should be the same as (or slightly different than) the page title. Don't make the titles too long, but do try to fit good keywords in so they read naturally.
There's an art to good SEO copywriting, and when it's done properly it will have a positive effect on your website ranking. It's an entire subject in itself, but here are some tips: introductions should be concise, clear, and compelling, offering a solution to a problem. Sentences and paragraphs need to be short but should still flow. Any section longer than 300 words needs to be broken up using subheadings, bullet points, tables, and images. Keywords should flow naturally throughout the text. You should use stories and emotion, and bridge phrases (it's no wonder, here's the thing, you'll never guess what, and so on) to appear human and catch the reader's interest. Finally, all content should be aligned with search intent.
Creating content that is relevant and appealing will always boost your chances of a high ranking as Google understands that you are trying to deliver a positive user experience. It should be as accurate and authoritative as possible, as this will earn you back-links from other sites that respect your expertise.
These are important as they help Google (and other search engines) understand the connections between your pages. They're are also important for helping your clients navigate easily around your site and discover important pages or features such as a blog post. Using a keyword as the anchor text (a highlighted link) will help with ranking, but take care not to use the same keyword too many times as it may be seen as keyword stuffing.
This important step is often overlooked. Images sometimes have long, confusing titles consisting of numbers and letters. Changing these to short, descriptive names and separating each word using hyphens will optimize the images, resulting in better visibility.
If your existing site has many images (especially high-resolution images) it may take too long to load. Various studies show that 53% of people will not wait any longer than 3 seconds for a page to load before clicking elsewhere. You need to choose an appropriate file type (i.e. PNG, JPEG, etc.) and consider compressing the files to make them load quicker.
Off-Page SEO (Off-site SEO)
Here's where you can make a difference without needing any technical knowledge, as off-page SEO is any activity away from your website that helps to boost your ranking on search engine results pages.
This is essential for improving your website's authority, relevance, and trustworthiness, as it directly affects your Domain Authority score (DA). The DA score runs from 1 to 100 and determines your website's potential to rank in the search engine results pages. While it doesn't necessarily boost your actual ranking, it is a good way of measuring the effectiveness of your off-page SEO strategy.
Building links is another off-page SEO activity. In fact, it is right at the heart of any good SEO and digital marketing strategy. Again, don't use too many, and always use trusted sites, and never pay for backlinks! You should also avoid sites that don't have content that's relevant to your site, link farms, or link wheels. Not only will they damage your reputation, but they fall foul of Google's guidelines and you can be penalised.
Google determines the quality of your website using a range of methods, but your link profile is an important factor in this.
Google search console is a handy tool for checking backlinks, and this will help you to use links that will boost your site.
Aside from building links, there are a few things that you can do in off-page SEO that will have a positive effect on your website:
Writing a guest blog shows that you are willing to share your knowledge and expertise. It also shows that others trust your judgement and opinion, and will give your website better exposure.
These can be linked or unlinked. That is, you might find that your brand or product is mentioned on another website, either with a link to your own website or possibly without one. Google does use unlinked mentions to some extent when calculating your ranking, but linked mentions are far more valuable. There are several tools that will help you find them, like the one created by SEMrush.
Social media marketing
People love to know that there's a human behind a brand. If you connect with them it forms a relationship that can result in loyal customers and build a positive image around your brand.