You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying “He who fails to plan plans to fail.” That’s certainly the case when it comes to SEO. If you don’t have a solid strategy, you’re never going to get the rankings you want.
When developing an SEO strategy for your website, here are 5 different things you need to look at first.
1. Your target audience – A lot of people think that developing an SEO strategy means just using a keyword research tool, generating a list of relevant keywords, and targeting them. That’s it. But that’s not the case. See, you have to start by considering your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? What type of content is best for getting their attention? What are their needs? Once you know these things, you can get a better idea for the type of content you need to produce and the keywords you’ll want to focus on.
2. Your current search engine presence – Take a moment to assess your current situation. What’s your search engine presence like right now? Are you totally invisible in Google? Are you maybe ranking decently for a handful of search phrases? Is your website optimized at all? Do you even know which keywords you should be targeting? No two people reading this will be in the exact same situation. You have to look at all of the details of your specific situation, so you can figure out what you need to do moving forward. Set small, realistic goals in the beginning, and take your SEO campaign one step at a time.
3. Your competition – It’s important to have a good understanding of the competitive landscape before you go full speed ahead with your SEO strategy. You need to see what the competition is up to. Are any of your competitors ranking particularly well? Which keywords have the most competition? Are there any overlooked keywords that you think you can grab top rankings for quickly and get good traffic from? Where are your competitors getting their backlinks from? Do any of them have online reputation management issues? These are just some of the things to consider when performing a competitive analysis for SEO strategy development.
4. Your on-page SEO – How is the on-page SEO on your website right now? Is the content on your website built around the right keywords? Do you have good, keyword-rich URL structure and title tags? How is the interlinking on your website? Do you have a sitemap? Is your website crawlable for the search engines (e.g. clean code, not Flash-based). Make a list of all the things that can be improved on your website, and start implementing these changes so you can have a well-optimized site that’s likelier to get good search engine rankings.
5. Your backlinks — The more sites that link to you, the more important your website becomes in the eyes of the search engines. If you don’t have a good number of links from trusted websites, your search rankings are going to suffer. The good news is there are many easy ways to build links back to your website. From guest posting on other blogs to promoting your own link-worthy content, the possibilities are limitless.
What are some other key components of an effective SEO strategy? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.