How to Make an SEO Plan and Build an SEO Strategy
It is important to be present and guide your customers during their buying journey. That is why you need to execute a high-level SEO strategy. If you are ready to build an SEO strategy for your business, follow these steps.
Lay the Foundation for an Effective SEO Strategy
Many businesses focus on SEO tactics and skip over the foundational principles when creating their SEO strategy. The best strategy is principles first and tactics second.
The principles of our SEO strategy begin with strategically understanding your business, brand, and your customer.
The business research phase of your SEO strategy consists of creating a brand strategy. The brand strategy is made of six parts.
- Audience / Buyer persona: Describe your customer as a real person. Why do they enter the market? What are their needs?
- Thoughts and behaviors: Describe your ideal customer’s thoughts and behaviors as they enter the market.
- Describe the real benefit that your customer receives by choosing your brand of service or product.
- Explain to your customer why they should believe your promises to deliver a service or product that benefits them in a sentence or two.
- Brand personality: How does your organization look, act and make people feel?
- Desired thoughts and behavior: What do you want your customer to think about your brand? How do you desire your customer to behave when shopping for your brand of service or product?
By going through this process, you will be ready to understand how your customer thinks, feels, and behaves when using Google search to research your brand of service or product.
The next step is to understand the buying process for your customer. It can be broken into five segments:
- Your customer recognizes they have a problem that needs solving and begins to think about how they could solve the problem.
- Your customer evaluates their options within the market to solve their problem.
- Your customer looks for more information about their options.
- Your customer selects one of the options to begin pursuing and researches where they will buy from.
- Your customer decides on whom to buy the product or service from and purchases it.
- Your customer experiences the product or service, affecting how they think about it.
How to Use the Foundation to Create Your SEO Strategy
Now that you have laid the foundation of your SEO strategy. The next step is to combine the principles with SEO tactics to finalize the creation of your SEO strategy.
SEO Keyword Research
Using what you learned from the brand strategy, think of what your customer is searching for during the buying process on Google. Record each of the keywords that you come up with in a document. Then check their search volume using Google Keyword Planner for free.
Build Your Content and Use On-Page Search Engine Optimization
During this stage, you create content using keywords that resonate with your audience. Remember to write and provide value to your readers. Use header tags such as H1, H2, etc to make it easier to read for both your readers and also the web crawlers.
Here it is appropriate to consider including customers reviews, testimonials that are real as this builds your reputation and creates trust with potential new clients.
You must develop a strategy to include reviews from satisfied customers in an ethical fashion. Think of social media reviews, Google My Business, emails, contact forms, etc.
Make Your Users Page Experience Excellent By Using Website Speed Optimization
Provide a UI that is memorable for the consumer. This goes beyond esthetics.
Think of data architecture, what information is presented, how it is organized, types of fonts selected, and relevance of the information is included. Include images and videos as needed. Optimize load speed as much as possible.
Make sure your website loads fast without any issues by following Google’s page experience guidelines.
Creating an Off-Page SEO and Link Building Strategy for Your Website
Off-page SEO is where your website interacts with other websites to earn links to your website’s content. Think of links as votes to your website from other websites that let Google know your website deserves more traffic. Remember, the quality of these votes is more important than the quantity. Do not ever pay for back-linking to your site.
Final Thoughts: When to Consider Changing Your SEO Strategy?
SEO is a process that takes time to show progress, and it is a work in progress strategy.
At least 6 months are needed to start showing some results.
Google (the largest market share of web searches happen there) is always changing, testing, and improving its algorithms so are your competitors looking to improve their SEO rankings and capture more organic conversions.
If you lack the resources and knowledge to execute a proper SEO strategy then consider the support from an expert.