You want people to see your content. Unless you like spending time (and money) creating quality content no one will see, you need a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Of course, if you Google "How to create an SEO strategy," you'll find a wealth of knowledge and may fall down the Google rabbit hole and resurface, overwhelmed with all the things you need to do to optimize your content.
We've quieted down the noise for you, and extensive SEO knowledge isn't necessary to start on these three components to get you started today on optimizing your online content–no prior SEO experience is needed!
First things first, what is SEO?
According to HubSpot, the definition for SEO is:
“An SEO strategy is the process of organizing a website’s content by topic to improve the likelihood of appearing in search results. Essentially, it is the process you follow to maximize the opportunity to gain organic traffic from search engines.”
In other words, the goal of SEO is to make your content findable, searchable, and readable by both search engines and humans!
Now that we’ve established SEO, let’s get into the three components you need to start your SEO strategy.
Component 1: Keyword Research
You can write the best content
online, but it's useless if no one can find it. That's why we recommend you build your content with keywords in mind before
actually writing any content, not stuffing them in later as an afterthought.
"...the process of finding and analyzing search terms that people enter into search engines with the goal of using that data for a specific purpose, often for search engine optimization (SEO) or general marketing. Keyword research can uncover queries to target, the popularity of these queries, their ranking difficulty, and more."
So, every time you open up a search engine like Google, and you type in an item, subject, phrase, or question into the search box, Google's algorithms diligently search for relevant sites and content that match your search queries.
PRO TIP: Consider including FAQ pages on your site. These are hugely beneficial in SEO, and a part of the strategy is looking at the People Also Ask (PAA) section of Google’s search results, like the example below:
Take some time to see what people are searching for and make it relevant to the content you want to write about, market or post. Once you understand what your target audience
is looking for, it’s much easier to tailor your content to solve all steps within the buyer’s journey.
| The Buyer’s Journey |
Speaking of the buyer’s journey, in your time of research and discovery, step into the shoes of your target audience. You are learning to use their language and think like them from a customer perspective and not your own. Of course, YOU know your company can offer the perfect solution. Still, suppose you don’t speak your target audience’s language and understand their buying behaviors by identifying keywords (questions, phrases, image searches, etc.). In that case, you risk them giving attention to a competitor who may have better SEO. Still, your service is superior to theirs—the search engine they used simply found your competitor’s content more relevant than yours. Competitors win by using optimized keywords in their content even though your product or service could offer a better solution.
PRO TIP: If you don’t have the time to research and discover what your keywords are, hiring an experienced SEO partner who not only targets ideal keywords for your company, but helps you come up with a customized SEO strategy to help drive your marketing efforts further to save time and increase your content engagement, analytics, and ROI.
READ MORE ON CONTENT MARKETING:
Best Recommended FREE Tools for Keyword Research
Here's an example of a Google Search Audit:
Best Recommended Paid Keyword Research Tools*:
*We are not paid to promote or are affiliated with any of these companies
Component 2: Leverage a Backlink Strategy
A trust signal is just what it sounds like: a sign to other readers and consumers that another website trusts your content enough to link their content to yours.
Of course, the catch here is that you can’t precisely control when and if your content will be backlinked and may require follow-up or PR-like communication to make sure your content is linked correctly. When another page does link back to your content, make sure the link pointing to your website is relevant and consider the intent of the content where the link is placed. Again, you can use Google Search Console to evaluate the quality of these backlinks.
Here's an example of a Top Linking Sites on the Google Search Console:
Also, many paid SEO tools like Majestic
have a metric for evaluating the aggregate “Authority,” a.k.a. “Domain Authority” of a site.
Metrics for domain authority might look like this:
Pro tip: You might have a ton of content already written. Use it! You can update previous content and include your backlinks to other authoritative sites. Backlinking within your content can help you build trust signals with search engines and your readers as a knowledgeable resource in your industry.
Component 3: On-page SEO
...The practice of optimizing web page content for search engines and users. Standard on-page SEO basics include optimizing title tags, content, internal links, and URLs.
We’ll also add that on-page SEO includes:
Remember, SEO is not a quick win process (generally). It can take months of adjustments to see some keywords get within the upper results or earn backlinks, but it’s worth the patience, time and effort. Hiring an experienced marketing agency that knows how to create a winning SEO strategy and execute a robust Inbound marketing strategy
can help you measure and optimize faster, but deciding to hire a team or do it in-house is a big decision
Suppose you’re a smaller company with a tighter bandwidth. In that case, we can’t stress enough that extra focus on at least one of these three components: Keyword Research, Backlinking, and On-Page SEO, can result in reaching your target audience, increase search engine hierarchy and ultimately bring in an ROI on your marketing dollars spent.
Have you determined if your in-house team can execute these three components, or do you need an agency with the know-how to get your content in front of the people and companies who need your service or product?
Let’s start the conversation. Connect with us today!