A strong SEO strategy is essential for improving your visibility and ranking on the SERP. A higher ranking on search engines like Google and Bing correlates with an increase in organic search engine traffic. This, in turn, attracts prospective customers into your sales funnel and increases your conversion rate.
Whether big or small, struggling or thriving, all businesses need a well-defined SEO strategy to enjoy top positions on search pages. And believe it or not, improving your search ranks isn’t that hard if you’re willing to put in the time to learn how to develop an effective SEO approach.
This guide will explain what an SEO strategy is and why you need it. Next, we’ll talk about the four pillars of SEO that have been proven to increase visibility on search engine results pages.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to a set of actions taken to make it easy for Google (and other search engines) to find your website. In simpler terms, SEO means making your content search engine-friendly so that it’s displayed at the top of the SERPs when people search for something.
SEO strategy is a well-thought plan of how you’ll organize your content to increase the chances of appearing among the top search results.
People often think of keywords and keyword placement as the only drivers of a solid search engine ranking.
There’s no denying that quality and relevant content remains king in the organic traffic space. But there are four pillars in total that you should be thinking about when planning an SEO strategy. These are Content, Technical SEO, On-Site SEO and Off-site SEO.
Let’s talk about them.
Content refers to the editorial pages on the website. For example, a website content can be a buyer’s guide, a how-to article or a general blog post. Content is usually in text form, but it often includes several images, infographics and even a video to add to the users’ experience.
SEO content is different from ordinary text. The difference between the two is in the “flesh” of the content.
Under ordinary web content, the writer is not bound by a set of rules, so they can experiment with their copies as they wish. But on the other hand, SEO web content is the art and science of creating stuff that attracts search engine traffic to produce profitable results.
SEO content writers are very selective because they aim to offer quality and valuable info while staying relevant to Google web crawlers.
Having high-quality SEO content is one thing. However, it won’t mean anything if it can’t be accessed, read and indexed by search engines. That’s why you also need knowledge of technical SEO.
As Ahrefs points out, technical SEO optimizes your website, so search engine crawlers can easily find, read, understand and index your publicly available web pages.
To understand technical SEO better, we must talk about what search engine crawlers are and what they do.
Search engine crawlers, such as Googlebot, are systems that:
Technical SEO is complex and almost impossible to cover entirely in a few paragraphs. But there are a few vital structural fundamentals that you may want to start with:
On-site SEO is the process of optimizing key elements on your web pages to make your site search engine friendlier. It involves adjusting certain aspects of your web pages so that your target readers and Google crawlers can:
Optimize these on-site SEO elements to increase your chances of ranking higher:
Titles and meta descriptions- Google’s rules for titles and meta descriptions are clear. Ensure the title is around 55 characters and the meta description close to 155 characters. Consider using Semrush for more appropriate terms that your target market uses when searching for something. Importantly, ensure your target keyword(s) in the title tag and meta description. It’s also recommendable to have the keywords close to the beginning of the tags.
Page URL- to create SEO-optimized URLs, make sure they are short, descriptive and easily memorable. Include the keywords in the URL and separate the words using hyphens. Remember to use lowercase letters throughout the URL.
Images- adding images to a block of text improves user experience and offers ranking opportunities if optimized. You can do many things to optimize your images for SEO, including using compressed images, creating unique, high-quality images and writing SEO-friendly Alt texts.
Internal links- web crawlers use internal links in your content to discover other pages on your site for indexing. Internal links also direct traffic to other pages related to their queries, ultimately keeping them on your site for longer.
Off-site SEO refers to the activities you perform outside your site to boost its overall visibility and ranking. Basically, off-site SEO tells search engines what the audience says about your site. So you could think of it as a way of sending positive signals to Google from other places outside your website.
Here’s a checklist of off-site SEO techniques to increase your domain authority;
Creating an effective SEO strategy can be challenging and time-intensive, especially if you’re just getting started. But once you learn the ropes, you’ll have a much easier time ranking.
Importantly, remember that your SEO strategies won’t work overnight. While there’s no definite time to wait before your efforts start paying off, Forbes says that you should start seeing a respectable increase in traffic after four to six months. For more information, send a Shaka our way on our contact page!