How to Create an Effective SEO Strategy (2023 Guide)

If you want to learn how to create an effective SEO strategy, this guide is for you! You will discover everything you need to know about SEO techniques and tools, as well as good practices to adopt to optimize your SEO.

Key points :

✅ SEO strategy is a detailed plan to improve a website’s search engine rankings and increase its organic market share.

✅ SEO generates 20 times more clicks and 150% higher ROI than paid advertising.

✅ Scalability is one of the biggest challenges large companies face when developing an SEO strategy.

✅ SEO can integrate with your PR efforts to improve brand sentiment.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. What is the SEO strategy?

2. The problem with SEO checklists

3. How to create an SEO strategy

4. Set SEO Goals

5. Consider SEO Scalability

6. Perform a competitive analysis

7. Do Keyword Research and Topic Analysis

8. Incorporate topic groups into your SEO strategy

9. Find the right keywords

10. Align content with search intent

11. Differentiate titles to boost SERP CTR

12. Full-Funnel SEO Strategy

13. Branded or unbranded SEO strategy

14. Capitalise on your strengths

15. Technical SEO Strategy

16. Content SEO Strategy

17. On-page SEO

18. Off-page SEO

19. Track SEO metrics and KPIs

1. What is the SEO strategy?

SEO strategy is a detailed plan to improve a website’s search engine rankings to capture more organic traffic. This plan should be based on several fundamental pillars, including technical SEO, content strategy, on-page SEO, link building, and user experience. Simply put, SEO strategy is all about delivering extreme relevance and value to internet users. But there is another side of SEO that is often overlooked: brand protection. A semantic approach to SEO optimization also ensures that searches related to your brand, leaders, or products stay positive. 

One of the biggest benefits of a successful SEO strategy is that it introduces your brand to people at every stage of the customer journey. As a result, your business becomes a trusted and familiar resource for consumers, regardless of their stage in the buying funnel. Want an SEO marketing strategy that dominates your product or service category? Let’s start!

2. The problem with SEO checklists

In the tech world , we often confuse deliverables with strategy. But keyword lists, on-page recommendations, or technical SEO audits are not examples of SEO strategies. These are steps in an overall plan. Coincidentally, this confusion is also one of the reasons most SEO strategies fail. In other words, they’re too fragmented and focused on separate low-level metrics rather than the big picture. Take height! 

3. How to create an SEO strategy?

So, rather than giving you an SEO strategy template that would send you down the wrong path, let’s take a look at the key principles you’ll need to consider when creating an organic search strategy. It’s crucial to get these fundamentals right , whether you’re a beginner or an SEO expert.

4. Set SEO Goals

It is essential to define your goals before launching a major search engine optimization (SEO) initiative. After all, without clear goals, your SEO activities won’t have a measurable return on investment . It’s also important to tie SEO results to high-level metrics like revenue. Start by identifying your target marketing results, then go back to define your process goals.

Do you want to increase your e-commerce sales? For which products and services?

Are you trying to increase your market share within specific audience segments? Which segments and how will you measure your reach?

Do you want to get more traffic to your site? How much traffic? How will you rate inbound traffic to one page versus others?

Are you looking to drive conversions through demand generation marketing or lead generation? 

How will you measure conversions and micro-conversions? How much do you need to see and by when?

5. Consider SEO Scalability

Scalability is one of the biggest challenges large companies face when developing an SEO website strategy . Maybe your site has thousands of pages or you don’t have the bandwidth to meet your SEO content production goals. Or maybe you’re having trouble building links.

Even the best SEO managers on the planet need “support” to dominate the SERPs. For example, the patented SEO tools of the SEO company Dubai are among the most advanced in the sector. Our technology injects unparalleled efficiency into the most developed SEO processes among SEO agencies . Our team leverages these efficiencies to maximise impact while maintaining full control and reducing risk.

In a large company, it is essential to keep executives and other departments informed of SEO progress towards set goals. Dashboards allow you to tailor your SEO reports to the greatest number of people who will need to be informed. It is easy to extract data from tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMRush or Ahrefs etc.

6. Perform a competitive analysis

Competitive analysis is the process of evaluating your competition with the goal of improving your own SEO strategy. Analyze your competitors’ organic search rankings, online reviews, blog strategy, and backlink profiles. Next, explore their user experience, social media, target audience segments, CSPs, and differentiators.

You can deepen your analysis by performing a technical SEO audit . Examine their site health, technical SEO implementation, page speed, and mobile friendliness. Your competitive analysis should of course include your main competitors. However, it is essential that you also include your online competitors. Include websites that occupy the first page of Google for your target SEO keywords , even if they are not direct competitors.

The reason for a double focus on competitors is clear. You need to outrank your online competitors as much as your defined competitors to attract the most search traffic. For example, if you are a beauty brand, you may not consider online media as a competitor. Yet when you look at the search landscape, media sites crush the competition and siphon valuable traffic all the way down the funnel.

7. Do Keyword Research and Topic Analysis

Keyword research is the foundation of any solid SEO strategy. It may seem obvious, but it’s important to create content and web pages that your audience is actually looking for. It’s common for big brands to overproduce content that doesn’t target specific keyword phrases or targets the same term multiple times. Proper keyword research can help prevent this mistake and provide better SEO ROI. With advanced keyword research, you’ll be able to cover topics thoroughly without cannibalizing keywords and diluting value. This means more website traffic, more engagement, and increased conversion rates.

8. Incorporate topic groups into your SEO strategy

Avoid taking a narrow approach with your research. Unique keywords are absolutely essential to a successful SEO program. However, it is equally important to identify general topics where you are an expert and deserve a 0 position . Topic groups are a great way to leverage very broad topics through pillar pages like this blog post.

As you may have noticed, SEO strategy is a top-level topic (or pillar page) that touches on many sub-topics. These subtopics are called cluster pages in the pillar-cluster model. Pillar pages broadly cover a topic and link to in-depth resources to learn more.

The power of thematic clusters is multifaceted. You’re able to cover the full spectrum of a keyword group, from high-volume top terms to very specific long-tail keywords. An internal linking strategy helps you convey your depth of coverage to search engines and convey legacy link value between relevant content.

9. Find the right keywords

How do you find keywords to power your website SEO strategy? Google has developed its own set of tools that identify untapped market share which, like the Google Search Console, predict content needs and improve the effectiveness of keyword research. Beyond the proprietary technology, here’s a comprehensive list of tools and processes you can use to find the most impactful search terms.

Remember to explore not only the main terms, but also the long-tail keywords .

Check out Google Search Console to see which keywords are already driving organic traffic and identify optimization opportunities.

Review Google Pages 1 and 2 to confirm search intent.

Review Google Search Trends to spot rising trends and seasonality.

Reference Google’s autocomplete and “people also ask” features to reveal related keyword ideas.

Try an SEO tool like Answer The Public to explore queries like “why” and “how.”

Use PAA ‘s “Questions” to discover related questions from millions of forum posts, Amazon, and other websites.

And don’t forget to tap into your company’s vast reservoir of customer feedback. This may include information from surveys, reviews, live chats, chatbots, social media, blog comments, sales calls, customer support calls, etc.

10. Align content with search intent

Search intent is one of the most critical aspects of keyword research because it underpins Google’s search purpose. In other words, Google aims to provide users with the most relevant content as quickly as possible. A keyword can have a high search volume. Yet, this can be driven by user intent that is not aligned with your content, business, products, or services. In this case, ranking would be next to impossible and any traffic will most likely bounce without converting. How can you decipher Google’s perception of search intent? 

Focus on achieving search intent with your landing pages, and you can’t go wrong. Aligning keyword intent with the page is a winning keyword strategy because it provides the best user experience.

11. Differentiate titles to boost SERP CTR

It is important to differentiate your message in the SERP to boost your CTR . It’s one thing to get a Google page one ranking. It’s another to rank well enough for people to click on it. Both are important. Poor ranking means lack of visibility, and ranking without clicks won’t move the needle for your business. (A lack of clicks can also signal to Google that your information is not relevant.)

Examine what appears on the first page of Google for your target keywords. Evaluate the messaging and copy it to the SERP listings. Are they all essentially saying the same thing? Is it difficult for a researcher to distinguish one result from another? If there is a lack of differentiation within the SERP, use more compelling language that still aligns with the intent to stand out.

12. Full-Funnel SEO Strategy

Remember to consider the entire conversion funnel when developing your SEO strategy. Even if you run a large online retail brand, eCommerce SEO should extend beyond product and category pages. Think about how your customers’ needs change throughout their journey.

Think: ToFu, MoFu, BoFu

You need to provide relevant, useful information and a great experience for your audience throughout the buying funnel ( ToFu , MoFu , BoFu ). Whether new customers are searching for general terms, asking more specific questions in the middle of the funnel, or comparing brands and products at the bottom of the funnel, your brand needs to be there. If you are not present, your competitors will step in to fill the void.

Map customer pain points with keywords along the journey

How do you effectively cover such a long and deep funnel when the customer journey can take months? Discover customer pain points. Next, match the keywords to each pain point in the purchase funnel. Finally, address the fears and concerns that prevent people from taking action.

➔ At the top of the funnel , for example, prospects may be looking for symptoms rather than solutions. So it makes sense to deploy informative blog posts that help them understand the root cause of their problem. Or, maybe they’re trying to educate themselves but aren’t sure where to start. In that case, grab their attention with entertaining related content.

➔ In the middle of the funnel , the prospect begins to engage with various brands/vendors. At this point, the prospect may be looking for more advanced, in-depth content or specific product information.

➔ Down the funnel , the prospect can compare options and make a final decision. You might be able to push them over the finish line with an ROI calculator, competitive comparison matrix, or customer reviews .

13. Branded or unbranded SEO strategy

At the start of their journey, customers may not have specific companies in mind. Therefore, they tend to search for generic non-branded keywords to learn more about the topic or product area first. When a person starts considering specific businesses, they often do multiple brand searches. 

They can search for product name, company name, or product reviews. They can search for comparison articles between competing solutions. These types of branded searches should provide the information needed to answer the searcher’s query. But they must also establish a relationship of trust with the individual.

Imagine one of your customers is ready to make a purchase when they encounter a slew of 2-star reviews. A mountain of negative feedback on your GMB  or TrustPilot will likely cause them to reconsider and come back to looking at other options. Might as well send a check directly to your competitors. 

On top of that, negative word of mouth would likely spread (online and offline), hurting future sales. If you want to maximise your market share, your SEO strategy should consider both branded and non-branded search queries.

14. Capitalise on your strengths

A very effective strategy for dominating organic search results is to capitalise on your strengths . How ? Double down on the categories where you already rank well. Rather than picking a few unrelated high-volume search terms, attack the vertical you’re already winning in until you dominate it. Targeting large sets of overlapping keyword groups will help you saturate the funnel while communicating your expertise to search engines.

Think about it. If you are great at chess, you could probably learn and master hex chess quite easily. From there, you might also be able to become a star in the Japanese game of shogi. They are all strategy games. However, if you were to try to switch from chess to football or basketball, it would be much more difficult. In fact, you could be a complete failure in this new sport, regardless of your superior chess skills.

Focus where Google already recognizes your brand as relevant and authoritative, and it will be much faster and easier to see additional results through a halo effect. This way, you can continue to build a targeted ecosystem to dominate in this area before tackling other more challenging areas.

15. Technical SEO Strategy

The keyword strategy is not the only condition to shine on the SERP. Your website should also be technically sound and optimised for search engines. It might seem obvious, but it’s often the biggest hurdle for big brands. As a result, technical issues lead to issues with crawl, link equity distribution, and user experience. 

This means that Google’s algorithm is less likely to rank your site well.

Search engines often get lost crawling unimportant page URLs on large and complex websites. If you analyse your log files for crawl budget efficiency, you may notice indexable pages with no search engine bot results or unindexable pages gobbling up bot requests. Or, you might notice that pages with longer load times perform poorly in organic search. 

Maybe your URL structure is problematic. Or, you have mixed content, where some of the linked content on a page is not HTTPS like the rest of the site. You may have a spike in 404 error pages. Your XML sitemaps may have issues with outdated or missing URLs.

Technical SEO is the foundation of your search engine optimization strategy and should be prioritised. With a solid technical infrastructure, your content and backlinks will have a much greater impact on your organic search results.

16. Content SEO Strategy

According to Andrey Lipattsev, former senior search quality strategist at Google, high-quality content is one of the top three SEO ranking factors. But what is great content? And how can you develop a content strategy that impacts your key business initiatives?

Techies Infotech, apart from SEO training we use a range of research, strategy development, AI and page-level presentation, as well as comprehensive publishing capabilities to impact your website pages. and throughout your customer funnel. We analyse the search landscape in your market to identify the optimal topics to target, as well as the underlying intent of those searches and the types of content format required for ranking, such as product pages, blog or long content.

An SEO-focused approach to content marketing not only provides Google with an understanding of your relevance, but also helps you deliver a superior customer experience precisely when your audience is searching for answers related to a specific topic. As a result, you will earn tons of powerful backlinks and satisfy your customers at the same time.

17. On-page SEO

Even the most amazing content in the world won’t bring in organic traffic if it’s not properly optimised for the keywords people are actually searching for. But on-page optimization is a massive topic that includes titles, headings, image alt text, anchor text, search intent, snippets schema and more. Again. If you need a refresher, read our step-by-step guide to SEO techniques in 2023.

The most important on-page SEO ranking signals come from your page title tag, H1, and subheadings. However, your strategy should go far beyond titles and meta tags. You should also consider search intent, related entities, depth and breadth of coverage and especially internal links. And, while the meta description isn’t a direct ranking signal, it can still benefit SERP click-through rates . 

Don’t get me wrong, this is a major undertaking that will require expertise, technology and process. Our content team relies on a number of leading SEO tools to develop and refine content. But we have also developed our own proprietary technology to fill the gaps in these tools.

To gain efficiency, plan your entire on-page optimization project. Then, develop a repeatable process to systematically attack one page at a time. If you need help, you can download our SEO and copywriting checklist on the page.

18. Off-page SEO

Off -page SEO (also called Netlinking) refers to all the actions you take outside of your website to improve your SEO. This often includes link building, posting on third-party websites, and interviews. Google values ​​what others think of your brand, so on-page optimization is not enough. You need to prove to search engines that others see your brand as an authority. To truly maximise your organic search results, you need to conduct strategic outreach to credible, high-quality websites and influencers. Remember this: not all links are created equal

PageRank and trust are paramount. However, make sure the linking websites are also relevant to your brand. A car insurance company with backlinks from a maths tutoring website is a major red flag for link manipulation. (Note: this is an actual example, and yes, the company was penalised by Google when the manipulation was discovered.)

Finally, diversify your backlink profile . Getting 100 backlinks from the same website is not as useful as getting 100 backlinks from 100 unique, high-quality domains. Therefore, you should look to evolve your link acquisition process. 

19. Track SEO metrics and KPIs

Define KPIs in advance so you only track SEO performance metrics that impact your goals. Everything else is a vanity metric. Think of KPIs in terms of the 80/20 rule: focus on the 20% of activities that generate 80% of your results. For example, is your blog driving all of your conversions? Or maybe these are your top five product category pages? Carefully track metrics that indicate how your best pages are performing so you can implement an SEO content strategy to improve them.

Keyword ranking KPIs:

First Page Keyword Rankings : Tracking the number of Google first page rankings helps you capture share of voice, push competitors lower in search rankings, and drive traffic.

Page two keyword rankings : These search terms are prime candidates for a concerted SEO push to move them to page one. If you are looking for an area to prioritise, this would be it.

Total Keyword Rankings : Similar to the above, understanding your overall ranking landscape helps you know where to prioritize your efforts and where you will need a longer timeframe and plan to start seeing results. Traffic.

Find out which Google ranking factors can put you on the first page ! If you want to win in the SERPs , ask us how we evaluate market share opportunities.

Additional useful SEO KPIs:

Organic Sessions: This KPI reveals the value of all those keyword rankings – TRAFFIC!

Unique Landing Page Visits from Organic Traffic: It’s one thing to know how much organic traffic you’re getting. It’s another to understand the specific pages that are direct recipients of that traffic, which helps you align SEO efforts with your overall marketing priorities.

Organic sessions by geographic region: This data can help you see where you are geographically strong and where you are weak, helping you draw attention to market awareness when needed.

Average pages per session: This KPI helps you understand the quality and engagement levels of your organic visits.

Referring Domains: Backlinks are one of the most critical ranking factors in SEO, so it’s obviously important to track your progress in securing new, high-quality backlinks from credible websites.

Conversion and prospect KPIs:

Conversions: A conversion can be anything from signing up to an email list, to watching a video, to asking to chat with your sales team. Track the different types of conversions to get a clear picture of how SEO is changing your business.

Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs): Similarly, track MQLs resulting from your organic conversions. This is one of the most important KPIs for your brand to focus on because it’s what moves the needle for your business.

Value of conversions and MQLs: Conversions and MQLs each have value to your business. Define the monetary value of each to help you calculate the overall ROI of your SEO initiatives.

What is an SEO strategy?

SEO strategy is a detailed plan to improve a website’s search engine rankings to capture more organic traffic. This plan should be based on several fundamental pillars, including technical SEO, content strategy, on-page SEO, link building, and user experience.

Manreet Brar

A highly driven professional who embraces diversity and believes in success through strategic approach and collaboration. I have used my knowledge and experience to technically support my customers.

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