How to Plan a Successful SEO Strategy
April 11th 2022 | By Emma Grant
If you’re looking to get more organic traffic to your website, you’re going to need an effective SEO strategy. But what’s the secret behind creating a truly successful SEO strategy? When it comes down to it, it’s all in the planning. Join us as we run through the crucial stages of preparation and research that are essential if you’re going to get found online by boosting your search engine rankings through SEO.
1. Keyword research
If you don’t know what keywords to use, you’ll never be able to create a successful content strategy that gets you found by your target audience.
Think about the words and longer phrases that describe what you do. You can get ideas simply by typing relevant words nd phrases into Google. Because these are the phrases people are actually searching for, you’re onto a good start. Also check out the ‘People also ask’ results, and make use of the free Google Keyword Planner which will give you search volume and competitiveness for a list of keywords, or keyword suggestions based on a list.
Our guide to keyword research summarises how to approach the task, and suggests other paid keyword research tools you may wish to invest in.
2. Competitor research
Once you have your keywords, it’s time to see who is already ranking for them. These are your SEO competitors, and you’re going to need to see what they’re doing so that you can better it, or do something different that stands out.
This is actually a fairly simple step in the process of planning a successful SEO strategy. All you need to do is type your researched keywords into Google, and analyse the search results.
You’ll usually spot patterns. For example, the majority of results on the first page may be how-to guides, or list style posts. Sometimes you may find the bulk of the top results are made up of video content. Or they could be shopping links.
Make a note of what type of results you find for each keyword, as this information is going to form the basis for the next stage of your SEO strategy.
3. Content planning
A successful content strategy is a fundamental part of a successful SEO strategy. Because you’ve taken the time to see what you’re up against content wise, you are now well placed to create something competitive for your own website.
You have two choices here. You can either go down the route of producing something that’s the same but a whole lot better. Or do something totally different that makes you stand out in the crowd of search results. And when content stands out, it’s more likely to command the clicks, and the shares. Which is the whole point of content marketing.
For example, if you were targeting the keyphrase ‘jewellery trends 2022’, a search will give you a page full of posts like, ‘XX Jewellery Trends for 2022’. You could create another post along the same lines, topping the number of trends. But that might run the risk of disappearing amongst much of the same.
Alternatively, you could create a piece along the lines of, ‘How to Wear This Year’s Jewellery Trends’, or ‘How to Incorporate the Latest Jewellery Trends into Your Wardrobe.’ The posts cover the same subject matter, but stand out because they’re offering something different.
With this approach in mind, you’re ready now to go ahead and create a successful content strategy, formulating a plan to keep your website updated with fresh content for the next few weeks or months.
4. Strategy planning (including more competitor analysis)
So, you have your content plan. Now it’s time to prepare the rest of your SEO strategy.
You’ve got a good idea of what you’re up against in terms of the content your competitors are putting out. But that’s by no means all they’re going to be doing.
Any successful SEO strategy will include a back linking campaign. The more links you have coming into your website, the more likely you are to rank above your competitors in the search results.
To discover your competitors’ back linking profiles, there are various tools you can use, including the Semrush Backlinks Analytics toolkit which can do some really useful things, from showing you which domains are linking to your competitors, to highlighting which pieces of your competitors’ content achieved the most backlinks so that you can consider covering those topics yourself.
You’ll also want to analyse how your competitors are approaching on-page SEO. Looking at the likes of meta tag usage, content structure and internal linking will help you set a precedent for your own strategy.
You can check our guide on how to find your SEO competitors and outrank them for more useful tips.
5. Resource planning
Now we’ve covered the technical side to planning a successful SEO strategy, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty and ask yourself, who is going to be responsible for implementing, managing and monitoring your SEO campaign, and making sure it’s delivering a good return on investment?
Be honest with yourself. Do you have time to effectively manage your own SEO campaign? Do you have the in-house resources to keep on top of boosting your Google rankings, achieving backlinks and making sure you are posting the right type of content and enough of it? And the technical SEO expertise to detect and wipe out any bugs or issues such as page loading speed that might be holding your site back from ranking?
If not, it’s well worth looking into working with a reputable SEO agency that can take the reins and provide a completely done for you SEO service, so that you needn’t worry about a thing.
Looking for a trusted SEO partner to plan and manage a successful SEO strategy?
At Figment, we’ve been helping local businesses boost their online visibility through managed SEO strategies since 2006. Our SEO case studies prove our commitment to achieving results for our clients.
If you are looking to plan a successful SEO strategy that’s certain to boost your online visibility, then you are welcome to get in touch to discuss how we can make a difference to your business.