What is an SEO Strategy?
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a buzzword in the digital marketing domain. An SEO strategy improves the chances of a website appearing in search engine results, thus increasing the number of visitors on the website.
What is the point of producing consistent, good-quality content if that content does not gain enough traction? This is why SEO is a core component of a business’s overall content strategy. Let us look at what this entails and the essential tips to remember when crafting an effective SEO strategy for a website.
What is Organic Traffic, and Does it Matter?
Organic traffic refers to the individual visitors to a website directly from clicking on links or search engine results. The business has not paid for this traffic.
When you type in a query on Google or any other search engine, there are two types of results that appear:
● Paid Results
These results are identifiable from the word ‘Ad’ written in bold at the beginning. Companies can pay to have their links show up at the top of the page in a search result. Google charges companies a small amount for every visitor to the link.
● Organic Results
These are free. They follow the paid results when you search for something and appear in the middle of the page. A good SEO strategy can help ensure that the organic results have more prominent placement.
Organic traffic is necessary because it is a way to target your audience and offer solutions that they have actively sought out. If your search result can help them answer a question or provide the information they need, they are more likely to be interested in your brand and website. They are also more likely to follow you or revisit the website.
Now that we know how valuable organic traffic is, let us understand the four main steps involved in crafting an SEO content strategy for a business.
Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience
To successfully write content for a target audience, a business needs to identify its precise target audience. The target audience for the website can belong to three categories, with different kinds of content produced for each type.
● Current Customers
These are customers who are already subscribed to the website or the social media followers. They may also be shoppers of the brand. The existing customer and follower data, such as age, gender, location, search preferences, can help a business define its target audience.
● Customers Interested in your Competitors
These are potential customers interested in the products or services you offer but show preference to other service providers. A business needs to understand how they benefit from your competitors and how you can address those needs.
● Potential Customers
These are customers who do not know about the brand or its products and services. Targeting this audience section is all about creating brand awareness and attracting new people to the business.
A business can benefit from periodically analysing its audience and conducting surveys. Create audience ‘personas.’ Use the qualities of your actual audience to reimagine them as fictitious characters who can be potential buyers. If you think of your audience as characters, it is easier to understand their motives, predict their buying behaviours and cater to them.
Step 2: Conduct Keyword Research
A good strategy is to shift the focus from “what we want to convey” to “what our audience wants to know.” To this end, conducting keyword research is the next step in figuring out which content is likely to generate more organic traffic.
A brand can first define the ‘topics’ that it addresses or tackles and then identify keywords. These are topics you create content about most often or topics that always come up in the sales discussions. The main words in these topics, which the audience is likely to search for, become the keywords. One way to categorise keywords is by their length. There are three types of keywords that a business should be aware of:
● Short-tail keywords
These are popular broad-search terms. They are very highly searched, but there is also a lot of competition in the results. e.g. English courses
● Mid-tail keywords
These are more specific terms. They are less likely to be searched, but the competition is also less. Therefore, you are more likely to get visibility with these keywords. e.g. Spoken English courses
● Long-tail keywords
These are long phrases or groups of words that target the audience very specifically. They may be the least likely to be searched, but they also have incredibly high conversion rates. The competition is low. e.g. Online Spoken English courses for professionals
A primary keyword is the main term targeted by each SEO content page of your website. An SEO strategy boosts the visibility of that primary keyword in various ways.
Apart from the primary keyword, it is crucial to focus on similar or related terms. If you look up the keyword on Google and scroll to the bottom of the page, you will notice suggestions of related search terms. Using similar terms is an excellent way to avoid keyword stuffing or to use the word so many times on the website that it appears spammy. Related search terms for ‘Spoken English courses’ may include ‘conversational English,’ ‘English speaking classes,’ and so on.
Step 3: Build Backlinks to Your Website
Backlinks are like upvotes for your website from other websites. A backlink is when a link to your website is shared on another website. This builds the trustworthiness of your website, which is a quality that search engines value. A more reliable website is more likely to be optimally placed in the search engine results.
So how can a business get backlinks from other websites? Here are some ways to explore:
● Write ‘Why’ and ‘What’ posts
According to an analysis by Backlinko, the content formats that are most likely to get backlinks are posts that answer ‘why’ and ‘what’ questions, followed by infographics and videos. Capitalise on this data and create more posts likely to attract backlinks.
● Use Guest Blogging for Link Building
Guest blogging is the practice of writing content pieces for external websites to earn reliable backlinks to yours. The advantage here is that the blog itself expands your reach, and the backlink is a bonus. A business can pitch guest blogs to other websites and connect with other guest bloggers for a quid pro quo.
● Use Influencer Marketing
Connecting with social media influencers is a great way to increase traffic to your website and generate useful backlinks. If an influencer shares a link, there is a higher chance of others sharing the link, too. Influencer marketing has a far-reaching impact on the SEO of the website.
Follow the Trends and Stay Ahead of the Curve
The three steps covered in this post are an excellent place to start working on a brand’s SEO content strategy, but the work doesn’t end here. A good content strategist is up-to-date on SEO news and best practices. SEO has many ever-changing aspects, and it is vital to keep abreast of the changes to stay ahead of the competition.