Your website’s search rankings aren’t high and you’re wondering why? Previously we have shared 5 tips to improve your website ranking. However that’s only a small part of on-page search engine optimization (SEO).
Having a strong SEO strategy is the key to scoring well in search results. Read on to find out how to build your very own SEO strategy.
What is SEO?
SEO is an abbreviation for “search engine optimization”. Simply put, it means the process of improving your website to make it more visible when people search for products and services related to your business on Google, Bing and other search engines.
The more your page appears in search results, the more likely it is to grab attention and attract potential and existing customers to your business.
There are three types of SEO:
1) On-page SEO:
This SEO focuses on a website’s page content and how to optimize them to improve the site’s ranking for specific keywords.
2) Off-page SEO:
This SEO focuses on external links pointing to your site from outside sources. Search algorithms consider you trustworthy the more backlinks your website has from reliable sources.
3) Technical SEO:
This SEO focuses on the backend architecture of the website. Search engines like Google also consider the technical structure of a website when ranking.
What is an SEO strategy?
An SEO strategy is the process of organizing your website’s content by topic to maximize your site’s chances of getting organic traffic from search results.
Here is a list of steps you could follow for your SEO strategy:
1) Make a list of topics/categories
First, create a list of about 10 keywords and terms related to your product or service. You can use SEO tools like Keyword Tool, Ahrefs, SEMRush or GrowthBar to identify relevant keywords for your business and look at the search volume of those words.
Short-tail keywords are search terms that consist of up to three words. They relate to very broad issues rather than specific issues. For example, “gaming laptop” is an example of a short-tail keyword. These short-tail keywords make up your “pillar” topics.
2) Make a list of long-tail keywords based on topics/categories
This step optimizes the page for specific keywords. Long-tail keywords are searches that generate fewer searches per month. They tend to be longer and more specific than short-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords have higher conversion rates because people who are using it probably already know what they want. For example, if a user searches for “27 inch 165Hz gaming monitor online” , the user is more likely to make an immediate purchase than someone who searches for “gaming monitor”.
Identify 5-10 long-tail keywords that go deeper into each pillar you identified with the Keyword Tool.
Make sure your chosen long-tail keywords cover a variety of concerns and interests people may have surrounding your pillar topic. This ensures your website is casting a net as wide as possible to attract potential users.
3) Build pages for each topic
It’s hard to get a page to rank for several keywords. The best we could do is to use long-tail keywords to create web pages that describe specific topics within your chosen pillar.
Together, your long-tail keywords form a cluster around your pillar topic. The relationship between clusters are used by search algorithms to match users with the information they are looking for.
Pillar pages are primarily a table of contents with links to posts of relevant subtopics in your website. Ultimately, the number of pillar page themes you create should be tailored to your business needs. This makes it easier for prospects and customers to find you on search engines, regardless of the keywords they use.
4) Set up a webpage with good content
Blogs are a great way to rank for keywords and engage website users. You could write as many blog articles as you want with greater frequency. If your business doesn’t already have a blog, consider creating one.
As you write each blog post to grow your cluster, you need to do three things:
- Don’t include the long tail keyword more than 3-4 times on your page.
Google will no longer consider exact keyword matches as often as it used to. In fact, too many instances of a keyword can be a warning sign to search engines that the keyword is being crammed to boost rankings, and will be penalized.
- Be sure to link to the pillar page you created for your topic.
This can be done in the form of tags in your content management system (CMS). Or link it as a simple anchor text in the body of the article.
- After publishing each blog post, link it within the parent pillar page that supports the subtopics.
By connecting both articles and clusters in this way, you tell Google that there is a relationship between your long-tail keyword and the parent topic you want to rank for.
5) Have a high frequency of update
Any blog post or web content you create doesn’t always have to belong to a topic cluster. It’s also worth writing about tangential topics that your customers are interested in.
With that in mind, keep a specific schedule at least once a week. Remember, you are writing your blog first and foremost for your audience, not for the search engines. So research your target market and write about what intrigues them.
Developing a content strategy that keeps you consistent and focused on your goals can help.
6) Plan your URL building
The Topic Cluster model is a way to move your SEO forward, but it’s not the only way to make your website content rank higher.
Although the first five steps were devoted to on-page SEO, URL creation is the main goal of off-page SEO. URL construction is the process of drawing inbound links (also called backlinks) to your website from other sources on the Internet. Generally, the more authoritative sites that link to your content, the more impact your ranking will have.
Spend some time brainstorming different ways to get inbound links. In exchange for links to local business pages, you may start sharing links with local businesses or write a few blog posts and share them on various social media platforms. You can also contact other blogs about guest blog opportunities to link to your site.
7) Compress media files before uploading
This is a small but important step in the SEO process, especially in mobile optimization.
As your blog or website grows, you will have more images, videos, and related media to support your content. These visual elements help grab the visitor’s attention, but it’s easy to forget that these files can be quite large. Page speed is an important ranking factor, so it’s important to monitor the size of the media files you upload to your website.
The larger the file size, the more difficult it is for internet browsers to load the website. Also, mobile browsers have a harder time loading these images as they greatly reduce the bandwidth of the device. The smaller the file size, the faster your website will load. But how do you compress an image while maintaining quality?
It’s worth considering the use of a compression tool to reduce file sizes before uploading images, videos, and gifs. Sites like compressjpeg.com can compress images in bulk. Try to keep the compressed files in the kilobytes (KB) range.
8) Follow SEO best practices and trending news
The search engine landscape is constantly evolving. Staying abreast of current trends and best practices is an important strategy, and there are several online resources that can help you with this. Here are some resources to try:
9) Track your success
Search engine optimization requires a lot of time and energy. It’s important to track metrics to understand the overall method’s success rate and identify areas of improvement.
Monitor your organic traffic exploits, your favorite web analytics tools, or create your own Abuse Dashboards and Google Sheets. Following index pages, conversions, ROI, and placements in SERPs also help you recognize success and determine opportunities.
With this search engine optimization strategy guideline, we hope you’ll be able to craft your business’s own SEO roadmap. Optimizing for search engine ranking is not easy as search engines like Google are always updating their search algorithms. But by following well-known SEO best practices and some perseverance, you’ll master search engine optimization in no time.