How To Develop Basic and Effective SEO Strategies
by Olivia Marcy, on Sep 9, 2022 11:00:00 AM
These days you hear a lot about SEO, and for good reason. It’s a critical aspect of a business’s online growth and it can shape overall business success. But what does an effective SEO strategy look like? How do you know if it’s working? And what even is SEO? Fear not, gentle reader. We’re here to guide you through the complex world of search engine optimization.
What Is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. Put simply, it is the process of increasing a website's visibility to search engines, which in turn increases its visibility to users by ranking it higher in search results.
Search engines like Google crawl web pages to analyze the text of the page. Unlike your human readers, search engines aren’t looking at images or basing decisions on the page’s design. Instead, think of search engines like a picky eater, and text format is all it can digest. Search engines scour the text of your page and, based on the reliability of the website, and the keywords and keyphrases it finds, it will determine the relevance of your content to a user’s search query. If it’s a good match, bingo! Your website will rank higher in the search results, and users are more likely to give it a click.
Note: this doesn’t mean you should neglect images or page design. Those are both crucial to building a pleasing user experience, which can make or break your website on its own terms (but that’s for another blog post).
What Is An SEO Strategy?
An SEO strategy is the process of systematically determining how to apply SEO best practices. An effective SEO strategy is more than just tossing a handful of keywords in a webpage and hoping Google likes what it finds. You have to have a plan.
A good SEO strategy will act like a roadmap, and will answer three important questions:
- Where are you?
- Where do you need to go?
- How will you get there?
Building your strategy around these three questions will reveal the assets and practices you have, the SEO goals you want to achieve, and the implementation process you need to be successful.
When you’re building off your current practices and web assets, there are three things you need to look for to build an effective strategy: infrastructure, content, and links.
A search engine scans and indexes your website to determine your relevance and authority. Your first priority when developing an SEO strategy is to set up the technical infrastructure for glitch-free scanning and indexing.
Just like roads and bridges create a web of infrastructural support for efficient travel, your website infrastructure should be built around links, website navigation, simple URLS, and optimized speed. These attributes are not only the bridges and roads of your website, they’re also the signs for navigation to improve speed and efficiency.
Links And Navigation
Remember how we said search engines only process text? Your website navigation and links are only a string of letters to google. That means you have to describe your navigation and links to google.
A URL is a web address that takes its form in the line of text that navigates you (and search engines) to a website. To connect the dots, it’s what you use when you’re linking content and building website navigation. And the thing to know about search engines: they don’t like reading long, complex lines of text. So use simple language and be explicit in describing your URLs so search engines know exactly what the webpage is about.
Search engines feel the need for speed. If your website takes too long to load, that tells search engines your website isn’t high-quality. The most important thing that influences your website’s page speed is image size. Large images take much longer to load, so optimize your image size.
This is what users are searching for. It’s the answer to people’s search query, and it’s your opportunity to position yourself as someone with the answers. But your content is only effective if people can find it. So write for your customers, but write for search engines, too.
For SEO purposes, your content should include keywords and keyphrases relevant to the topic you’re writing about. Research is key here. You need to find out what your customers are looking for, what words they’re using in their search, and what content is related to their central query.
Achieving good content and effective SEO can be a challenge. It’s both an art and science, so be patient with the process (and yourself!).
Authority and trust are crucial to your content’s ranking. One critical way search engines measure your website’s trustworthiness is through links. Links go two ways. They can link to your website from other trusted sources or away from your website to other trusted sources. When you use links correctly, they demonstrate your website’s popularity, relevance, and authority to search engines.
How To Develop An SEO Strategy
Earlier, we referred to your SEO strategy as a roadmap that reveals where you are, where you need to go, and how to get there. Let’s unpack that a little more to develop an effective SEO strategy for your business.
Where Are You?
Before you can make progress, you have to know your starting point. Evaluate your site’s infrastructure, content, and links based on the criteria above. Run analytics on your site and know what content your customers are engaging with, and where they’re dropping off according to your site’s traffic reports.
Where Do You Need To Go?
This is where you determine your SEO goals. Is your goal to make it to the first page of google search results? To increase website traffic by 60% by the end of the year? Your SEO goals should align with your overarching business goals to maximize efficacy. Like all goals, your SEO goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely) so that you and your teams can measure success clearly and reasonably.
How Do You Get There?
This is where the rubber meets the road. Take your goals and implement them. Keep in mind that putting an effective SEO strategy in place takes time and patience. Google rankings don’t happen overnight, and it requires diligence and adherence to your plan for the plan to work.
Build Your SEO Strategy Roadmap With Sauce
SEO strategies require time, patience, and expertise. Results don't happen overnight and it’s easy to doubt your strategy in the meantime. You don’t have time to waste on guesswork. You need a clear roadmap, measurable goals, and an effective strategy that will increase traffic to your website. Sauce is ready to guide your journey to a relevant voice of authority both online and off. Schedule a call today!