6 Basics of Creating a Great SEO Strategy

Whether you’re building and launching a shiny new website from scratch or looking to up your game and boost sales and traffic on an established site, SEO has changed dramatically over the past decade. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the highly nuanced search and ranking algorithms that giants like Google employ mean that trying to take shortcuts and beat the system simply doesn’t work – and that’s not a bad thing.

If you’ve got quality information to share and are able to turn that information into engaging content that answers your customer’s questions, you’ve already got a solid foundation for SEO success.

This article will shed light on the basic on- and off-page SEO strategies you can use to make sure your website performs at its best.

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/159630537@N08/27865765327

On-page SEO:

1- Organize your site architecture correctly

Not only is a badly organized website difficult for users to navigate – meaning they’re more likely to get frustrated and click away somewhere else – it’s also more difficult for search engines to crawl and index correctly. Investing some time in getting your site architecture right also makes it easier for you as the website owner to add new content in the most logical and intuitive places.

As search engines have become smarter, they’ve become better at working with broad topics rather than focusing solely on keywords. This has been one of the biggest shifts in SEO recently – moving away from short, specific keywords and rather focusing on topics and long-tail keywords. Organizing your website by topic helps Google and other search engines see you’ve got more than one post on your site which might be helpful to the searcher and makes it more likely you’ll rank high for the keywords associated with that topic.

2- Make sure your website is mobile friendly, has the correct security certificates, and loads quickly

If you don’t yet have an SSL certificate for your website – meaning your site URL starts with ‘https’ rather than just ‘http’, the good news is you can do so relatively simply, quickly, and free of charge. This is especially important if you intend to take online payments but is good SEO practice regardless.

In today’s mobile-dominated, impatient world, your site also needs to be responsive (adapting instantly to different screen sizes and devices), and load quickly so users get the information they want before they’re tempted to click away. Take a look here for some ways you can test your website and go about fixing any problems you find. If you’re creating a brand-new site, following these suggestions from the get-go will save you time later.  

3- Invest in content no-one else is offering

Starting a blog and posting regularly will always be a great way to link new content back to your site and domain. Unfortunately, many website owners now know this and are already taking advantage. If you really want to stand out – especially if you’ve got lots of strong competition – you may want to take things up a notch and provide multiple forms of content.

Infographics, videos and tutorials, online courses, eBooks, podcasts, interviews with industry leaders – these are all potential traffic magnets. Make sure you tailor your content to your audience’s preferences, as well as what makes sense for your industry.

Moreover, you can also recreate your old content. It will help you avoid the digital content rot as well as your site will get a fresher perspective. Your ultimate goal should always be producing highly shareable content that gets people linking back to your site – and that’s where off-page SEO strategy kicks in.

Off-page SEO:

4- Put a backlinking strategy in place

One of the strongest ranking factors for search engines is how many other sites are linking back to a piece of content or a website as a whole. The number of quality backlinks you have – links from reputable sites that are closely related to the topic you’re talking about – has a big impact on how high up the rankings search engines decide you deserve to be.

But how do you get people to link back to you? As discussed above, great content that people want to share, and which markets itself is a great tactic – but it can still be tough to get noticed in the big wide online world. Creating guest posts and reaching out to blogs related to your industry allows you to take a more proactive approach. The blog which accepts and publishes your guest post benefits from having new, up-to-date content on their site, and you benefit from a link back to your site. This process can however be quite time-consuming, especially if you’re in a relatively specialized industry. Partnering with a reputable digital marketing agency which also offers SEO services – meaning they can both create great content on your behalf and identify the best blogs with the highest domain authority to target – is definitely an option.

5- Get social

Another way to get your content out there, of course, is to share it via your own social networks. Find out what social networks your target customers prefer, and make sure you create content that will appeal to them. Getting your employees and friends to share your content too can also help you reach a wider audience.

6- Get creative

Connecting with reporters via sites like HARO (Help a Reporter Out), creating exceptionally in-depth ‘skyscraper’ content, and even identifying broken links on other websites which could be updated to link to your content are some advanced backlinking strategies you could play with. 

No matter how you go about it, great content has and always will be the cornerstone of SEO – so when in doubt, start there!