9 Tips to Build a Comprehensive SEO Strategy
To help you create a powerful SEO strategy, we’ve gathered insights from industry experts, including presidents, CEOs, and SEO specialists. From optimizing for featured snippets to performing three essential SEO checks, discover the top nine tips these professionals shared to build a comprehensive and effective SEO strategy.
- Optimize for Featured Snippets
- Embrace Micro-SEO Strategies℠
- Adapt and Continuously Improve
- Prioritize Link Building
- Build Topic Clusters
- Detect, Protect, and Grow
- Create a Well-Planned Topic Map
- Focus On Valuable Content and Keywords
- Perform Three Essential SEO Checks
Optimize for Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are the concise answers or summaries that appear at the top of Google’s search results, providing users with quick information without requiring them to click through to a specific website. Optimizing your content to appear in featured snippets can significantly increase your visibility and organic traffic. Here’s how you can do it:
Identify snippet opportunities: Conduct keyword research to identify keywords that often trigger featured snippets. Look for queries that start with “how to,” “best ways to,” “tips for,” and similar phrases. Tools like SEMrush, Moz, or Ahrefs can help you identify keywords that have featured snippet potential.
Optimize content format: Depending on the type of featured snippet (paragraph, list, table, or video), adjust your content format accordingly. If it’s a paragraph snippet, provide a brief and well-structured answer in your content. If it’s a list snippet, format your content as a numbered or bulleted list.
Embrace Micro-SEO Strategies℠
If your website has been up and running for some time, I highly recommend focusing on identifying low-hanging fruit SEO opportunities. We call this process Micro-SEO Strategies℠.
Using SEO tools such as SE Ranking, we’ll identify existing content on a website, such as blog posts or case studies, that already rank on page two or three on Google for high-intent and high-search volume keywords.
We’ll then perform a full search engine results page (SERP) analysis to identify what the top ten search results on Google have in common. We also have a brainstorming session with the client and our team to discuss what other content, visual components, etc., currently missing that could make our page way better than the pages that are currently ranking at the top in Google.
Once the fully updated and optimized page has been relaunched, we deploy activities such as digital PR campaigns and hyper-focused link-earning activities that specifically target the newly updated page.
Adapt and Continuously Optimize
Building an effective SEO strategy is a dynamic process that requires adaptability and staying ahead of the curve. By conducting comprehensive keyword research, optimizing on-page elements, fostering high-quality backlinks, and continuously analyzing and adapting to search engine algorithm updates, we can pave the way for long-term organic growth and visibility.
Remember, an effective SEO strategy is not a one-time effort, but a continuous process of improvement and optimization. Regularly track and analyze performance metrics to make data-driven optimizations and stay ahead in the competitive SEO landscape!
Prioritize Link Building
SEO is not something that you can get quick results on. It takes continuous and lengthy efforts for favorable results. Link building is a crucial aspect of an effective SEO strategy. By developing a strong link-building strategy, you can enhance your website’s authority and visibility.
This involves actively seeking opportunities to gain backlinks from reputable and relevant websites in your industry. Tactics such as guest blogging, influencer collaborations, and directory submissions can help you establish your website as a reliable and trustworthy source of information, improving your search engine rankings.
By incorporating link building into your overall SEO approach, you can amplify the impact of your efforts and drive organic traffic and conversions.
You must stay updated with search engine algorithm changes, monitor performance metrics, and adapt your strategy accordingly.
Build Topic Clusters
One of the more recent developments in SEO is the strategy of building topic clusters. This tactic involves creating a single pillar page acting as the major hub of content for a specific topic, and then related content (the cluster) linking back to the pillar page.
As an example, you could create a comprehensive guide on “organic gardening” as your pillar page, and then write related blog posts on “composting”, “natural pest control”, and “heirloom seeds” that link back to your guide.
This strategy not only provides a cleaner site architecture but also positions you as an authority on the topic, thus increasing your search visibility.
Detect, Protect, and Grow
With an SEO strategy, it makes sense to build over at least 1 to 3 years and track performance towards the goal every month. I use the model: Detect -> Protect -> Grow. First, you have to “Detect” your current organic performance and know where you and your competitors are in each of the three main areas: technical, content, and links.
For established high-ranking domains, the top priority will be to “Protect” the existing organic market share and only then to build on top of it with the “Grow” strategy (avoiding a negative impact or a zero-sum game).
For small/new websites or entering new markets, it will be the opposite, with the focus being on “Grow”, which will again shift towards “Protect” as it grows.
Create a Well-Planned Topic Map
Google wants to rank websites that have the most authority on the topic being searched. The most effective way to show Google you are an authority in your niche is by providing as much useful information on your website relating to your main target keywords.
To create an effective topic map, you need to plan and organize your content carefully. Start with your main keywords at the center and then branch out to related topics. Popular SEO tools like SurferSEO and SEMrush can help you with this task.
However, it’s also important to address Zero Search Volume keywords and monitor new topics that may emerge in your niche to maintain your position as a topic authority for Google. In addition, a well-planned topic map will make it easier to create a strong and well-connected internal link structure, which is another vital element of an effective on-page SEO strategy.
Focus On Valuable Content and Keywords
Sure, understanding and using your keywords frequently is an important step towards SEO success, but you shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that you’re making your content for humans.
That means you should focus first on providing your audience with valuable content, with your keywords naturally peppered throughout. Avoid keyword stuffing your pages—this was a good strategy in the past, but most search engines are now smart enough to catch you and lower your ranking accordingly.
Perform Three Essential SEO Checks
The SEO needs of your website will differ from the needs of even your closest competitor, so make sure you do some analysis to see what the website actually needs. There are 3 checks you should perform prior to developing an SEO strategy to make sure it will be as impactful as possible:
- On-Page SEO – Do a crawl with ScreamingFrog or Ahrefs Site Audit to see if there are any glaring technical SEO issues, or if the website is in pretty good health.
- Content – Do some quick keyword research to get a rough idea of how many relevant and/or high-converting blog topics you could go after. This can help you determine if it’s even worth creating blog posts, and if so, how many should be created.
- Link Building – Compare the Domain Rating/Domain Authority of the website to other competitors to see if the website really needs link building.
If you do these quick checks prior to developing an SEO strategy, it will help ensure the strategy will be as effective as possible with no fluff.
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