Creating your SEO Strategy + Workbook
If you aren't in a position to hire someone to help you with your SEO ranking, there's a certain amount of work you can do on your own, if you are objective, and make the changes that you see need to be made. This will be your first step towards reaching your goals. In this post, we'll take you through the basics, and if you'd like to, you can download the workbook to create your bespoke strategy below.
Step 1: Zone in on your target audience
Content that doesn't serve your desired audience only brings the wrong people to your site, if it brings in anyone at all. To speak to your target audience, you'll need to know who those people are, what they need, what that person might search for, how you can help them, and who that audience's current influencers are. Once you have all that information, you can start to tailor your content to the ideal person, and those correct people will find you and your website. If you create your content with an objective, those readers can turn into customers or clients. At this point, you'll also want to decide what you want to be known for, and the type of content you'll create.
Step 2: Use the correct keywords and phrases
To end up in people's search queries, you first need to somewhat match the query. To match results to queries, Google and other search engines use the words the searcher uses, as well as similiar phrases too. This does mean that your best shot is to have, somewhere on the page, the same keywords and phrases that your audience would use. For many industries, this might be self-explanatory. For others, this might depend on your audience's understanding of certain terms, as to whether they use the technical version, or the more amateur version of the term. To find the right keywords for you, you'll want to brainstorm as many of the words you can think of, use a keyword tool to check them and find more suggestions, then create a spreadsheet to expand and refine your list.
Step 3: Put those keywords in the right places
Gone are the days of needing to have your keyword in every place possible. Search engines are now more aware of easily readable content over keyword saturation. However, there are a few important places to put them, to heighten your chances of being near the top of the results, and that people will click through to your page. Put your keyword or phrase in the page title, meta title, page description and anywhere that suits in your content. If you are writing a product description, it's important to have the keywords and phrases in the name and product description too.
Step 4: Make sure the page stays true to the title
Search engines rank you lower if people jump back to the search page after looking at your site. The highest reason people will do this is if the page doesn't actually match their query, and the title they clicked on. This also means that every page on your website should serve a purpose. It's also best to provide as much information and value as you can. This would be beneficial anyway, but this will also keep people on the page longer, and also increases the chances of them clicking further into your website. You'll also want your page to give more information than the other options in the search results for that particular query.
Step 5: Optimise your page
As well as the actual information on the page, there to serve the reader, there are a few other things you can do. First, make sure your photos aren't too large, then add alt text to all photos, this is further information for Google, but also will show if the photo doesn't load. On a similiar note, take note of your load speed, the faster your page loads, the better. If the page doesn't load in a couple of seconds, the reader is very likely to click back to the search results. It is also very important that your website is both mobile and tablet responsive, so that your website can be used on all devices. Also, be sure that your website works on all browsers.
Step 6: Get more good links to your website
Your search ranking is increased by your domain authority as well. One of the ways to improve upon this is to have legitimate sources link to you. Links from sites like forums, or social media don't count, but websites like directories, blogs and news sites will help your search ranking. However, any link on any site can improve your website traffic volumes. If however, a spammy site, or say, an adult site, links to you, this will negatively affect your search ranking.
Step 7: Create a blog style section for your website
Depending on your type of business, this section might be a blog, it might be more of an article type section, you might add news and information, you might share tips on how to do something, or your portfolio of work. This will be one source for a number of pieces of content. This is a section of your website where you can update your readers regularly, or create new content for them on a regular basis. This allows you to create content for one sole purpose, to be able to get very specific about one topic, with a specific search query or question in mind.
Step 8: Submit your sitemap to Google each time you make page changes to your website
The simplest way to request for Google to crawl your website for new pages is to submit a sitemap through Google Console. You don't need to submit a sitemap every time you update your blog, however if you make changes to other pages, it's recommended you update your sitemap for Google. Hopefully you aren't doing that too often. Find out how to submit your sitemap here.
In general, be as helpful as possible, have a purpose behind every page, and use the right terms your audience would be searching for.