Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is generally understood to be a very important factor in the success, or lack thereof, of any business online. However, it still remains a complex topic and even a basic understanding can become confusing. I have therefore put together some of my key SEO strategy tips in the hope that this will at least get you started.
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation is the process by which you can generate organic traffic through search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. All of these key search engines use ranking algorithms to decide what content is most relevant for a user’s search and it is therefore important for any business with an online profile to use SEO to ensure it is identified as part of these searches.
As the vast majority of businesses have an online presence these days, SEO has become even more crucial. That is why I build it in to any consultation, training session or strategy and without further ado, here are my five SEO strategy tips for your website.
SEO Strategy Tips for Your Website
Identify Your Topics
The first step to a successful SEO strategy is to identify a list of topics that are relevant to your business, product or service. Compile your list of about 10 to 15 different words or short terms and use the Google Keyword Planner to rank them in terms of search volume and create some variations which are relevant to you. These are short-tail keywords and you are highly unlikely to rank directly for them in Google, however they form the basis for our next step (which I’ll come onto in a minute).
Rank your short-tail keywords in order of importance to your business and how relevant they are. You can now use these to build out your long-tail keywords.
Build Long-Tail Keywords
My next tip, once you have your list of short-tail keywords, is to start creating longer topic titles (long-tail keywords). You can then use your long-tail keywords to come up with page titles or blog posts on your website, which are much more likely to rank well in Google than if you simply used a short keyword.
You can use keyword tools to identify good long-tail keywords based on your list of search terms and once you’ve completed the exercise you should have clusters of 5-10 long-tail keywords for each of your original search terms. You can hopefully see now how these original search terms are becoming pillars for your website content.
By creating these clusters of topics for your website, you are making it that bit easier for search engines to identify your website for different people’s search terms. If your website hosts content that delves deeply into specific subjects, search engines will identify this. They want to provide their users with the most useful information possible straight off the bat and if they see that your site has a very specific, in-depth analysis of the topic in question they feel confident in directing people to it. HubSpot has a great video explaining why these kind of clusters are useful for SEO…
Create a ‘Deep’ Website
My next tip is to create a deep website, and by this I do not mean a site which looks closely at the meaning of life (unless of course, that is one of your pillars!). I mean that your website should have layers of pages which take the user deeper and deeper into a topic.
The best way to do this is to create top-line pages for each of your pillar topics, which act as the first layer of content and introduce the key topic areas. In order to get the most out of these pages, you could create one for each ‘pillar’ and once you do so you should see that they closely align with the products or services you offer.
From each of your original pages, you can now link deeper into your website – taking your user to other pages or blog posts which relate to the main topic. These are the pages where you use your long-tail keywords to look at more detailed and specific areas of the pillar subject. Doing this not only creates a journey for your user, but also creates a very clear pathway for a search engine and solidifies your authority in this subject.
It also avoids the danger of trying to make a single page rank for too many keywords, as this can be confusing for search engines and users. Having one, or possibly two, keywords for a single page is the best way to create authority.
Blogging Is Your Best Friend
For many years blogging was seen as an activity for teenagers and socialites, however it is now an essential part of any business in my opinion. As someone who runs a very successful lifestyle blog (separate to my own business), I can attest to the huge number of eyeballs that blog posts can bring to your website. It is something that should not be ignored by any modern business.
If you have done the work of identifying your key topics and main long-tail keywords, then setting up and populating a blog can be simple and enjoyable. Remember, you are writing for your audience and not the search engines though, and your blog can explore both your pillar topics and more broad topics that are related to your business and customer.
Try to blog as often as you can, this helps to build up authority with search engines and also provides you with a ready stream of content for newsletters and social media. I suggest that a blog at least once a week is a good starting point and need only take an hour or so out of your busy schedule.
When writing a blog, it is important to identify a long-tail keyword for it, even if it is on a subject which deviates slightly from your core themes. You can then include this keyword, or variations on it, throughout your post (being careful not to become guilty of ‘keyword stuffing’) to help search engines identify it for searchers.
Once you’ve written your blog content there are two more very important things to remember to do. The first is that you should link to your main topic page from the blog content, either through links in the blog post itself or using topic tags to do so (I suggest doing both). The second thing to do is to link back to the blog post from the topic page, both to let your readers know and to create that useful pathway for the search engines.
Blogging has become such an important part of SEO strategy now and is something that I recommend for all of my clients. I also offer blogging services as I’m well aware that it is not something that everyone has time for!
Track, Adjust & Repeat
I could go on and on with more SEO strategy tips, but to keep this article short(ish) I am going to wrap up with my final tip which is to track your SEO success, adjust it if it’s not working and repeat the things that do.
There are a number of tools you can use to track how much organic search your website is receiving, such as Google Analytics, and you can use tools such as SemRUSH for tracking how well you rank for different keywords or keeping track of what your domain authority and page authority are.
Put together a document which enables you to track your success month to month and identify your most popular keywords. By doing this you can celebrate your success and see the result of your hard work, but you can also identify if things aren’t working as soon as possible and make the necessary changes before you spend months barking up the wrong tree. Reporting is such an essential part of any digital or SEO strategy, so be sure not to neglect it.
If these SEO Strategy tips have been useful, let me know! I have lots more where these came from and always build SEO advice into my work with clients. Get in touch today for an informal chat about how I might be able to help you get the most from your digital marketing strategy![/tatsu_text][/tatsu_column][/tatsu_row][/tatsu_section]