Your SEO Strategy
Designing and Implementing
You now know all you need to do to reach the top of Google. It is possible to feel calm clarity (unlikely), but you may also feel panic attacks (more likely).
It is a fact that not everyone on the planet has enough time to read this entire book. This includes business owners and marketing managers who already have other things to do. It’s okay. This section will help you to identify and focus on what is going to make a difference for you.
You’ll also find some counterintuitive advice on what to do if your thinking about hiring help.
How to plan an SEO strategy
SEO campaigns that are successful focus on the low-hanging fruits first. The order in which this book is laid out is important. You must first get your website up and running. Next, you should think about linking and promotion.
It’s super easy! I’m going to now explain the priorities we use when working with clients on SEO campaigns. This will allow you to work through the same priorities. Our goal when we work with clients is to see a ranking improvement as soon as possible. This is likely to be your goal.
Request a free SEO review at https://exposureninja.com/review/ to have us recommend top SEO priorities. We’ll then point out areas you need to focus on to get the best results. We will record a video of your website and analyze the competition. At the end we’ll provide you with a prioritized action plan that you can use to reach your 12-month sales goals.
Step 1: Site Review
It’s important to assess the suitability of your site before you do any SEO. These are the most important things for your SEO campaign’s success. If any of them are missing, it is a good idea to fix them.
* Is the website mobile-friendly?
* Do you have pages that target each product or service area on your site?
* Each page must contain at least 300 words text copy. This is a simple but useful definition for ‘enough text content’.
* Does the website have an online blog?
* Does it appear on every page that the business is doing what and who?
Nearly every marketing review we do suggests that the pages have more clarity. Visitors are unfamiliar with your business, and are so busy and distracted that they don’t have the time to look around to see if you might be a good fit. Clarity is a valuable skill in digital marketing.
This is the best time for some readers to make a decision about their website’s future. If your website isn’t ranking well, or is far from where it should be, or if the person responsible charges a lot of money, this is the time to make changes. It is often quicker and cheaper to create a website yourself than to hire SEO experts. Not to mention the fact that an invisible website will cost you more in lost business than one that is highly visible. It can be difficult to make a decision when funds are limited or the previous developer is close friends or family. But business is business and you will look back at it as one the best business decisions that you have made.
Exposure Ninja loves WordPress. Almost all of the websites we build for clients are WordPress. WordPress allows you to have complete control over the structure and content in an easy-to-use and nontechnical manner. You might consider building your own WordPress website if you are technically proficient. Our video course WordPress Mastery made simple is available as part of MarketingU’s video training at https://www.marketingu.ninja/.
Step 2: Keyword Targeting
Next, identify the key phrases you are going to target. You should link this keyword research to competitor analysis. Your most successful competitors could be rich sources of target keywords. Spend some time looking for the keywords that customers are most likely searching for.
* What keywords are your closest competitors appearing for?
* How aggressively do they target these phrases? What pages are they showing up on (e.g. Is it a blog article? Page about the product? Service page? Their homepage?
* What percentage of text are on the pages that rank highest?
* Do the page titles and meta description contain the keywords that you are searching for?
* How many words are on each page?
* Do you see a lot of ads for these terms? This could indicate commercial intent or profit potential.
* Study the search volume using a keyword tool. You might get between 30 and 25% of the traffic if you rank first. How would this impact your business? Would it be worth it?
To create your target keywords list, you will need to follow the Keyword Research Process outlined in Section 1. These will likely change over time.
This data can be very useful for your SEO keyword research if you already have a managed Google Ads campaign. A PPC campaign will often be run in conjunction with an SEO campaign. This is because it’s not always the highest-search volume phrases or the most competitive.
Step 3: Competitor Analysis
Next, we will analyze your competition for each phrase. It’s not uncommon for the same sites to show up for different phrases, so you might choose 5-10 sites to focus on.
Make sure to get to know their websites:
* Are they using different pages for each service or product, or all on the same page?
* How is the website organized?
o Do you have many pages linked to the homepage? Or do you use different pages to find more specialized content?
Are there pages on different levels (e.g. /shoes/womens/flatshoes) or are they all on the same level (e.g. /flatshoes).
* How popular are their social networks? Do not just count their followers; what is the engagement?
* What are their meta descriptions, meta title tags, and meta keywords on the best ranking pages? These can be found by right-clicking on an empty section of the page, and clicking View Source’
* How big is your site?
o Do you have a lot of pages?
o How often do they blog? What topics do they blog about
* What is their link profile? Open Site Explorer, SEMrush or ahrefs can help you determine what kind of links they have. Are they getting mentioned on many websites? How authoritative are these sites?
Spending time looking at the most successful competitors in your market will help you to pick up new ideas and build your own machine learning awareness.
Step 4: Website optimization
Next, you need to do more with the optimization of your website. These include:
* Optimize your page titles and meta description on every page.
* Adding unique text copy to product pages and increasing the text copy.
* Ensure that your target keywords are used throughout your website, especially in page headings.
* Ensure that headings are using the correct H1,H2 and H3 tags.
* Ensure that your sitemap is submitted through Google Search console.
* Compressing images on websites using Shortpixel plugin.
* If necessary, installing caching or minification plugins to speed your website.
* Adding pages to help target commercial or competitive phrases.
Website optimization is a continuous process, especially if you have many websites. It’s fine to return to product pages or less important pages later to improve the content. When we work on large eCommerce sites, for example, we add copy to certain products each month after the main website optimization has been completed. We then start with the offsite promotion.
Step 5: Phase 1 Links
Check the basics of your links, including those to business directories, social media pages and video websites. These links are easy to set up and modify, and while they won’t get you to the top, it is worth checking that they are there.
Step 6: Phase 2 Links
This is the second phase, where you will start your content marketing. Content marketing is the mainstay of ongoing SEO work for most businesses. It’s never finished because there are always new publications and angles to target. Even larger companies that have dedicated marketing departments may look into outsourcing this area because they don’t have the time or energy to reach enough people to be successful in a competitive market. You don’t likely have 100 hours per month, no matter if you are a solopreneur and/or a marketing manager. This is in addition to the five other full-time jobs that you do!
No matter whether you go the DIY route or hire outside help, topic research is the most important step. To plan our article angles over the next 3 to 6 months, we like to make a content calendar. Then we plan blog posts and outreach.
Next, start to compile a list with websites you would like content published on. This could be news websites, blogs, news sites, or industry-specific websites, depending on the products and services you offer. To make it easier to track the contacts, article ideas, and results, we will create a spreadsheet.
This is the perfect time to get started blogging. Quality is more important than quantity. If you can get a few long-form, detailed posts on your site every month that rank for phrases with commercial intent, that’s a good start.
Step 7: Refocus and measure progress
In the next chapter, we’ll discuss how and what to track. We conduct a quarterly campaign checkup every three months. This is known as the QCC. It’s a chance for SEO to align with business goals and you can also do it yourself. These checkups can be moved to every six months if you are short on time. It’s important not to become obsessed with ranking for ranking sake. All we do in this book is for sales or leads, not ranking. It is not unusual for us to alter keywords or suggest tweaks to website layouts after a site performance check.
Go to https://exposure-ninja.com/googlebook/ to download the Quarterly Campaign Checkup Framework that Exposure Ninja uses to realign client campaign campaigns.
Your SEO focus may change over time. You might add new products or services, which will result in different keywords being ranked. It is possible to start dominating the ranking for shorter-tail and less competitive keywords. This will give you the confidence to shift your focus to shorter-tail, more volume, and more competitive phrases. It is possible to reach saturation for your most popular commercial phrases. In this case, you might decide to create a knowledge base to draw traffic from the researchers’ as well as people higher up the funnel. These types of reflections and revisions are encouraged as SEO campaigns shouldn’t be’static’.