Launching a new website for your business is an exciting time. Unfortunately, 571 new websites are created every minute. Even the most obscure niches now have thousands of sites competing for traffic from search engines. The only way to cut through the noise is to have a good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy in place from the day you launch. If you’re wondering what is an SEO strategy, the rest of this article has you covered.
What is an SEO Strategy?
An SEO strategy makes use of on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO techniques to improve a website’s chances of ranking on the first page of search results. SEO is an ongoing process that doesn’t stop even when you reach the top spot for your targeted keywords.
You may think to start a new website puts you at a disadvantage against your competitors, but that isn’t quite true. You have the advantage of making all the right SEO decisions from day one and understanding how to rank your website organically.
Part of understanding the answer to what is an SEO strategy is knowing the difference between paid search marketing and an organic SEO strategy. Paid search marketing refers to paying search engines for placement at the top of the first search results page. An organic SEO strategy only includes techniques that help a site rank naturally. Organic SEO takes longer to work, but it is much more valuable. According to Smart Insights, Paid search results only have an average click-through rate of 1.9 percent across all industries. Here are the click-through rates for the first nine organic search results:
- 19.30 percent
- 10.57 percent
- 7.54 percent
- 4.65 percent
- 3.42 percent
- 2.56 percent
- 2.69 percent
- 1.74 percent
- 1.64 percent
The more clicks you get, the more leads you get for your marketing funnel, which ultimately leads to more conversions. Let’s take a deeper look at the components of an organic SEO strategy.
What are the Components of an Organic SEO Strategy?
The first component of an organic SEO strategy is owning your own piece of digital real estate. You have to have your own website if you want to fully take advantage of search engine optimization.
Optimized Website Design
Once you have your domain and hosting purchased, the next step is designing your website. Your best move is to use a Content Management System like WordPress to build your website. You can either choose a simple template for your layout or invest in a website design company to get the perfect website that does exactly what you need.
Don’t get wrapped up in adding needless features and flash animations to your site. Instead, focus on a clean, professional design that subtly directs visitors to the most important part of the page. Avoid any features that increase your load time. According to Hubspot, you can lose up to 50 percent of your potential customers if your site takes longer than three seconds to load.
Another important design factor when it comes to creating an SEO strategy for a new website is site navigation. Both search engine bots and users get around sites through links from your homepage. An HTML sitemap is for user navigation. Create a page with links to all of the pages that make up your site. Break them up by category to make the page make sense to the user. An XML sitemap is for search engines. Use a crawling tool to create an XML sitemap for your site and submit it to Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This map will let search engines know every time your site is updated, which make it great for new sites.
Keyword Research and Content Creation
When creating an SEO strategy for a new website, your content is your centerpiece. Every search engine optimization technique revolves around the quality and relevance of your content.
Creating content relevant to your audience requires in-depth keyword research. There are several tools, such as Google Adwords and Moz’s Keyword Planner, that show you how the monthly traffic and competition of keywords. Use such a tool to come up with a list of 10 to 15 main keywords to focus on. Look for words with decent monthly traffic and low competition.
Question-based, long-tail keywords are the best bet for a new website. Put yourself in the mind of your target customer and think of what questions you would need to be answered through your buying journey. Answering questions with your content will establish you as an expert in your industry while helping you climb the search engine results pages.
Before you hit publish on any of your site’s pages or blog posts, you need to utilize on-page and off-page optimization techniques to give your site the best chance of ranking.
On-page SEO includes anything you do to the content on your site to make it rank higher in the SERPs. The first on-page SEO technique you need to focus on is keyword placement and density. You want to use your primary keyword in the following:
- Title tag (heading)
- At least 1 H2 tag (subheading)
- The first and last paragraphs
- Once every 100 words
- In your URL
Use secondary keywords, also known as LSIs or contextual keywords, that relate to your primary keyword. Doing so helps search engine bots be certain on what your content is about.
Title tags and H2 tags are examples of meta tags. Meta tags signal which information is important for describing what the page is about. One reason using WordPress is a good idea for a new site is there are plugins that can help you with your SEO efforts. Yoast is the SEO plugin used by most businesses. It simplifies the meta tag process to a few clicks and provides a text box for creating the page’s meta description. Yoast also makes it easy to change the page URL, which is the last component of on-page optimization.
Once you take care of on-page SEO for all of your content, the final step is off-page optimization. Let’s end with how to create and execute an SEO linking strategy.
Think of backlinks like votes. Every time another site links to yours, it signals to Google that your site is valuable. Now, these votes are not created equal. A link from a high-quality site in your niche that ranks on the first couple of SERPS for high-competition keywords in your niche is worth dozens, if not hundreds, of links from your friend’s new blog. Getting links from authority sites in your niche is the heart of an SEO linking strategy.
One way to get links is through performing link outreach to webmasters. The key is to read through several of a site’s articles and see which ones would make the most sense for a link to your article. Then, present your list to the webmaster in an email explaining why you think linking to your article would make the piece better.
Another option is to take it a step further and write full articles for these publications. You get to control where you place the link and get your name in front of new audiences, which does wonders for your online reputation.
Finally, off-page SEO involves building relationships with influencers in your niche. Social shares have become an increasingly important ranking factor and working with the right influencers can have a significant impact on your content.
What is an SEO Strategy? – Recap
To recap, there are four key components of an organic SEO strategy:
- Optimized website design
- Keyword research and content creation
- On-page optimization
- Off-page optimization
Creating and executing a successful organic SEO strategy is a lot to handle for a busy business owner. You need to contact us today to learn about how we can build and execute an SEO strategy tailored to your needs.