Creating an SEO strategy is the most important step for ranking high on Google. However, it can be difficult to get started. There is an overload of information online but none of it tells you what to do. We have created this guide to help with the process.
After reading this article, you will know the following:
- How to conduct an SEO audit?
- How to start with SEO?
- What should you prioritize in an SEO strategy?
Who Should Create an SEO Strategy for Ranking High on Google?
In the last blog, we shared what you need to do before you get started with SEO. At this stage, you should have the answers to the following questions:
- Who is target audience?
- What are your objectives for doing SEO?
- Will investing in SEO grow your business?
Now that you know you want to do SEO and the results you want from it, it’s time to get started with creating an SEO strategy to achieve these goals.
How to Conduct SEO Audit for Ranking High on Google?
The first step towards creating an SEO strategy is to audit your website. This will tell you the issues you are facing. You can then create a plan to improve on these factors.
In the beginning, we recommend using Ubersuggest’s Site Audit feature for this purpose. It’s incredibly user-friendly and you can get started for free.
Let’s take a deeper look at a site audit report to understand how to interpret the data:
The first section gives you an overview of the domain. This includes the on-page SEO score, organic monthly traffic, organic keywords, and number of backlinks.
- On-page SEO Score: On-page SEO Score takes into the consideration everything present on your webpages and generates a score based on it. The higher the score, the better it is. If you click on the box, you will get further details about all the on-page issues, such as duplicate titles or lack of target keyword.
- Organic Monthly Traffic: This tells how many users are visiting your website each month. You can click on the box to get further insights into the pages and keywords which are bringing in the most traffic.
- Organic Keywords: This refers to the keywords that your website is organically ranking for. Along with that, you can also get a breakdown of the search volume, your web page’s position, estimate visits and the SEO difficulty for the keyword.
- Backlinks: This shares the number of backlinks to your domain along with a list of the all the websites that are backlinking.
The Pages Discovered section shares details about each page of your website. It provides a breakdown of the number of pages that are live, redirecting, broken, and blocked.
You want all the pages on your website to be live and accessible by the users. If you see that your pages are broken and blocked, you can access the page-by-page details in order to work on it.
SEO Issues Discovered
SEO Issues are the most actionable part of the SEO audit report. You can see a list of all the issues along with the difficulty of improving terms and their SEO impact.
Further, you can also filter out the issues based on critical errors, warnings and recommendations. This comes in handy when you are trying to create an SEO strategy. You want to start by improving all the critical errors and eventually implementing the recommendations.
The Site Speed section shares the accessibility of the website. This is broken down into three sections:
- Load Time: The amount of it takes for the page’s main content to load.
- Interactivity: The amount of time it takes for the pages to respond to users’ actions.
- Visual Stability: The amount of shift in the page’s visuals as it loads.
You can see the Site Speed details for both mobile and desktop. Along with this, you can also see the recommended time and the average time for each category. This will give you a good idea of where you stand and how much work needs to be done on your website.
Once you know more about your website, it’s time to learn about your competitors. Keep in mind that these are the websites that you will be working against so it’s important to understand what they are doing to rank high.
You should find out the keywords your competitors are ranking for, the number of backlinks they have as well as the traffic they are receiving. You can use this guide on doing competition research.
Interpreting an SEO audit report can be difficult. If you are struggling with it, there is no shame in hiring SEO experts to help you out!
How to Create An SEO Strategy for Ranking High on Google?
In order to get started with ranking high on Google, you should create a plan, keeping in mind the issues highlighted by the SEO audit report.
The plan that you create should aim to be consistent. A good idea is to set out goals for each work of the next six months. For example, you might decide to publish an article per week along with building backlinks.
How Long Before You See Results?
It’s important to have reasonable expectations for your SEO strategy. The goal of ranking high on Google cannot be achieved overnight.
Generally speaking, it takes 6-12 months before you start seeing results from the steps taken by you. Keep in mind that this is only possible if you put in consistent efforts over a period of time.
What Should You Prioritize?
Through the SEO audit, you now know everything that needs to be worked on. However, you can’t work on everything at once. It’s important to create a step-by-step plan based on what is the most important for your business.
For example, let’s say the site audit shows that your site speed is more than 10 seconds. This means that accessing your site is difficult for the users. At the same time, it also shows that the organic monthly traffic is 10 users.
In this case, your priority should be to increase the number of monthly users. While increasing site speed is incredibly important, it is of little value unless there are users visiting your website.
Common Mistakes To Avoid
At this point, you have a good idea of how to create an SEO strategy. However, this isn’t enough. Along with knowing what to know, you need to be aware of practices that you should avoid.
Here are some of the common mistakes that you should avoid like a plague:
Buying backlinks used to be a very common practice over a decade ago. The thing is, at that time, this strategy actually worked. You could just contact random blogs and pay for a backlink and Google would consider it as an external vote. This would lead to an improvement in your website’s ranking.
However, Google’s algorithm has improved significantly over time. In fact, it was developed to identify tactics for buying backlinks and differentiating them from genuine backlinks. At this stage, not only does buying backlinks have no positive impact on your website, it can lead to some serious concerns.
Paid backlinks violate Google’s policies and can negatively impact your website’s search ranking. Instead of doing this, you should create a link building strategy to organically improve your website’s ranking.
Keyword stuffing is one of the most common mistakes made by site owners. It’s the practice of adding numerous keywords to a webpage with the aim of manipulating search results. There is a tendency to think that by adding more keywords, Google will rank the website high in search results. However, this cannot be farther from the truth.
Google’s algorithm is smart enough to distinguish between genuine and fake keyword use. In essence, the algorithm reads content just as a regular user would.
Keyword stuffing reduces the value received by users. As per Google’s policy, keyword stuffing can have a negative effect on your website’s ranking. Instead, conducting keyword research and writing valuable content on it will ensure consistent growth for your website.
Thin content refers to automatically generated content, scraped content or duplicate content. Essentially, this is the kind of content that provides little to no value to the users.
Google’s focus is on providing the maximum amount of value to its users. As per Google’s policy, low-value content hurts the search engine ranking of the website.
Now you know what goes behind forming an SEO strategy. It’s time to start learning more about each component so that you can execute a plan to improve your website’s ranking.
We suggest you start with these topics:
It’s also important to keep in mind that Google changes its algorithm periodically. The strategies that work today might not work tomorrow. Therefore, it’s important to monitor changes and update your SEO strategy when required. Here are some SEO news sites to help:
Creating an SEO strategy is the key to ranking high on Google. Before you start with creating a strategy, you should first do a site audit and understand what you are working with. Based on the audit report, you can create a strategy to improve your website’s rank.
Here are some of the key points that you should keep in mind while creating your SEO strategy:
- Create a week by week plan to update your website
- Prioritize working on issues that have the biggest impact on your traffic
- Focus on consistency instead of expecting immediate results
- Avoid “quick fixes” such as buying backlinks, keyword stuffing or publishing thin content
For your ease, we have created an SEO template that you can use for conducting an SEO Audit and creating an SEO strategy for your website. You can find the Google sheet here. You can also download the Excel version:
Along with that, here’s a mindmap to show our process while creating an SEO strategy:
– Practics.in team
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