If you are a new brand or website, SEO takes the center stage, as it doesn’t involve any advertising costs. A good mix of off-page, on-page, and technical SEO can make your new brand visible across Search engines without much of investments in SEO. But Is there a way to build an effective SEO strategy for my website? Is there a framework for doing SEO for a new business? The answer is yes.
Here Are 13 Steps for Building an Effective SEO Strategy
Step 1: Baseline reporting for an effective SEO strategy
This is the first step to discover your baseline to start all your SEO efforts. Generate a baseline ranking report for all the keywords you rank for. The baseline gives us an indication of where the web pages are ranked on Google and it will be used to measure results later.
Step 2: Define clear objectives for your website’s SEO strategy
Primary Objective: Increase visitor traffic to <your website>.
Drive people to the specified content on <your website> from pages that are optimized for specific keyword phrases.
Secondary Objective: Increase brand awareness and generate web inquiries for <your website>.
Step 3: Define target search engines for your SEO efforts
Undoubtedly, Google leads the search engines with over 63.8% market share. Source: ComScore
Followed by Microsoft’s Bing Network with 21.1% market share, it is important to consider at least both these search engines for building an effective SEO strategy.
On a related note, Google Search dominates all other search engines in general. If you rank well in Google Search results, you are more likely to rank higher in all other search engines such as Yahoo Search and Bing Search.
Step 4: Define a budget for your SEO strategy
Startups find it difficult to plan a pre-defined budget. However, it is a must-have requirement. Brands need to at least plan for tools, technology, and resources to successfully manage their SEO. Check out my guide on free SEO tools if you are running on a tight marketing budget.
Step 5: Define results timeline for measuring SEO performance
On an average, once all recommendations are executed for your website’s SEO, there is a delay of at least a week or two before your customers start noticing the results in the search engine ranks. This also involves re-submission of your site pages for re-indexing by Google for quicker results. Indexing is now faster with Google, and it should happen by default within 24 to 48 hours after penguin update.
The keyword rankings will continue to improve as your inbound links age and the SEO implementations continue to be indexed. On an average, net efforts for on-page, off-page and technical SEO will be experienced within a few weeks.
Step 6: Keyword research and analysis
Plan for the keywords that will give you web traffic. Do they have a monthly search trend you can leverage from? or is there a specific keyword type you can stand for? and how can your keywords & web pages be used in combination to attract search traffic?
Analyze keyword difficulty and choose long tail keywords. While you can use free SEO tools, I recommend using SEMrush to get a wholistic understanding of all ranking parameters in one view.
Step 7: Plan keywords that matter
Focus on optimizing keyword phrases that are mapped onto the specific web pages of your website.
You should have 1 keyword per landing page combination. (Collate all of the above information from step 7 and 8 above to finalize your choice of keywords. Refer Keyword vs. Search Volume Data and decide the most relevant ones to go after)
Avoid having multiple pages with similar content, as Google will rank the most relevant one. It is otherwise called as Keyword Cannibalization
Step 8: Domain analysis and technical SEO
Analyze the website information architecture and internal linking structure, record the quality of backlinks you have and the amount of referral traffic you are getting. Check out my guide on best practices for organic link building.
Analyze the HTML and page layout, as well as the responsiveness for mobile usage.
Content Analysis & Creation: Decide the amount of indexable text content, quality, & quantity of visible HTML text on your web page including SEO copywriting. Your content developers should know the basics of effective SEO writing. You can create additional web page/content if necessary.
Step 9: Linking analysis
• The overall internal link structure
• Internal link popularity of linking page within host site/domain
• Link popularity of site in a topical community
• The link weight/authority of the target website amongst its topical peers in the online world
• Link relevance, topical relevance of inbound links to site and web pages
• The subject-specific relationship between the sites/pages linking to the target page and the target keyword
• Deep link analysis, deep link percentage—the percentage of all inbound links that point to pages other than the homepage
Step 10: Link development
Increase link popularity and implement a strategic link campaign by getting links on websites that will provide a high SEO value. Try guest blogging on premium websites and do it often.
Step 11: Indexing analysis
Avoid duplicate content—content that is very similar or that copies existing content in the index.
Check for possible duplicate Title/Meta Tags on many pages and implement Robots.txt exclusions.
Step 12: Implementation of all SEO recommendations
Once all the changes have been completed, you should run an audit to verify that the recommendation was implemented correctly and identify gaps as applicable for corrective measures. This can be done once every 6 months to monitor all your efforts toward building an effective SEO Strategy.
Step 13: Define success metrics
Strive for the first page of Search Engine rankings.
Increase website traffic of <your website> by <mention percentage>. Validate and repeat all above steps.
Does this strategy works for you? Let me know in the comments section below.