How to Create an SEO Strategy in 2022
Sep 29, 2021 | 4 MINUTES TO READ
Summary: Each year, the best practices for creating a winning SEO strategy change. By understanding what you need to do, you can be successful in 2022 and beyond!
If you think merely having a website for your business is enough to bring you success, think again. Your website must attract traffic to be useful as a business tool, and one of the first steps of that journey is to be found online. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help you do that.
The technical-sounding nature of this term intimidates many business owners, but there is no need to fear this digital marketing service. Whether you know a little about SEO or have never heard of it before, our guide will help you develop and maintain an SEO strategy that you can use to gain more visibility for your business in 2022.
What is an SEO Strategy?
An SEO strategy is a carefully constructed long-term plan that aims to get your website ranking on search engines, maintain those rankings, and drive relevant and qualified traffic to your site.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, or the process of making website content conform to the criteria search engines use to determine their rankings. How well each page of your site meets the requirements determines where it ranks on the Search Engines Results Page (SERP).
When SEO is done right, it can help a website rise to the first page of Google results. This is important because the highest-ranked pages receive significantly more clicks. Moving up just one rank in the search results grants you a 30.8% higher click-through rate on average. More clicks mean more leads, ultimately leading to more customers and increased revenue.
What Are the Key Components of a Successful SEO Strategy?
There are three main areas that must be focused on to ensure your business has an effective SEO strategy:
- On-Page SEO: Written content that appears on your site and must be optimized for specific keywords.
- Off-Page SEO: Links on other websites that will direct users back to your site, improving its perceived authority in Google’s algorithms.
- Technical SEO: Considerations involving the site’s underlying coding and framework, including meta tags, site mapping, schema markup, and much more.
Although the idea of designing specifically for handheld devices is relatively new, a well-executed mobile SEO strategy is not something that should be overlooked. More people are performing searches on their mobile devices, which means you could be missing out on valuable traffic if your site is not easily found. Additionally, Google has implemented mobile-first indexing when determining its search ranks. If your site is not optimized for mobile devices, you may get penalized with a lower position on the SERP.
When developing a mobile SEO strategy, there are a few other things to consider on top of the standard elements. These include load speeds, responsive design, and local SEO elements to ensure you provide the best experience for your users.
Building Your SEO Content Strategy
Implementing an effective SEO strategy is a multi-step process. Follow the process outlined below to get yours started.
Brainstorm and Research a List of Topics
Begin your SEO journey by thinking about what types of topics your content should cover. First, consider the kind of products or services your business is selling and any specific selling points you want to highlight. From this list, develop a list of 10 to 15 keywords or terms that best describe what your business has to offer.
For instance, if you run an online candy store, you will want to include words like ‘chocolate’ or ‘gummi’ in your key terms, but also ones like ‘handcrafted chocolates,’ ‘wholesale candy,’ or ‘imported candy’ depending on what you are selling. You can use a keyword research tool like Wordstream or SEMRush to investigate the search volumes of these terms and ensure that they get enough traffic to be worth your while before you commit to them.
Create Long-Tail Keywords Based on Those Topics
Long-tail keywords are longer keywords that focus on a more specific aspect of your initial topic. Returning to our candy store example, suppose you settled on ‘imported candy’ as one of your topics. You might build that keyword out into several different long-tail variations, including ‘best types of imported candy,’ ‘where to find imported candy,’ and ‘imported candy near me.
Remember that keyword research is usually considered to be a core SEO service, and doing it well takes time. Do not rush this process or assume that it is not important. If you do not start with a strong list of high-value keywords, your SEO efforts will not pay off.
Build Pages for Each Topic
With so many keywords to rank for, you will have a lot of content to host on your site. Keep it all organized and navigable by creating pillar pages for each of the short-tail keywords you selected. This will make it much easier for users to find more content on a topic they are interested in. It also helps Google understand that all of these pages are related to each other, further reinforcing the idea that your website is a hub of expert knowledge within your niche.
Set Up a Blog
Once you have an organizational structure in place, you will need to create a blog to host your content. Each page of your new blog should be optimized for its own set of keywords to avoid competing with the other pages on your site.
Take care not to include your keywords more than 3 to 4 times each. Any more than that could be seen as keyword stuffing and be penalized by Google. Link each post back to the appropriate pillar page, and be sure to add a link to that post on the pillar page as well.
Create a Consistent Blogging Schedule
For your blog to build an audience, your readers will need to know when they can expect more content from you. Set a regular blogging schedule and stick to it. Many businesses add blog posts weekly or bi-weekly, but some opt for monthly installments instead. Just remember that the longer you go between posts, the more substantial each post should be – you must make the wait worth it to your audience.
Create a Link-Building Plan
Backlinks (links to your website that appear on other sites around the web) are a major component of SEO in its present form. You can place some backlinks yourself by listing your website on online business directories and review sites. Beyond that, you will have to reach out to your local media and influencers for links.
Keep in mind that not all backlinks are equally valuable. A link from a well-known and reputable website in your industry is more valuable than a link from an unknown hobbyist’s blog. Only ask a site for a backlink if getting that link will help you to reach your goals. This is where an SEO company can really shine. They have the expertise and the connections to secure quality backlinks that will make a measurable difference in your search ranks.
Compress Media Files on Your Site
Reduce the file size of any images and videos you upload to your site. A website that is packed with high-resolution photographs and graphics might be very visually appealing, but it will be slow to load on most internet connections. Since load speeds play a significant role in SEO, this is unacceptable. There are many online tools that will compress your files without sacrificing quality.
Keep Up to Date on SEO News and Best Practices
If you only learn about new SEO criteria the day those changes go live, it will be impossible for you to prepare your website in time. Keep up with new developments in the field by reading marketing news sites, conversing with SEO professionals, and scouting for recent announcements from Google and other major search providers.
Track Your Content’s Performance
SEO is not always a predictable process. Content that you assumed would do well may end up not finding an audience, or it may attract people searching for an entirely different set of keywords than you intended. Use tools like Google Analytics to check up on how your content is doing after it has been published, and be prepared to use your findings to make appropriate changes to your overall SEO strategy.
The SEO Process: Ongoing Tasks
Setting up your website’s SEO strategy is just the first step toward better search ranks. To achieve and maintain those valuable high ranks, you should always be working on your SEO. These four practices are an excellent place to start.
Curate Old Content
Content curation is the process of lightly tweaking old blog posts and other content to maximize their SEO potential. You can do this by adding new internal links to the content, adding alt tags to images if these were not present before, or changing the title and meta description to better showcase relevant keywords.
Watch for Changing Keywords
Blog posts do not always rank for the keywords they were intended to target. After your posts have been around for a few months, use analytics tools to observe which keywords your posts are ranking for. If they do not match your target list, take note of this and consider adjusting the keywords you use on your main site. This will help you to better match the search intent of your audience.
Improve the Value of Your Existing Content
Sometimes old content needs more than just an SEO tune-up. Whether the content is now out of date or was somewhat sparse to begin with, try updating it with new quotes, additional statistics, or even whole new sections. This will give the content more power in the rankings and may drive extra referral traffic to your site.
Create a Monthly Content Plan
There are specific SEO duties that must be performed each month to maintain and develop your website’s ranks. Writing out a list of all these duties and when they are expected to be completed creates a common reference point for your marketing team to work from.
How to Craft Your SEO Monthly Plan
What does a good SEO monthly plan look like? In general, it should include the following tasks.
Conduct Keyword Research
Search intent is a dynamic concept that is constantly changing, and so are the keywords associated with it. Set some time aside each month to conduct new keyword research for your site. You may discover that your website needs a few keyword changes to match how users are currently searching. You may also find that there is a growing audience for a relevant but untapped niche that you want to capitalize on.
List Blog Post Ideas for Opportunistic Keywords
Keywords with high search volumes and little competition are ripe for the taking, but you will need to create content for them in order to leverage them. Use the data from your keyword research to identify a handful of the most promising keywords and generate some blog post ideas for them. This will give you some ideas to fill up your blog if other avenues for idea generation do not pay off that month.
Look for Old Posts in Need of Updates
Your content archives play a crucial role in building your SEO momentum, so be on the lookout for ways to help old posts perform better. Posts with few recent views should be examined and evaluated for potential improvements that might make them fresh and attractive again.
Identify SEO Opportunities, Such as Holidays
Holidays, anniversaries, awareness months, and other external events can provide excellent high-ranking content opportunities. To return to our candy store example, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween are all major holidays where consumers will be hungry for candy-focused content.
Generate Content Ideas Using a Search Insights Report
Creating a Search Insights Report can be immensely helpful for websites seeking to expand the range and depth of their content in an effective way.
To do this, consider which relevant topics your content has not yet addressed. Then, check to see what your competitors are publishing on this topic and which keywords that content is ranking for. You can use this information as the basis for your upcoming content, targeting keywords with a proven audience but still reasonably easy to leverage.
Assign Content to Your Team
Once you know what your content for the month should look like, assign each piece to your SEO team. Be sure to keep a record of everyone’s progress to keep each member accountable for the work they have been asked to provide.
Check Your Progress Each Month
As always, be sure to evaluate how well your content is performing and make any changes necessary to keep it in line with what your audience wants.
Meet Your Business Goals Faster with a Winning Strategy for Toronto SEO
SEO is a cumulative effort that takes time to reach its full effectiveness, so do not wait to get started implementing it on your website. With the right initial approach, enough continuing effort, and a willingness to adjust your plans when they do not work out, you can get your website the high search rank and healthy traffic flow that mark a true industry leader.
To ensure your SEO strategy will be as effective as possible, consider hiring a leading SEO company in Toronto like WSI Comandix. Our SEO services have secured top search ranks for businesses in a diverse range of industries. We can do the same for you. Contact us today to book your free SEO audit and begin working toward getting your business more visibility online.
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