You deal with SEO everyday. You know which factors search engines consider important in order for your website to rank in the SERPs. You craft fine content and distribute it via social media. You try to engage the public to finally observe your ranking for keywords, but the effect is hardly visible and your position in search engines is nearly in the same place. Sound familiar? That could be a sign that your SEO has gaps and could be (and should be) improved.
Occasionally, you can find many articles on the Internet with many do’s and don’ts. Probably, you have the basic idea of what the principles of a good SEO are, but do you look at your efforts in the big picture?
1. Do you have a strategy?
Obviously, your website could be well optimized and your content can be published, but do you have a strategy? A good plan is a key element that every promotional online activity should be based on. It’s often the missing piece that not only differentiates big companies from small ones, but also SEO wannabes from professional online marketers. As long as you want to drive new traffic and money from your SEO, you should work to professionalize every aspect of your activities.
Ask yourself a question - do you have a strategy? Think again and ask yourself if:
- Can you tell what goals you want to achieve with your SEO strategy?
- Can you put your SEO efforts in a timeframe, as well as your goals you want to achieve?
- Does your content consistent with your business?
- Does your content is corresponding with you keywords?
- Do you publish your content on a regular basis?
SEO is a process where technical, analytical and marketing skills are required. Needless to say, it could be quite complicated too. As a mix of promotional activities on the Internet, you can look at it as a campaign. And if it’s a campaign, it needs careful planning before execution.
Strategy is crucial in every aspect. It gives you a vision of where you’re going. It also gives you control over your SEO and in the big picture. It tells you what elements of your plan are working and which need to be changed. Last but not least - a planned campaign gives you an advantage over your competitors.
The questions mentioned above are just example, but could be basic ones to answer, in order to plan an effective SEO strategy.
2. Do you know your competition?
Probably you can tell right away who your competitors are, what their product is and what the difference is between you and them. But, can you tell where you stand with your competitors in the online world, especially having a SEO in mind?
Speaking of competitors analysis, this is another important aspect, which you have to bare in mind. Let’s be honest - you’re not the only fish in the sea. Even if you have a great SEO strategy, your efforts will always be limited by how well your competition is doing. A good competitor analysis will highlight your strong and weak sides of your online activities, help you prepare a better a new and better client acquisition tactic. Where to start?
List your competitors
It’s important to know whom you’re competing with. Make a list of your competitors. Thanks to that you will be able to spot with what companies you’re competing directly for bigger shares in the market, and which are out of your league (for now).
Track your competitors’ moves
You should always monitor your competitors’ actions. Do the research on how your competitors gain new clients online. Take advantage of the fields they’re not using, and compete with them directly on fields you think you can provide their clients a better offer.
Try to read reviews of your competitors’ product or services. Pick up major issues and write an article about how this problem can be solved (or even better, how you can help them solve it). Thanks to that, you will create new, valuable content, that could help you build advantage and attract new customers.
List keywords your competitors use in order to attract inbound traffic
Do you know which keywords your competitors use to rank in search engines? Visit their webpage and look at what keywords they are using on their site. You could also try to sneak under their homepage and see what meta tags they’re using on their website, (you can do this easily by right-clicking on their homepage and choosing “view source”). Keyword research is essential in order to achieve high website positions. Because of this, you’ll have a wider view about keywords. Now, you will be able to:
- evaluate your overall SEO strategy
- find keywords you can directly compete with your competitors in
- update your SEO (as well as PPC) keywords list with new phrases and their variations
3. Do you track your results?
Tracking and analyzing is crucial. How will you know what to do, if you don’t know what you did? In order to improve you should track your progress to see, if you’ve made the right decisions.
Making annotations is very helpful. None of us has a perfect memory and it’s easy to get lost, especially in the multidimensional process that Search Engine Optimization is. This will help you avoid the situation, when you’re managing many activities and in the end you don’t know, which one of them is a traffic goldmine. Make annotations every time you’re pulling up a new idea, no matter what kind of content you publish, or where you do it.
Analyze your SEO performance
As stated before, SEO is a process where analytical skills are required. If you want to be successful, instead of guessing, start analyzing your historical data and make estimations.
Pick some of your keyword groups and analyze their previous performance. Look at your keywords and observe how inbound traffic changed in relation to position in search engines. Pick the best of your keywords (the ones that drive you the biggest volume of traffic and conversions) and try to focus on improving them. Analyze if you have gained larger amount of inbound traffic.
You could analyze the content you’ve been publishing lately. Try to spot what kind of information was the most popular among your visitors and try to expand on the topic, or focus on another one, if you see no improvement within the time frame.
There are many aspects of SEO that you can use to improve and boost your revenue. Remember - the changes could be unnoticeable at first, but if they’re made smartly, they impact your results immensely.
3. Evaluate your SEO Strategy
It could happen that your strategy isn’t working the way you expected it to. Strategy shouldn’t be solid. The Internet is a very dynamic place and should be your strategy. Ask yourself some questions:
- Did you make the correct estimations?
- Did you pick the right keywords?
- Do you analyze your content’s impact on your website rank?
- Do you know what mistakes you’ve made?
- Do you know what opportunities you have missed?
There’s no point in executing strategy if the results are not responding with the estimations. Rethink, or upgrade your SEO strategy if necessary.
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