Do you know how to beat your competitors?
Do you know your key SEO direction?
A well-researched SEO strategy will define this
- Areas of focus – identifying key elements (content/links/speed) for results.
- Expertise – determining the expertise needed and who will do the work.
- Priorities - defining most important items and when they need to be done.
- Quick wins – finding quick wins so you can start enjoying results.
Your roadmap to top search engine rankings
The strategy plan is broken down into four sections:
All strategy plans are bespoke to your priorities, though typically include:
Definition of key performance targets, all involved know what they are working towards.
Many SEO campaigns fail because the people involved do not know clearly the key targets. For example, the client is looking for more phone calls, and the SEO is focussing on certain keyword rankings.
Your plan will include the definition of specific targets, which could include:
- Increased Conversions – targets for how much the meaningful conversions on your website will be increased, such as e-commerce sales, web enquiries, applications, newsletter sign-ups etc.
- Increased Rankings – the definition of key ranking targets rankings increase goals; advice will be given on those keywords that are commercially viable and realistic.
- Increased Traffic – targets for how much organic search traffic will increase; advice will be given on where this traffic should be from, such as meaningful keywords.
- Increased Engagement – targets for increasing visitor time on site, engagement with your content.
Identification of the resources available and those needed to execute the campaign.
SEO campaigns can require a wide range of skills and people to get the required work done. Your plan will acknowledge the resources and skills your business has, and identify who should execute each element of work.
These could be:
- Technical SEO
- Project management
- Client input
This may be available in-house, training may be needed, or external help may need to be employed.
Definition of the actions that need to be done, by whom, and when.
You can greatly speed up the results and effectiveness of SEO if you define the key priorities early on and have the right people executing this work.
Your plan will clearly layout:
- Schedule of works – all the actions that are required.
- A timetable - what are the priorities and what can be done at later stages.
- Responsibilities – who is responsible for undertaking and approving works.
- Quick Wins – key actions that will get fast results and build confidence in the campaign.
This is usually presented in a spreadsheet so data can be easily transferred to a project management system (for example Trello, Monday.com, Basecamp).
Definition of what needs to be monitored and reported, with key review stages.
With the volume of data available to SEO’s, it is easy to make campaigns appear successful when in fact they are not.
Your plan will define
- The key metrics that need to be monitored – for example, certain goal completions, traffic, time on site, etc.
- Regular reviews – how regularly should you review results and work done, the scope of these reviews, and who is involved.
- In-depth reviews – when you should do a more in-depth review, which may involve a mini-site audit, re-looking at competitors, ROI, etc.
There can be a tendency for teams working on campaigns to “pat themselves on the back” at review stages, and be too lenient on themselves. I can help give a more objective view by providing on-going support to the SEO campaign, assisting with these in-depth reviews.
The Right Strategy
How do I know the strategy will be right for your business?
See below the process we will go through together to make sure the strategy plan covers your business needs.
Detailed Strategy Brief
Firstly we will go through a detailed briefing stage
- I ask you to work through a detailed client questionnaire.
- We will have one or more meetings to discuss your business, needs, and requirements in detail.
- I will confirm the information gathered and key priorities to you in writing.
This briefing stage is very important, it helps me to fully understand your priorities, ambitions, and resources available, which will all be reflected in the strategy.
Many clients also find this a useful process helping them sometimes re-define their priorities.
Website and Competitor Audit
Depending on your business, some form of detailed audit will be required, such as
- Keyword targets review
- Competitor research
- Existing website(s) audit
This will help to give critical information on your realistic targets, the strength of your competition, and the work needed to do to surpass them.
Your strategy plan is not possible without an audit.
Strategy Report Review
On completion of your strategy report, we will meet to review all the findings and proposals in detail.
It is important that this document is extremely useful for your business, so if this meeting identifies changes, modifications, or updates, then the report will be updated and re-issued.
Post report SEO support is available to help you keep the campaign on track.
A sustainable approach that favours quality over quantity:
- Effective and Results Driven – owning sites myself I understand the importance of results on the ‘bottom line’.
- Evergreen and Follow SEO Best Practice – with a focus on giving the visitor what they are looking for.
- Promote Long Term Results – to create a way of working that will not need dramatic changes when the search engines make algorithm updates.
- Not Breaking Search Engine Terms of Service – so you are never at risk of a penalty and being excluded from the search results for the work you have done.
As the owner of websites myself, I have learned through experience that tricks and shortcuts are a false economy and do not promote long terms results.
I only recommend a quality over quantity approach that meets best practice and the search engines' terms of service.
Typically 2 to 4 days
As the strategy also includes an SEO audit, reports typically take from 2 to 4 days depending on the size of your website, your goals, and competition.
There is simply no point in writing you a strategy document without doing the full research that goes into an audit - it is this information that forms the basis of the strategy.
Without this you are getting just a generic list which anyone can find on the internet, which will have little value to your business.
There are many areas of SEO that you could focus on, just to list a few below:
- Content: the type of content, and how much, to include on your own website, as well as further afield on the internet; also is there content on your site which is damaging?
- Links: what are the quality and quantity of links that you need, and how should you get them; plus are there any existing backlinks that are damaging?
- Technical: are there any technical elements to your website that are causing problems, or need improving, such as speed, structure, and visibility to the search engines?
- Local: does your website, or certain pages need visibility within local searches?
- Authority: do you operate in a market that expects a certain level of qualification and expertise, and do you need to build the authority of your contributors and website?
- Conversion: do you need to increase the conversions on your site and get more visitors to take the appropriate actions?
- International: does your website serve worldwide markets with more than one language?
I will identify which of these areas are most relevant toyour business and what needs to be focussed on and when.
I can provide strategic assistance for
Local Businesses – Yes
I have specialised in Local SEO for many years, helping businesses that needed to drive more customers to specific locations. This included both local, as well as national, and international businesses with multiple local premises.
National Businesses – Yes
My loan comparison websites are nationally focussed and achieve top rankings, as have many of the clients I have helped both myself, and previously for Artemis Marketing.
International Businesses (English only) – Yes
Many of the clients I have successfully helped myself, and previously for Artemis Marketing have had an international focus.
International (multiple languages) – No
I do not have multi-lingual international SEO experience, so do not offer advice within this area.
Many of the businesses for whom I write SEO audits/strategy reports take the information and save costs by implementing much of the recommendations themselves.
If this seems daunting, I also provide SEO training to help fill any knowledge gaps your business may have.
This will be guided by your market and target keywords.
However, my guiding principle, is that you see what your competitors are doing for your target keywords and to do a better job.
This often just requires a little more research and thought into exactly what searchers are looking for in the results.
Many websites, even large companies, do not take the time to really think about what their website visitors are looking for.
So the content strategy recommended for you will be guided by the principle that your content needs to be more relevant, and better quality than the other results in the search engines.
If you want to be number 1, you need to deserve that spot.