Many people who start to promote their sites have heard about SEO or even have an approximate idea. However, basic knowledge is not enough. Frequently, projects fail because a small business owner does not have an SEO promotion strategy. The budget is allocated only for 1–2 tools, which are used chaotically and without any logic. Of course, they don’t get impressive results in a short period of time, the budget is wasted, and the business owner is frustrated.
To achieve real success, SEO must be approached patiently and holistically. Marketers should have a thought-out strategy and a step-by-step plan of action. Let’s find out how to compose an effective SEO promotion strategy in six quick steps.
Image source: Clutch.co.
Promotion without clear goals spells failure. If an SEO specialist starts an SEO promotion, it’s imperative to decide on expected results. SEO tools, promotion methods, and of course, the budget depend on the goals set.
Let’s see what can be considered goals in terms of search engine optimization.
- Sales growth. This goal is vital for commercial sites. These sites need conversion and return on investment (ROI). Key parameters for them are more orders, significantly more average spending, and higher margins.
- Higher ranking in the SERP for key queries. This goal can be relevant for both commercial and informational sites.
- Grow incoming traffic. Such goals are set for informational and entertainment sites, magazines, and blogs. In addition, the rise in the number of visitor traffic is also important for companies that do not yet understand their audience, which will be converted into buyers.
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Six steps to successful website promotion
Once an SEO specialist sets the promotion goals, it is the right time to develop an SEO strategy that really pays off. An SEO strategy is an extensive set of actions to achieve the company’s main SEO goals (high search positions, organic traffic, and bringing in a target audience from search queries).
When an SEO strategy is needed:
- The site aims to make an impact in its niche aggressively.
- Overly competitive markets where every aspect of promotion needs to execute perfectly.
- When the site grows fast and all work on the site cannot be maintained.
When you don’t need an SEO strategy:
- You optimize a small local site and compete only with the same small companies. In this case, a general strategy will be enough.
- Limited budget and other factors where a site needs to economize.
- You use black hat SEO methods and work only on a high number of external links.
A website promotion strategy is needed to identify and streamline SEO processes to achieve the necessary results and goals ultimately.
So, what goes into an SEO strategy? Niche analysis, competitor research, collecting the semantic core, tech website audit, content strategy, and selection of the most suitable methods to attract the target audience (external promotion).
Consider these six steps that, with the right approach, can bring exceptional results.
Step 1. Niche analysis
Any strategy requires a preliminary analysis of the niche. First of all, even before starting a business and thinking about its promotion, entrepreneurs need to find out exactly what the target audience is interested in. For example, the query “buy a new car” in the US is typed in Google by 6,600 people a month.
The best solution is to identify the struggles and needs of these people and to offer them effective solutions. The target audience is significant for any business. If the marketer promotes a product to people who are not interested in it, sales and conversions will be low. The website’s most valuable feature is being a marketing tool. For it to be profitable, marketers need to know who to offer their goods or services.
Step 2. Competitor analysis
Next, analyze competitors in the market. How do they attract customers? What traffic do they have per month? What marketing channels do they use to attract users? This information will help to choose the right direction for the site’s development strategy and tactical plan.
However, before comparing the site with competitors, the business owner first needs to decide who exactly is a real competitor. Suppose the entrepreneur starts selling clothes, competing with big brands makes no sense. It is more reasonable to define the “weight class” and analyze companies comparable to the business.
To spy on other companies, marketers usually use different services. It has a Competitive Research tool that analyzes what keywords they are ranked for, how much traffic they get, the cost of paid advertising in their niche, domain, and keyword performance over time thanks to historical data since February 2020. Plus, an SEO specialist can see the other competitors in their specialty based on the metrics. So, there’s lots and lots of data to analyze.
Step 3. Formation of the semantic core
Promotion always starts with semantics. However, marketers need to collect queries correctly. The main goal of SEO is to show potential visitors that the site has relevant information and is at the top of the search results, so they don’t need to click anywhere else.
When collecting keywords, remember that they are divided into informational and commercial requests. In addition, frequency takes the leadership. Let’s have a look at the types of keyword frequency:
- High-frequency queries. These are queries that are trendy and high-converting which automatically makes them more competitive compared to others. Such queries are primarily used for internal SEO optimization and competition with other market giants.
- Medium-frequency requests. They allow growing the target audience gradually. Such queries are also used for internal optimization, writing quality content, and placing external links on authoritative resources (in this case, such keywords are used as anchors).
- Low-frequency queries. These are keywords that are very unilateral and are not popular among users. Still, if it is a small business that works in a specific niche, they can serve it well and bring the website to the top of search results in certain circumstances.
When forming the semantic core, the SEO specialist collects keywords of all frequencies, then divides and uses them for different purposes (on specific pages, in articles, for guest posts, etc.).
Step 4. Technically ready website
To promote the site, entrepreneurs must ensure the technical integrity of the site. Promotion of a technically unprepared platform not only makes no sense but can even harm the business. Clients should not be given a negative experience because they can leave the site at once and never return, even if all the problems are fixed eventually.
There’re primary website technical requirements:
- Fast site loading;
- No malicious scripts;
- Correctly display content in all browsers;
- Responsive design;
- No hidden, invisible content.
When the SEO specialist opens the site for indexing, it must be technically ready and meet the search engine requirements. Further, experts only improve the website and bring it in line with Google’s core updates.
Step 5. Content
Content is inseparable from SEO. There is no way you get high rankings with low-quality, unauthorized, and plagiarized pieces of content. It covers all the information on the site: articles and product descriptions, photographs and images, videos, etc.
Quality content is a key aspect of promoting any website. Videos with expert commentary, pictures with step-by-step instructions, articles with detailed reviews or practical tips, etc., can be considered quality content.
For crawlers, both keywords and behavioral factors are important. Bots track how users behave on a site. If visitors spend a lot of time on the site (and quality content can help SEO specialists with that), this means that the site is useful for users and can be ranked higher. In many niches, if users click on the site but leave in a few seconds because of poor or irrelevant content, it’s an indication the site is not resourceful. But if they have found what they needed and didn’t continue their search, everything is fine. Anyway, it’s all very individual, but on average, a bounce rate over 70% is considered disastrous.
Image source: Cxl.com.
Content should always be created with the semantic core in mind. Use keywords in the text body, titles, and descriptions — these are the basic requirements needed to promote any website.
Step 6. External promotion
External promotion is the strengthening of the site’s position through links from other, authoritative resources. A good backlink profile is an important signal for the search engine that your site has enough authority and expertise to get a reference as a trusted or primary source of information. As a rule, links are left in useful articles. The task for the link builder is to find resources that will accept articles linking to the website as a trusted source. The more platforms the link builder finds, the better. The article must compliment the topic of where it is posted.
The most important point in external promotion is regularity. SEO experts don’t buy links once and hope that they will keep bringing traffic all the time. The link mass needs to be constantly increased.
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So, there is a brief introduction to building an effective promotion strategy. It is much more behind every step that requires a lot of time, effort, and investment. Small businesses always need a specific, clear, and step-by-step plan to step into the niche and get a competitive advantage. They also have to remember that SEO promotion is a long process that can give results in 3–6 months or a year. Therefore, it is better to foresee “milestones” in advance — the expected results for a particular period. At last, keeping an eye on the analytics and adjusting the strategy is a must. It includes the peculiarities of the chosen niche, target audience, and behavior on the website.
This article is written by Alina Tytarenko. Alina is part of the marketing team at SE Ranking. She shares her experience in marketing techniques, link building, content marketing, and SEO with readers. You can reach out to her on LinkedIn.