What are the three main SEO strategies
The SEO strategy as the basis for successful search engine optimization
Time and again we find out in new SEO projects that search engine optimization was previously not linked to a strategy or clear goals. Individual optimization measures were carried out in isolation and not coordinated with one another. But only those who know where they want to go and pursue this goal with a consistent strategy can get there.
I would like to show you why an SEO strategy is so important for us in the agency, which components are taken into account and how companies can independently develop a strategy.
Table of Contents
SEO strategy - what is it actually?
Search engines are the number 1 contact point on the Internet. In order for your products and services to be found on the World Wide Web and to position your brand correctly, you should see SEO as an important part of your online marketing strategy. You don't get good rankings overnight. Many factors play a role and only those who correctly coordinate the individual components will be successful in the long term.
An SEO strategy will help you with this. For us, it is the planning of measures and the approach to achieve defined SEO or website goals.
Possible goals or partial goals are for example
- Positioning with relevant search terms
- Increase in organic traffic
- Increase in conversions
- International placement
- Local findability
There are 3 phases in developing an SEO strategy: The analysis, the evaluation and the planning of measures.
Phase 1: SEO analysis
Before we start planning the SEO measures, we subject every website to an SEO audit. With its help, we identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks of the website. At the same time, it serves to determine the digital positioning of the company and its competition and environment. The analysis is the basis for all further steps. They allow us to recognize where the problems of a website are and how we can fix them. The project can only be tackled efficiently when we have all the relevant data together.
In order to be able to assess the project correctly, we first ask the customer about a few points. This includes:
- Which target group should the website address?
- Would you like a regional or international presence?
- Which topics and keywords are particularly important?
- Which products are in focus?
- Which industry should be occupied?
- Which competitors (online & offline) are there?
This shows us a rough direction in which the project should go. In the evaluation phase, we check whether the information later turns out to be correct or, for example, there are completely different competitors on the online market.
For the analysis we use various tools such as the Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, Sistrix, SEMRush, Searchmetrics, Ahrefs and Google Analytics (or the web analysis tool that the customer is currently using, e.g. AT Internet, Webtrekk, etracker or Piwik ). These tools provide us with the following data, among other things:
- Visibility (desktop and mobile)
- Keywords and rankings
- Indexed Pages
- Technical website structure
- Existing content
SEO strategy - components analysis / audit
It is now important to evaluate these correctly, because the mere collection of data does not get us any further. Usually we are referring to Google. If desired, other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, Yandex or Baidu can also be taken into account.
Phase 2: Assessment
Once all the data have been determined, the assessment follows: what is already going well, what is not going well and where is there an urgent need for action? In the evaluation phase, we bring the analysis data and the previously named goals together.
1. Goal definition
What are the "real goals"? What should be achieved in the course of the optimization? From our point of view - and also from the point of view of Google - goals do not consist in being in position 1 with a predefined keyword set. This may seem sensible in the short term, but in the long term it is not thought far enough. Goals can include generating more relevant traffic, leads or conversions. Top placements and high visibility are sub-goals.
How does the website compare to the competition? Which other providers are found for relevant keywords? It is important that not only the classic competitors are taken into account, but above all who ranks in the top positions on Google. The online and offline market are sometimes very different from one another. Many companies are not even aware of who is competing with them on Google.
3. Onpage factors
From the analysis phase we can deduce which technical and structural problems the website has. The next step is to identify the factors that negatively affect the visibility of the website. Can all content be read, interpreted, and indexed correctly by Google? For example, is structured data properly labeled?
We differentiate between tasks with relatively little effort, which show results quickly, and tasks that cannot be solved overnight, but lead to success in the long term. The first category includes, for example, the optimization of meta-snippets. On the other hand, a restructuring of the navigation is more complex.
Which content is relevant and has potential? And what search terms do users use to search for it? With the help of topic and keyword analyzes, we identify relevant topics that match the offers on the website. We also take a look at who is already ranking for the relevant keywords and whether a placement in this environment is realistic.
By comparing it with existing content and rankings, we determine which topics are already well represented, which still need to be optimized and where content is missing. A content audit is also helpful. This not only provides an inventory of all website content, but also an assessment based on the traffic. A content strategy can then be developed on this basis.
From the analysis we know how many backlinks a website has, where they come from and where they lead. Compared to the competition, we determine whether a link strategy is necessary to build new links and possibly also to remove old links.
According to Google, over half of all search queries are made via mobile devices such as smartphones. In addition, in March 2018, Google started using the mobile version of websites to evaluate websites. In many cases, Google only crawls websites with the mobile bot. It is therefore important that a website can also be correctly displayed and operated on smartphones.
We look at whether there is a mobile version of the website, whether it is technically implemented correctly and also optimized for mobile devices. The structure and structure of a website often differ for mobile devices and desktop. It must be ensured that the mobile version can also be crawled correctly and that subpages are correctly linked. Responsive design alone is not enough here.
Another important point is the page load time of a website. If users have to wait a long time for URLs to be loaded, this leads to a poor user experience. With every additional second that passes, the likelihood that the user will jump back to the search results and visit another website increases. When surfing on the go with your smartphone, the quality of the Internet connections is often poor and slow websites cause additional frustration. Google has long recognized this and declared page load time to be the official ranking factor for mobile search results in July 2018.
Reason enough to check whether the website can keep up with the competition in terms of performance and where there are still opportunities to improve page loading times.
8. Web analysis
With the help of web analysis tools such as Google Analytics, we can gain an even deeper insight into the quality of the website and its content. How much traffic is the website currently receiving? How does the traffic from the organic search relate to the accesses from the remaining channels? How much traffic comes, for example, from direct access or social media? What can be said about the bounce rate? How do desktop users behave compared to mobile users?
Based on the data analysis and evaluation, we can assess and determine how far the website is from the desired goals and how the page should be optimized.
9. Website-dependent special cases
Depending on the website type, there are other points that need to be checked and evaluated. Special cases are, for example, the following:
Phase 3: Planning of measures
After we have worked closely with the customer to determine where the website is, what is good and what is bad, we work together to clarify where our measures should start. So it is a matter of planning the specific measures and drawing up a project plan.
- Which measures serve to achieve the chosen goals?
- What are the main focuses, what is prioritized?
- Which points do we tackle when?
We define the individual sub-steps in the project plan. This also includes coordinating the timing and clarifying responsibilities. Which tasks can we take on on our own, where do we need customer feedback and in which areas do we depend on IT support?
SEO strategy for the ages?
Now one could assume that the developed SEO strategy and the associated measures can be easily processed. But since the Google Panda and Penguin updates at the latest, it has been shown that Google likes to thwart our plans and that certain measures can no longer fulfill their purpose or become superfluous through corresponding updates. Measures then suddenly have to be prioritized completely differently.
And the search behavior of users is also changing. The increased use of smartphones means that more and more search queries are being made on the go. Content therefore has to meet completely different requirements than it did a few years ago. Voice search is also changing the way content needs to be optimized.
Regular questioning of the measures and a review of their success are therefore very important. If a measure does not achieve the desired effect, you have to be flexible enough to be able to reverse or change it. Regular quality control is therefore part of a good SEO strategy for us.
Tip: If you decide on an SEO agency, you should make sure that there is a well thought-out strategy behind the SEO measures. Checks the following aspects: Have goals been defined? Are there clear key figures that should be achieved? Where are you going?
The SEO strategy in the marketing mix
What strikes us again and again with SEO projects is that the SEO activities and measures, and thus also the strategy, are seen as detached from other marketing processes in the company. For success in Google and other search engines, it is very important that all marketing measures are coordinated with one another, such as product launches, advertising measures (also in the offline area) or mailings.
The company's presence on the Internet and its orientation there should reflect the way it presents itself to its customers. This also includes all marketing measures. Coordination with marketing, IT and management is therefore very important to us.
SEO and the importance of Google have long since reached companies. As SEO consultants, we no longer have to explain the importance of search engine optimization in marketing. Rather, it is about taking the right measures to get better rankings and more relevant users to the website. With our SEO strategy we try to achieve continuous optimization that promises long-term success. It is important for this
- continuously analyze and evaluate a website,
- To question measures,
- to observe current developments in the search engine market
- and still retain the flexibility to react promptly to important trends.
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