Every year, self-proclaimed digital marketing “experts” claim that SEO is dead or that it simply isn’t what it once was. This is how they often justify their declining results and dwindling numbers. But the truth is, SEO is very much alive, they’re just not doing it right.
SEO is changed, that much is also true. While there was a time when focusing solely on keywords would bring the desired results, nowadays so many factors come into play when determining how a website ranks that focusing on just one strategy will never bring the results you need.
One more thing that is very different from back when SEO was starting is that a lot of business owners understand the basic concepts of how SEO works and what they need to do to improve their results. Still, with a lot of false information and outdated tutorials online, they often make the same mistakes such as focusing on keywords that are hard to rank, creating content only for that specific set of keywords and always face results which are less than what they expected.
What Does An SEO Strategy Entail?
SEO today relies a lot on how you organize the content on the website. This helps Google and other search engines map your website better so they can offer their users what they need based on their intent.
This is why many companies aim to organize their websites according to topics, instead of focusing on the keywords. By shifting your focus to topics you can easily rank for many long-tail keywords and get significantly better results.
In this article, we are going to go through the fundamentals of creating and organizing your SEO strategy in 2019.
Create a List of Topics
Keywords are an important part of the SEO strategy, but they are not the main one anymore. Instead of focusing on the keywords, focus on the topics you are going to cover throughout 2019.
Start by choosing ten words or short phrases that you commonly associate with your services or product. With the help of the Google’s Keyword Tool find out how frequently these words are searched for and create variations of the ones with the highest search volume.
Now, these keywords are going to help you come up with the topic but don’t dedicate your entire articles to ranking for a keyword. Usually, the keywords you want to rank for have a lot of competition if your website is still fresh.
Using the search volume as your indicator, come up with a list of 15 short-tail keywords that appeal to your business the most. Then sort the keywords on this list based on priority and how relevant they are to your business.
These keywords are going to be the foundation of your campaign and will help you determine the long-tail keywords, as we’ll go over in the next step.
Create a Long-Tail Keywords List
This is where you get deeper into SEO. In order to rank your pages for the specific keywords, you will need to use long-tail keywords first. The reason is simple: short-tail keywords are highly competitive and very difficult to rank for. It’s not impossible, but it might take way more time than you are willing to wait.
Long-tail keywords are a different story. Using the list of the keywords you’ve previously identified, come up with 10 to 15 long-tail keywords for each short-tail keyword.
For example, ranking this very blog for SEO would be nearly impossible. This topic is very popular and the chances you’d see this blog first based on that acronym alone are far-fetched.
Furthermore, this might also harm all our other content if we aimed to rank all our articles for SEO. That is why you need to assign the right long-tail keyword for each topic, as they are the building blocks of your SEO strategy.
The best way to come up with the ideas for your articles is to use subtopics for every topic you’ve noted in the first step of you SEO strategy. These could be articles that explain in-depth concepts related to the overarching topic you will cover. Use a keyword research tool to analyze these subtopics and find long-tail keywords to rank for.
Every topic you’ve previously identified should have at least 10 subtopics. The more in-depth and specific your content is, the more likely it is that your audience will come across your article. This is exactly the principle behind how Google ranks websites based on value.
Start a Blog
Writing a blog has long been the best way to rank your website for the specific keywords you’ve selected as well as connect with your audience and convert them into clients. Apart from that, every new blog is a new web page that might get your website ranked.
That is why you need to start writing a blog, if you already haven’t. This is where you’ll get to cover those subtopics we previously touched upon. Writing the articles is pretty straightforward, but there are some things to consider:
Don’t use the long-tail keyword you’re trying to rank for more than three times in the article. The truth is that Google doesn’t pay too much attention to exact keyword matches these days, so too many repetitions may be misinterpreted as keyword stuffing.
Link all the connected subtopics to a single page using tags or anchors that link to content pages you’ve created for your subtopics. Do the same in the opposite direction too, link to the subtopic page from the umbrella page.
This way, you’re helping Google recognize the connection between the topics and long-tail keywords you’re trying to rank for.
Keep the Blog Posts Regular
You don’t have to put every blog you write in a category. It’s also important to write blogs about related topics that your audience is interested in so Google recognizes your website as an authoritative one. This will also signal Google to keep an eye out for any content you publish, making it easier to rank.
That said, make sure to publish a new article at least once a week. One common mistake most marketers make is writing these article for search engines and not the audience. If the audience finds these articles useful, you won’t have to worry about getting recognition from Google as well.
Work On Link Building
We’ve spent enough time on your website efforts – now it’s time to think beyond that. Link building is the key to off-site SEO and contributes a great deal to how your website ranks.
This is the process of getting links to your website from authoritative websites throughout the web. The more authority the website has, the more of it rubs off your website and affects your website’s ranking.
Some of the most common ways of acquiring new links include reaching out to similar blogs/websites and exchanging a link for a link, writing a post and offering it to other websites if they agree to link to your website as the source and more.