Starting with the SEO Strategy

Starting the search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is an important first step to get improved rankings in search engines and growing your business online.

SEO Strategy Guide

Are you looking for a better approach to SEO?

With this guide to SEO Strategy, we hope to help you navigate the ever-changing conditions in the Search Market and provide you insight for how to conceptualize and implement a strategy that is right for your business.

Within this guide, you’ll learn:

  • The difference between a Local SEO and a National SEO strategy
  • The recommended types of SEO Strategies to consider (eg. First Page Domination, First Page Rankings, Overall Optimization) for your business
  • High-level Overview of Strategy for eCommerce Business, and Local Busines
  • Understanding the main elements of SEO
  • Considering your resources and putting together an actionable strategy for your organization
  • Preparing for search marketing campaign rollouts

By working through this guide, you will learn the philosophies and thought-processes for developing a robust strategy to help you rank high in search engines throughout the next decade.

SEO Strategy Overview

Why do you want to get more customers from search engines?

Once your SEO strategy is set, you are in a better position to actually reach your goals.  When you’re going to rollout a search engine optimization program, you need to have developed a strategy beforehand to follow.

Organizations develop SEO Strategies for different reasons.

Digital Marketing Strategy Match to Right Type

When you’re considering a SEO Strategy to implement, you need to know there are a multitude of different types of strategies that fall into a just a few different categories.  In gist, we’ll examine the top two most popular SEO Strategies:

  1. Local SEO
  2. National SEO

With these being the most popular SEO Strategies out there, your business will likely benefit by focusing on one over the other strategy.  Which one is right for you?

The Differences in Digital Strategy

There are key differences between the search optimization strategies.  For companies serving local-based customers (eg. Kansas City residents), a Local SEO approach is the best SEO framework for you.

For eCommerce stores or other companies aiming for a launch nationally, a National SEO campaign is right for you.

Local SEO campaigns have requirements that National SEO campaigns don’t require.  For example, here are the considerations for optimizing your site for suspected ranking factors in mind:

  • Submitting your local-based business to business listing services (eg Yelp, Google My Business Listing, etc).
  • Verifying your local business listing with GoogleMyBusiness
  • Getting local citations on industry-relevant websites (differs per industry)
  • …and more!

With National SEO Campaigns, you do not have to have a local presence, and you do have more options to consider.  For example, an eCommerce site might be aiming at brand name clothing keywords to aim for and improve product pages.  With optimized product pages, no-name eCommerce stores can start to rank fast for brand-related keywords, and attract web traffic from search engine traffic.

Importance of SEO Strategy and Digital Marketing

Optimization and marketing fit in the mix.  The question is: how?

Determining the direction for your strategy is crucial.  This quick guide can help you check off

Local SEO Strategy

Local based companies might develop a SEO strategy so that it can improve their business’ position so that the business shows up higher on Maps when people search on their mobile phones.

Regional and National SEO Strategy

National brands, such as eCommerce stores, might target a certain location using SEO or search engine marketing (SEM) to convert search engine users into customers.

There are still other use-cases for developing SEO Strategies.

Difference in Reasoning for Starting a SEO Strategy

For example, we have a local client that provides balloon services for local parties and gatherings.  His business uses a Local SEO Strategy.  Sometimes, you can see him in Westport on a weekend night, and other times you might find him making dog balloons for kids at some kind of local event.

Since he’s a performing artist and goes to where the action is, he doesn’t have the same type of Local SEO Strategy that a brick-and-mortar local business would have.

For example, a local business with a brick-and-mortar store would likely want to show up higher in the Maps section when people are using search engines on their mobile devices.  For this client, a different SEO Strategy  was needed for his local service.

Importance of Developing Strategy Before Launching Your SEO Program

For your business to succeed, you likely need customers.  SEO helps you attract more prospective customers to your site so that your website can convert them to become your customers.

According to recent data about business failure rates, approximately 20% of new business ventures fail within the first year.  Don’t let this be you.  To succeed online, you need a solid strategy as a roadmap to get you to where you want to be.

To develop a solid strategy for marketing online, you’ve got to know where you’re aiming your business in search engines.  By positioning your website to rank high for buyer-intent keywords, you can position your entire web presence in order to help you achieve those goals.

Once you rollout your SEO Marketing Campaign, you’re going to be implementing tactics towards reaching a certain goal within your SEO Strategy.

So when you’re aligned with your marketing tactics, the result has a compounding effect as your marketing efforts compounded during those months of marketing efforts.  If you switch-up your strategy in the middle, you might learn that you lost a lot of time and effort towards the wrong goal.

Popular SEO Strategies That Help You Reach Your Goals

Depending on what the goal is of your business online, you will have different SEO strategies apply to different goals.

For example, if you’re not sure how to approach the search market, it’s best to have First Page Domination.

First Page Domination Strategy

First Page Domination is a term used in the SEO Communities to describe the effect when an entire first page (or the vast majority) of search results (in search engines) is owned by the marketer.

When the First Page Domination Strategy is executed, essentially, any search result the user selects within search results will attract the prospective customer to a web property that you own, in which, you can develop methods to convert these prospective customers into paying customers for your business.

Whether it’s search results for individual webpages from the same website ranking for the search term or a variety of local listing sites (eg on Yelp, etc), there are benefits when the majority of the top 10 results are search results for your business!

Though, First Page Domination doesn’t work any every market, you’d be surprised at how many opportunities there are out there to dominate the first page rankings.

First Page Ranking Strategy

For many small businesses, simply being visible in front of buyers would help a lot.  To be visible, according to statistics, you must be on the first page of search results.

A strategy which would help a small business seeking first page rankings would be to optimize certain webpages for certain keywords.  By implementing some basic SEO tactics, you can see benefits in your rankings.

In addition, you might also consider Off Page SEO strategies in help improve the rankings in search engines.

Overall Improvement Strategy

For other organizations, just by providing an overall improvement to the search rankings would be the goal for a strategy.

Companies that have been around for a while are likely ranking for keywords in search engines, though, since they’ve always done alright “getting business online”, they might not know of some ways to improve their existing sites, with little upfront risk, and lot’s of potential gains in search results!

For example, an eCommerce store owner is ranking for a lot of products in search engines, which gives him business.  Though he was ranking for a lot of keywords, none of the keywords working ranking on the first page of search results– so there were a lot of “right-there” opportunities from the start.  By systematically targeting each search term, we develop an optimization strategy which would improve the rankings for all the product pages on eCommerce store.

Within a matter of months, the eCommerce client was ranking on the first page for all his products, and he was earning a lot more business from his search marketing efforts!

A Strategy That’s Automated

For a client reselling sneakers, we were tasked with developing a SEO Strategy targeted for social search results on a popular social network.

One of the requirements for this strategy was that a minimum throughput of product offerings were to be found in search results each day, with the monitoring and reporting being based on actual sales.  Clicks were also measured.

line graph of earnings and clicks from SEO Strategy

When we first starting working together, the “Clicks” and “Earnings” were originally at 0, with no signs of life.  The report above is from the past year– a couple years after our engagement began.  Back then, we were strategizing the system, and weren’t sure exactly what to do in order to meet the requirements for this SEO Project.  Below is a look at how this strategy began, though…

line graph from earnings and clicks with the SEO Strategy for social search

In the beginning, we were measuring our marketing efforts so we were able to get some really good insights.

Since 2016, this particular client has been benefiting from the SEO Solution we brought to the table.  This was for a client in eCommerce, though.  An example for a SEO Strategy for a local business in Kansas City is coming up, too.

A Strategy That’s Local

SEO works well for local-based businesses.  Whether you have a storefront or you go-to customer’s locations, by ranking high in search engines, you’re likely going to see increases in customer calls.  That’s what local SEO is all about– positioning yourself higher in search results so that you can earn more business!

Local Massage Therapist Aims to Search Marketing

Search Performance Results from Google Search Console

According to Search Console, the new site is ranking for 129 search terms, and web traffic is steady. The website is positioned to aim for high-competition search terms which benefit the client when that type of web traffic goes to her website. Keep in mind, this website wasn’t even indexed by search engines when we first started working with her.

When the feds shut down Backpage.com, the listings category for “Massage” on Craigslist was also removed quickly.  This all happened without warning, and though, the reasonings were acceptable for most people in America, legit businesses that relied almost exclusively on web traffic from those listings services were devastated.

The source of business that was tested, tried-true, and relied upon for several of years, disappeared overnight without warning.  What would you do if you were a 22 year old woman from China, and you were forced with this reality soon after you opened up your therapeutic massage therapy center?

This happened for a young woman in the Kansas City area.  After receiving her therapy license, setting up her business, and paying for a 5-year lease to welcome people into her shop, her number one source of customers vanished from the Earth over night.

We worked with her in order to help her get phone calls, and get them now with the use of Search Marketing.

See, just because people could no longer find massage services on those listing sites didn’t mean that there wasn’t a market there.  Rather than searching on listing sites, guess where people were going to search for those services?

Search Engine Optimization and Marketing was new to my, then, new client.  In fact, SEO and SEM in the massage industry was impractical and not needed due to the over-reliance of getting customers, and growing a steady business, by using listing services (eg. Craigslist and Backpage).

When we engaged this client, she had a website, but it wasn’t “being used,” according to her.  By looking at the original site, you could see why it wasn’t being used.  Not only did the website not look appealing, though the website was live for more than a month, the website wasn’t indexed in search engines.  Essentially, there wasn’t any help when we took over– we were starting at 0.

SEO results of phone calls from Callrail

With the help of our CallRail report, we were keeping track of the actual calls (along with call recordings) in order to match that progress against the SEO Strategy we developed prior.  With in a short timeframe, we were able to steadily get this client ranking on the first page, and the phone calls skyrocketed!

Before working with us, the client was spending about $350 to $500 on fees for listing services.  Once she spent that money on ads, she either received an ROI or didn’t.

However, with the use of our techniques with SEO, the client is getting residual benefits from the optimization efforts we do each month.  Now, the client can grow her business with search marketing.  The shutdown of listing services didn’t have as much of an impact, after all.

Depending on what type of business you run, you can develop a SEO Strategy so that you can succeed in getting more customers searching for your type of company in search engines.

Take the next steps once you’ve completed the SEO Strategy for your company.  When you’re ready to implement your strategy and actually start seeing results from your efforts, please consider the SEO Service Offers we provide so you don’t have to figure out implementing the strategy yourself.

SEO Strategy for 2019 (and Beyond)

When you’re putting together ideas for your strategy, you will want to think about an approach that will not only be effective for the next year, but we challenge you to think of an SEO approach to last you through the 2020s.

With SEO being a longer play in terms of receiving residual benefits from the efforts put into marketing the site, having a long-term approach can help you think of your SEO Strategy and Execution as a business investment.

The important things to keep in mind when developing your SEO Strategy for 2019 (and beyond), here are some tips to consider:

  • With Google’s RankBrain, artificial intelligence and machine learning will continue to drive innovation with search engine algorithms.  This increases the importance for applying white hat SEO marketing techniques — being that search algorithms will eventually catch on to practically all current loopholes in the search algorithms.
  • The rising adoption of Voice Search (on mobile phones) will continue to provide businesses and marketers with new ideas and inform decision-making when to comes to developing new content for ranking high in search results.
  • More than 90% of search users never go past Page 1 of organic search results.

With these aspects in mind, you can ensure that your SEO Strategy for 2019 is robust enough for the next decade by applying sound SEO principles for marketing your business online.

Strategize for the 2020s

Where do you think the world is headed?

To plan your strategy for SEO, we recommend you think of how this strategy will continually be implemented (and proven effective) about 5 years from now.  Put in a different way, project yourself into the future five years from now, and what do you wish you would’ve started doing now?

There might be a variety of things on your list, both for business and personal reasons, but if SEO wasn’t on your list– why not?

In 10 years from now, what do you predict becomes more important than aiming your marketing efforts towards the Search Market?  If you have an idea, that’s what you might want to consider adding to your strategy.  Allow your future to inform your reality.

Plan for the Long-term

When you’re developing your strategy, go longer with your outlook.  Instead of looking at just the next year, where do you want to be 10 years from now?

With developing your strategy, keep in mind that you want a solid-enough foundation for your SEO so that you’re earning the residual benefits from the marketing efforts once you look back on this in 10 years.

For example, a client does custom ribbon printing and she built-up her entire business using SEO.  She was self-taught originally, but she’s been ranking on the first page for many keywords for many years now.

SEO is how she grew her business, and she’ll tell you that.  We started working with her in order to boost rankings for more high-converting products of hers.  Like it’s being suggested for you, this woman planned for the long-term with SEO, and she’s been growing all along.

Consider Your Resources

Of course, when reality sets-in, you’ll notice that it might not be possible for you to actually do all of those requirements in your strategy by yourself.  Sometimes, a well-trained team performs SEO Strategies exceptionally well.  For business owners that want someone who specializes in SEO, oftentimes that’s when our SEO Services will come into the picture.

Many of the tasks and tactics of SEO can be reduced into their smallest activity; it’s called a work package in project management terminology.

In theory, once you developed the right SEO strategy for your business, you could integrate a system to programmatically perform many of the actions for your strategy.  Depending on the complexity, many of the activities required to reach your goal can be outsourced to vendors overseas, etc.  The tricky part is knowing what activities are best done in-house vs being farmed out.

Aim For The Best SEO Strategy

When you want to rank at the top of search results in search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to aim for the best strategy to get you there.  The best approach is to think about the three main elements of SEO:

  1. Keywords
  2. Content
  3. Links

Your SEO Strategy will involve all three of the items listed, though, the method and techniques differ.

Meet the Rapper with an Identity Crisis

One of our clients approached us about working together on the set of a music video shoot.  He was debating on whether to change his stage name because there was another rapper that shows up for searches for him in search engines.

Instead of changing his name, we could just do some simple search engine optimization.  After all, changing your name after you’ve been featured on albums with big names, now is not the time to lose out on all the buzz and momentum under your name.

For this client, we essentially did a reputation management project, and did a targeted approach for his SEO Strategy.  It’s been working.

Meet the Local User-Generated Content King

Another client of ours has been winning big with their approach to SEO.  This particular client wanted an active blog.  They wanted a blog primarily for getting web traffic from search engines, but also to have something to post on their business social media accounts.   Since the service is so rare, I don’t want to reveal the client’s niche.  Due to that the niche was so rare, and not so popular in the local KC Area, the client needed to be creative with content marketing in order to draw in the right kind of customers for his service.

By using user-generated content, he sparked on the idea that rather than having someone write the content specifically for the blog, he could have other people write the content for him, for free, and he would receive a lot of the benefits with optimization strategy in search engines.  After all, the client was an entrepreneur, and though had interest in his service, he wanted to go about it in a way that would provide a definitive answer as to whether search marketing would actually help his business or not.

With his approach to user-generated content along with his approach to importing new questions in search engines about related topics, this guy is getting a lot more targeted web traffic to his site, and many convert into customers.

When he breaks down the keywords, he’s getting a lot of ideas for questions to ask on social media.  When people answer the questions, he can cite their answer.  He can also use that answer to his question as content for his site.

For creating content to capture that conversation in a different form on his site, he would simply copy-and-paste the embed code for the social media update, and add the code to his webpage.  From there, and by editorializing the response a bit, you have more content to publish.  This type of content can be systemized; some of the system can be automated.  That’s essentially what the client wanted, and that’s what he got.

Understanding the Main Elements of SEO

When you think of SEO, you should consider the main elements, including, keywords, content and links.  By keeping these in mind, you can understand the mechanics for each type of SEO Technique you’re considering.

Links

For example, you can get all the backlinks to your website, though, you might not rank very high in search results.  Search engines need to know what your website is about, trust it enough to show the site in search results, and then compare you with your competitors’ webpages.  Though it might have worked in the past, getting a lot of backlinks to your site is not the key to getting improved search rankings anymore.

The links pointing to your website need to be relevant to your offering, and the links need to be originating from other trusted sources on the web.   In addition, the content surrounding the links also needs to be related to the keywords you’re aiming for in search engines.

Content

The content on your webpages and the content (and context) surrounding your backlinks affects your ranking in search engines.  In addition, so does the formatting and page layout of the content.

For example, adding Header Tags to your website will dramatically help you tailor a SEO campaigns specifically for keywords you want to rank for in search engines.

Your webpages can rank for all types of search terms in search engines.  Though, if none of your webpages converts visitors into customers, what good is all that type of web traffic?  That’s why the content needs to be tailored towards aiming for the right search terms (aka “keywords”).  Your website needs to then focus on converting visitors into your customers.

Keywords

By reviewing the search marketplace, you can get an idea for what types of things people are searching.  When you’re aligned with an SEO Strategy which aims for the right keywords, the right type of content and gain backlinks from relevant websites, you’re in a solid place for building your SEO Campaign.

Keyword Research and understanding how people search online is one of the aspects of SEO which is truly an art and a science.

Procuring the Right Keywords for Your Strategy

Identifying the right keywords requires time and effort.  The effort for collecting, reviewing and assessing the value for certain keywords requires research.  This type of research is called “keyword research”.  Keyword research is needed for attracting the right kind of web visitors to your website.

For keyword research, you are using premium SEO tools in order to find gaps and opportunities in the marketplace.  Keyword research and keyword optimization go hand-in-hand, due to the close nature of related activities.  In order to procure the right keywords for your strategy, you must conduct research and optimization strategies across your web properties.

Putting it Together

When you want a SEO strategy that will support your business for the coming years, you need to think about putting together a cohesive strategy that is executable.  You need to find a team with experience and know-how.  The team is charged with rolling-out the SEO marketing campaigns, while management reviews the objective reports in near real-time.

This is the type of vision our Kansas City based SEO Agency has about growing the business for local companies.

SEO Strategy Rollout

Once you have developed your SEO Strategy, you’re ready to rollout the search marketing campaigns.  When you’re ready to rollout your campaign, we highly-recommend that you setup web analytics to measure the effectiveness of you digital marketing campaigns.  By measuring the effectiveness (and setting this up prior to launch), you’re able to make intelligent business decisions concerning the return on investment (ROI).

Cohesive Strategy to Execute

A cohesive strategy strategy aligns your marketing efforts with your business goals.  In addition, your strategy that is outlined is also executable by a team.  This team can exist either internally to your organization or be a team that exists outside of your organization.

Organizing Knowledgeable Team of Experts

When you’re considering a SEO Strategy for rolling out search marketing campaigns, you need knowledge workers.  The type of people you need ultimately relies upon the level of complexity with your strategy.  In general, you will need the following types of experts:

  • Research and Analysis Pro
  • Content Development Pro
  • SEO Marketing Pro

Though you might get lucky and find a person that does all three, you’ll likely need to source individuals based on certain skill sets and experience in order to join your team.

SEO Campaign Rollout

To measure the effectiveness of your campaign, you should install web analytics within the webpages (for your campaigns) and also setup keyword ranking reports.  There is free web analytics solutions such as Google Analytics that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your strategy (on the website itself).  For keyword ranking reports, we such you work with a search engine optimizer to help you setup reports for how the webpages for your SEO strategy are actually showing in search results (sourced from data via search engines).

We serve the Kansas City Metro with search marketing services.  The more campaigns we run, the more accrued data we collect which informs future local-based campaigns.  Whether you work with someone like us or a different resource, make sure you’re putting the strategy together in an actionable way.

Search Engine Optimization Strategy Offer

Would you like to have someone else do the SEO Strategy portion of your digital marketing plan?  How about experts in search marketing– would that work better for you?

We offer SEO Strategy support, and we’ve helped several clients formulate and implement winning SEO Strategies which are still working well today.  By creating a robust plan in how to position your website to customers in the Search Market, we can implement that strategy, and be getting the results you want in your business.

Ready for a SEO Strategy offer for you?

By clicking on the button, on the next page we can get started with a conversation about your business.

Answers to Your SEO Strategy Questions

What is SEO strategy?

SEO Strategy is all about positioning your webpages in search engines results pages (SERPs).  A sound strategy will help to improve your rankings in search results.  Over time, as you execute search engine optimization in conjunction with your SEO Strategy, you will gradually climb the organic search results in search engines for the keywords relating your business.  Companies take great efforts to improve their SEO strategy so that their businesses are not overly reliant on word-of-mouth nor pay-per-click advertising.

How to set SEO strategy?

A SEO Strategy should be set based on your Marketing Plan which should be aligned with your business goals.  Oftentimes, SEO Strategies start by looking at the competitive marketplace for your market, and then developing ideas based on keyword research.  From that point, placement of content (using those desired keywords within the content) should be enacted, and attracting backlinks from other relevant websites and blogs will help to boost your webpages in search results.  Of course, there is more to it then that, though, by keeping all of the aspects of results-based SEO, you can develop a winning strategy to get more customers online.

How to reverse-engineer your SEO strategy?

You can reverse-engineer a SEO Strategy in a variety of ways.  One of the common ways is to reverse-engineer your competitors.  By learning how your competitors is growing their business online, right-there opportunities become available so that you can quickly implement the techniques that are working.

Unfortunately, you can’t access your competitors’ critical marketing information (without login access to their reports) so savvy optimizers use premium SEO Tools so that the backend of the competitor’s website can be revealed.  Use of the premium SEO tools is an ethical approach in that login access to the competitors’ websites aren’t needed– the premium SEO tools identifies specific information about how the competitors are actually performing in search engines.

You can reverse engineer a SEO Strategy by reviewing critical information about your competitors, such as:

  • Backlinks Profile
  • Number of valuable organic keywords (the website is ranking for)
  • Source and quality of backlinks
  • Backlink Velocity
  • Types of Anchor-text utilized
  • Anchor-text ratios
  • and more!

We review information like this all the time, and this informs practical approaches to allow our clients outrank their competition!

How to implement SEO strategy?

Very carefully.  Implementing your SEO Strategy involves executing the actual processes you’ve built into your search marketing system plan.  Oftentimes, if the keyword research hasn’t been completed, keyword research and optimization is one of the first steps.  From there, depending on how you are placing your keywords on websites, you might need to procure the right type of content to serve User Intent of the visitors from search engines.

After content is placed, you will need to implement your marketing for the new SEO improvements.  For example, if you’ve developed an infographic as a work package with your current SEO project, in marketing the infographic, you will need to determine how you planned to promote that digital asset across the web.  Link building is commonly referred to in the off page SEO marketing implementation.

What is the most overrated SEO strategy?

The most overrated SEO Strategy today is “Guest posting”.  If you’ve been in the game for a while, you have likely heard of the term, and it’s commonly requested for securing relevant backlinks for a website.  The problem with guest posting is that it’s such an involving process, and it’s difficult to systemize.

Guest posting requires reaching out to webmasters of other blogs, and enticing them to post your blog content (on their site).  There are so many different companies– many overseas– that do this technique that it’s hard to stand-out from the spammers.  Also, some of the webmasters change their mind, and want to charge you to publish your blog post.  By nature, that guest post opportunity instantly turns into a “Sponsored Post” (paying for content) which is explicitly against Google’s Guidelines — by paying for the post you could get penalized by search engines.