What to tackle first if your SEO strategy is non-existent
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO or organic search) is so well-established that it’s surprising when we get a client who doesn’t do it. On the other hand, this happens quite often. Maybe your strategy has been Paid Media focused, or perhaps you’ve been let down by your website design agency.
It’s not too late to start. Here’s insight into proven methods that an SEO marketing agency or team would use to give you a lively start and sustainable long term plan.
What to expect
SEO is for the long term – forever, in some shape or form, which is one of the reasons it might seem like a beast you can’t possibly tame. Not true. SEO is capable of achieving quicks wins and long-term improvements through planning that is fuelled by data.
(Another reason people think SEO isn’t worth starting is because their sector is dominated by big brands: “We’ll never get to number 1 because of Amazon”. Honestly, don’t even worry about this – there’s enough traffic for everyone.)
“Quick wins” are fixes and tactics that, by virtue of experience, we know will show an impact. It’s reassuring when you can see things start to improve promptly – for example, your site starts to rank for desirable keywords for the first time.
Sadly, a quick win doesn’t mean your site will shoot from unranked to page one, but you should definitely see upward movement. As well as being, well frankly, quite exciting to see, these quick wins will also start informing the long-term strategy.
Your long-term strategy is exactly what it sounds like – a documented plan designed to improve your website’s performance. Your SEO plan will set out objectives, forecasts, KPIs (measurement of success) and will be able to flex to the uncertainties of marketplace and algorithm changes.
Seize the data
SEO is traditionally data-driven, which means your SEO marketing agency will run a technical audit of your website to see what’s broken, missing or poor quality, like:
- Meta descriptions
- Page titles
They’ll also assess the structure and content of your site to see how it looks to Google and from a user experience perspective, asking questions like:
- Will Google be able to tell your authority in your market?
- Can users easily find what they need?
The quick win here might involve some initial restructuring of your website to a greater or lesser degree. In the long-term, new page designs might be required to get your website working to maximum efficiency.
You might also have opportunities to vastly improve your googlability by incorporating Schema into your site. Schema is the name for structured data, a framework for the way information is presented. It is this framework that Google likes – it doesn’t have to work hard to understand what is on a page.
Work with what you have, for now
From an SEO perspective, there’s always something that can be done to improve a website’s performance – getting more traffic, achieving more conversions, securing more sales and so on.
Sometimes, a website will limit its own optimum performance, either because it’s old, on an unsuitable platform, or it’s been badly designed – and it would take too much time and money to fix it.
When this happens, you will need a new website. Make sure:
- Your SEO marketing agency has done everything it can
- They have the data to back up a web development proposal
- Plans for the new website incorporate SEO
You can force content into a site and increase rankings. You can do technical fixes, refine the navigation and page layouts and the ranking will increase. A new website is the nuclear option. We’d do everything we could before recommending a new build, and the data will back us up.
Where left brain meets right brain
It’s not simply a case of fixing things though. Aforesaid agency will analyse your keyword data and propose a strategy that improves your SERPs rankings.
To get really good organic search results, your plan will need to get creative. For example:
- Optimise existing SEO content to incorporate keywords, like pages, blogs, product descriptions and so on
- Create a content marketing plan that:
- Targets keywords over the next 6-12 months
- Is underpinned by Google’s criteria of expertise, authoritativeness and trust (known as E-A-T)
You didn’t know these would be included in SEO content? You do now!
- Quick wins and long-term sustainable planning work in tandem
- You need both technical SEO and content SEO for maximum effect
- SEO is data-driven but the people who wield it should be creative thinkers
Whether you have an in-house team requiring support or need an SEO partner, we’re happy to talk to you about how SEO could benefit your website. Get in touch and ask us more.
Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash