9 Essential Steps In Building A Winning SEO Strategy

Find everything you need to know to build an SEO strategy that will get you found by search engines and increase organic traffic.

Online shopping has taken over the world.

While people still run to the store to pick things up, the allure of buying just about anything from the comfort of your home is unstoppable.

From plumbing fixtures to pizza rolls, if you want it, you can get it delivered with the push of an app – without leaving the house.

And even if your business sells services, rather than products, there’s an incredible chance that the majority of people are shopping for it online.

This means ecommerce should be a focus for every company that’s selling something. And that means you need an increased focus on web traffic.

After all, you could have the best website in the world, with cutting-edge design, optimised for ideal user experiences, and copy that would make David Ogilvy gnash his teeth in envy, but if no one ever sees it, it’s not doing you an ounce of good.

You need to get found. And for obvious reasons, SEO is an essential component of any modern marketing strategy.

You want to appear prominently on search engine results pages (SERPs) so that your target audience may find you naturally.

This is much easier said than done, though. But don't worry; we're here to assist you.

You're at the ideal place if you're a seasoned professional looking to review the fundamentals for a client or a total rookie trying to understand how this whole SEO thing works for your business.

Here, we'll walk you through the process of developing, putting into practise, and optimising an SEO campaign that will quickly send your site climbing the search engine results pages.

What Exactly Is An SEO Plan?

An SEO strategy is your plan to make your website or landing page more appealing to Google and other search engines, as you've probably already worked out.

Ranking better and generating more organic traffic are the objectives here (and hopefully conversions).

Although it appears straightforward, there is a significant catch: search algorithms are always evolving.

Google updates its algorithms multiple times a year in an effort to improve the calibre of its results and give customers better answers to queries.

That means you can't set SEO up once and leave it alone. Iterations are necessary for any search engine optimisation.

To make sure you're utilising the most recent best practises and tactics, you need to frequently review your actions and make course corrections.

That's fortunate for SEO experts since otherwise, we would fast lose our employment.

But it does require some dedication on your part.

You must routinely seek advice from dependable sources if you want to stay current with the newest advances in the area of search (like this one).

Fortunately, there are several sources of high-quality information that you may get into. There is SEO information available for you, regardless of whether you like articles, webinars, or podcasts.

Is SEO Really Necessary?

Some of you contrarians are currently scowling at your screens and questioning whether or not you actually need SEO to find customers.

You don't see much benefit in spending all this time on organic search because someone else handles paid search or affiliate marketing for you. Avoid falling for that trap.

Whether you're a mom-and-pop shop or a multinational mega-corporation, organic search should be a key component of your organization's digital marketing strategy as it accounts for more than half of all website visits.

And it's crucial for direct-to-consumer websites in particular. By offering helpful content, you not only establish trust with your audience but also match your website with their needs, resulting in higher-quality leads.

Even better, since you're not paying for each click, your cost per conversion will be lower.

By ignoring organic search, you're only winning half the battle even if you have the best pay-per-click (PPC) and affiliate marketing campaigns in the world bringing motivated customers to your site on a regular basis.

9 Essential Steps To An Effective SEO Strategy

Even if SEO calls for a thorough plan, you can divide it into numerous doable tasks.

1. Establish KPIs and align SEO with business objectives

You must first understand where you are now, where you want to go, and how you will gauge your progress along the route.

An SEO audit is where you should start.

This road map will direct you through the full optimisation procedure and let you compare your results to your present website.

You must consider a number of factors, such as:

  • Age, background, and domain name, etc.
  • Headlines, keyword and subject targeting, and user interaction are all page variables.
  • Organization of the information, its quality, and the images you use (no one trusts stock photography).
  • Duplicate information
  • Characteristics relating to the structure, schema, markup, and click-through rate of websites (CTR).
  • Improvements to the website's past and future.
  • A site's inbound links' quality.
  • Sitemaps, image optimisation, and robots.txt are examples of on-site considerations.

We have a fantastic series that will walk you through performing this audit step-by-step.

Once you are aware of your beginning point, you can plan your timetable, budget, and resource allocation.

You get what you pay for in this area of life, just like in so many others. If you want anything done quickly and inexpensively, you won't receive the same outcomes as you would by spending more time and money.

Naturally, your budget and schedule will rely on the particular circumstances facing your business, but if you want good outcomes, be willing to pay for them.

Consult this page for a general sense of how much you ought to be spending.

You should also specify your key performance metrics at this stage of the SEO campaign (KPIs).

This can help you determine what's working for you and where changes need to be made when you assess the effectiveness of your new implementations.

The following are some of the KPIs you should monitor:

  • Organic meetings
  • Indexing for keywords improves.
  • Both conversions and leads.
  • Bounce rate, which will gradually be phased out in GA 4, is an internal metric that is entirely dependent on the events you set up on your pages.
  • Per session, pages.
  • Average length of a session.
  • Page loading speed.
  • Leading exit pages.
  • Crawl mistakes.

For more information on what these are and why they’re important, be sure to read this piece on top SEO KPIs.


2. Perform Keyword Research

Search engine rankings are determined by an algorithm that evaluates a variety of factors to decide how well a website answers a particular search query. And a huge part of that is the use of keywords.

From single words to complex phrases, keywords tell search engines what your content is about. But adding keywords isn’t quite as simple as just plugging in the name of the product or service you want to sell.

You need to do research to ensure keyword optimization, and that means considering the following:

Search Intent

The beauty of the English language (and the bane of SEOs) is in its richness.

But words often have multiple meanings, which makes it crucial to consider search intent, so you don’t attract an audience that was searching for something else.

For example, if you’re trying to attract customers to a haberdashery, ranking highly for [bowlers] may attract people who want to roll a few frames instead of those looking for a new hat.

Relevant Keywords

Once you’ve identified your targets, you need to figure out which keywords are important to them.

It’s usually best to target only a few keywords, as targeting too broadly will make it difficult for the search engine to determine what your pages are about.

Keyword Phrases

These are short phrases consisting of two or more words that people type into search engines to find specific content.

For instance, someone looking for dancing lessons may type [tango classes near me] into Google.

Tools for Keyword Research

The brainstorming process is a wonderful location to begin keyword research, but you should use a research tool to make sure you're targeting the proper audience and demonstrating your worth to search engines.

For this, most SEO experts use Google's Keyword Planner, but it may be difficult to use, so you might want to look at other choices.

Long-Tail Search Terms

People use these precise search keywords to locate a perfect match for their question.

They usually last longer and are more frequently utilised by customers who are almost ready to make a purchase.

A good illustration of this would be [vegetarian restaurants in San Antonio], which are typically used by those who are wanting a plant-based meal.

Query Volume

This will provide you with information on the quantity of searches made for a specific keyword within a given time period, giving you a general notion of the term's worth and level of competition.

In November and December, there will be a lot more volume of [Christmas lights] than there will be in July.

Keep in mind that many terms have seasonal variations.

Similar to how [used cars] will face more opposition than [2020 Volkswagen Passant] does.

Entity Keywords

These keywords are aimed at users in different stages of the sales process.

In contrast to individuals who are closer to making a purchase and are comparing prices and brands and are more likely to be tempted by things like discounts or hotel names, people at the top of the funnel are more likely to be intrigued by more general terms like [Cancun holiday].

Keywords are as much about your audience as they are your content.

For a more complete explanation of every phase of keyword research and optimisation, we have a detailed ebook on the issue.

3. Define Your Most Valuable Pages

Every team needs an MVP, and in the case of your website, that’s your most valued pages.

These pages handle the majority of the labor-intensive tasks for you.

These are typically things like your home page, your services pages, or any pages containing demos or other offers on non-ecommerce websites.

These pages, which will also be joined by category and/or product level pages, are also probably the MVPs for e-commerce websites.

You should take into account what your company is recognised for when determining which pages on your website are the most crucial ones.

Which industries do you compete in? What problems do you resolve? Based on the high-level keywords you came up with in the previous stage, define these or add additional.

You can concentrate your strategy on improving these pages and boosting your organic traffic once you've determined which category and product pages receive the most visitors.

Learn more here about identifying your MVPs.

4. Conduct an analysis of the competition

There wouldn't be a need for SEO if there was no competition. However, as long as other businesses are producing refrigerators, Frigidaire needs to find a way to stand apart from the competition.

To position yourself for the best outcomes, you must be aware of what others in your business are doing.

You must identify the areas where you are disadvantaged and devise strategies to gain the upper hand.

You should be aware of the most competitive keywords as well as potential chances.

So that you can optimise your own website for the highest potential search rating, you should have some grasp of the backlinking and site architecture of the competition.

5. Make plans for technical SEO and user experience

Do not undervalue the significance of your site's technical and user interface structure.

If your site is frequently down or so difficult to use that visitors leave in disgust, even the best content and keyword approach won't result in a single sale.

To make sure that visitors are doing the appropriate activities, you need carefully analyse the architecture and user experiences of your website.

Likewise, you must identify and correct any technological problems like broken links, sluggish page loads, and improper site structure.

You can use a variety of free tools to make sure your site is operating at its best.

6. Take a look at your resources

Marketing, sales, and IT are just a few of the areas of your business that are impacted by SEO.

Some of your staff may be well-suited to assist with SEO if you don't have the necessary funds.

For instance, it's likely that your sales crew is aware of the most popular products.

Including them in the creation of your SEO strategy will aid in lead generation and the discovery of new, qualified targets.

Similar to this, SEO may inform your marketing team of the best kinds of content to use in campaigns. Additionally, your graphic designers and copywriters can create the kind of material that will catapult you to the top of the rankings.

Your website is presumably already under the supervision of your IT team.

To ensure that website design and structure, development cycles, data structure, and basic concepts are all in line, your SEO strategy should be built around their knowledge.

These are but a few methods you can use to incorporate SEO into your current routines.

If you look attentively, there may be others, and you probably won't have to start from scratch.

It's a good idea to assess your current software, technology, and staff because you may already have some of the necessary components.

Additionally, you might discover the funding is already set up in current departments if you need to ramp up production.

7. Integrate Your Customer Funnel With Your SEO Strategy

At the end of the day, making sales is what matters. Without clients, there is no revenue, and a business cannot function.

Your SEO approach should be in line with your customer funnel to help with the sales process.

Your sales funnel, which is often referred to as the customer journey, is a compilation of the interactions clients have with your business as they go from awareness through post-purchase.

SEO is a natural fit for each phase of this cycle:

  • Awareness: In today's society, a lot of clients learn about your company online. through, say, a Google search.
  • Customers begin their investigation at this point out of interest. And your website is the ideal resource for research.
  • The customer is choosing between you and the competitors because they want to buy. The fact that your meta description mentions free shipping might be what convinces them.
  • Purchase: E-commerce is still expanding People find it simpler to buy when a point of sale is search engine optimised.
  • Post-purchase: Customer reviews, whether they are posted on your website or a different website, are a terrific method to gain credibility and improve your keyword relevance.
8. Report Your Results And Set Reasonable Goals

The importance of reporting You must be able to accurately gauge your progress and report on it.

You can establish reliable, trustworthy facts by reporting.

Not least of all, it demonstrates the worth of SEO to the organization's decision-makers while also assisting you in understanding the elements that contribute to your ranking and pinpointing areas where you can improve.

One of the biggest errors newcomers to SEO make is anticipating immediate results.

It's also very difficult to give a precise date due to the variables involving competition, inbound connections, and the material itself.

You must enter the process with the knowledge that SEO requires time, and the harder the competition for the keywords you're pursuing, the longer it will take to succeed.

In order to guarantee that expectations are reasonable, this needs to be communicated to stakeholders right away.

9. Calculate and record your strategy

Although you've come a long way, you're not quite finished.

You must monitor the KPIs and demonstrate the impact of your SEO strategy after you have produced reports on how it is doing.

The most crucial metrics to take into account are crawl errors, bounce rate, top exit pages, and organic sessions.

You'll have a better understanding of what your customers want and what turns them off by identifying all of these.

Check out this article on the top SEO KPIs for more details.

You can track and quantify conversions using a variety of tools, both paid and unpaid, and compare them on a weekly, monthly, or other timescale of your choice.

Simply choose one that meets your demands and budget.


Nobody, at least no one who has used SEO, has ever claimed that it is simple. But the business plan of any contemporary corporation must include it.

However, even a total novice can push their website to the top of the SERP with a sound strategy, a willingness to learn, and some good ol' fashioned hard work.

You can use the nine steps we've provided in this article to launch your SEO campaign. Of course, this is only the beginning.

You require a special strategy that will fit your requirements and sector.