The Art of SEO Broken Down in Five Action Steps – For your digital marketing efforts to thrive, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of the art of SEO.
A lot of entrepreneurs are quite aware that they’ll need SEO (search engine optimization) to give their businesses a marketing boost.
By maximizing the power of SEO, you can drive more traffic, improve SERPs (search engine results pages), and increase conversion rates.
However, most marketers and business owners do not realize that SEO isn’t really easy to master. Some are only aware of bits and pieces of it but not everyone knows what SEO fully entails.
Developing a proper strategy is required if you aim to achieve any tangible result with SEO. In this article, we will discuss the art of SEO broken down in five action steps.
With these steps in mind, you’ll have the ability to transform your website (or your client’s website) into a proper revenue driver.
The Art of SEO Broken Down in Five Action Steps
1. Choose the pages to optimize and promote
You may discover that SEO can actually cost more than you think, particularly if you’re trying to rank high in competitive niches such as weight loss, digital marketing, real estate, etc.
However, you can achieve an efficient, cost-effective SEO strategy if you prioritize. As a starting point, choose only several pages to promote and optimize.
These pages will depend on your industry and area of specialization. If you own an e-commerce website, your focus should be on your most competitive products.
For a service company, pick your first-rate offer or service. For spas, you can select your most popular treatment and so on and so forth.
One crucial factor to consider is the performance of this selection of pages in SERPs.
For example, if your goal is to optimize and promote two service pages but your budget can only cover one, select the page that already ranks better on the search engine results pages.
Honestly, it is a waste of effort trying to cover all pages at a go. As an entrepreneur or marketer, your time and resources are limited and thus, your focus should be on the targeted pages.
Improving the rank of your key pages will give your website a substantial SERP lift.
2. Do a competitor analysis
Upon choosing the pages to target, you’ll need to analyze your competitors to discover what they’re doing to break into the top search results. Take a look at their on-page and off-page tactics.
Keywords (in page elements and content)
Headlines and subheads
Images and alt tags
Widgets and plugins (i.e. social buttons)
The total number of backlinks leading to the given targeted page
Backlinks types (e.g. blog mentions, directories, listings, etc.)
If your competitors are ranking among Google’s top ten search results and you’re not, then it probably means they have done a better job with keywords than you.
You can fix this by infusing your target pages with additional keyword synonyms, latent semantic indexing keywords, as well as long-tail keywords. Make use of tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and Google Adwords keyword planner tool for research.
Additionally, you can gain insights from links too. You can make use of Ahrefs’ site explorer to get more information about the links your competitors make utilize on their target pages.
3. Review strategies to discover what to improve
At this point, you should take a peek at the way SEO is done on your website versus competitor sites.
This means you have to review on-page and off-page optimization strategies and find out what your targeted pages lack.
You can review the strategies by answering the following questions:
- What are the major keywords they use on targeted pages?
- Are they utilizing LSIs (Latent Semantic Indexing)? If yes, how many?
- What is the keyword density?
- Does the main keyword appear in the first 100 words?
- Are the keywords also used in titles, headlines, subheads, and URLs?
- Do alt tags have the major keyword or LSIs?
- Are the meta descriptions written properly? How?
- What is the content structure and length?
- Are any visual elements employed? And how are these visuals optimized for search?
- Are there enough bulleted lists as well as white space?
- Do the pages contain social buttons? Is there a comments section?
- What type of external and internal links are used?
- How are these links positioned in content?
- What is the load time?
- Are the pages adequately optimized for mobile?
- Do they have AMP?
- Do the pages show pop-ups?
- What are the page age and authority for competitors’ pages?
- Does the page have fresh, up-to-date content?
Once all of these questions have been answered, write down a list of what every targeted page misses.
They can be certain keywords, catchy visuals, trustworthy links, perfect page structure, etc. Be sure you actually understand what your competitors do better than you. From there, you can easily build on their success.
4. Analyze the behavior factors on the targeted pages
As soon as you have found out what aspects your competitors do better in on-page and off-page optimization, turn your attention to other factors such as design, usability, as well as user behavior on the targeted pages.
When you analyze these factors, you’ll discover why your pages either have an outstanding position on SERPs or fail to attain optimal results. Because of factors such as these, it is important you run a behavior analysis.
You can do this by simply going to your Google Analytics account and reviewing the metrics below:
Average Time on Page
Goals (at “Conversions” tab)
These should give you a clear understanding of how visitors interact with your content, pages, CTAs, and conversion forms.
However, Google Analytics may not be sufficient enough to give you all the information you need.
For instance, if your targeted page still has a high bounce rate, bad time on page, and zero conversions, despite initiating all the necessary optimization tactics. You’ll be left confused as to what exactly could be the problem.
Heatmaps help you visualize and analyze how visitors skim and consume content, fill in sign-up, contact us, and subscribe forms, click links, and press buttons.
Use them intelligently to have a deeper understanding of your real pain points which could be difficult-to-read fonts, unattractive images, wrong CTA colors, or drab headlines.
Also, remember to scribble down all these things, especially the ones you can resolve, improve, or add to your site on your own afterward.
5. Implement your strategy
Here, all the data must have been collected and analyzed. Now, you can begin to harness your SEO magic to its greatest extent.
- Optimize a target page before moving to another. Be sure to follow steps 2, 3, and 4 diligently.
- Find out if the optimization helps your page rank better in SERPs. If it doesn’t, figure out why.
- Use your new knowledge of SEO to outpace industry standards. You can develop authentic optimization strategies to convince others to make use of your tactics.
- Remember that SEO is an ongoing process. Continue to improve your pages and analyze what your competitors do to always be a step ahead. With this, your SEO strategy will never stop delivering revenue and value.
The art of SEO lies heavily in knowing and having a specific strategy for your website’s success in SERPs. A strategy is important as it helps you focus on the relevant details while sidelining elements that do not matter.
If you decide to optimize your website for search engines without having a clear and effective strategy, your efforts will go down like the walls of Jericho.
Basically, investing in a purpose-driven SEO strategy will lead to long-lasting search value for your business. The five steps in this article can help you do just that.
Indeed, SEO can be a rather boring, clinical process, as you are bound to follow only Google’s limited guidelines.
However, do not hesitate to be creative so you can provide your business or clients with a detailed, effective, authentic strategy that suits your industry and specialization.