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How to create an SEO strategy in 2020

A robust six-step approach to creating a meaningful SEO strategy for your site.

An SEO strategy is a fluid ever-changing thing, as search marketers adapt to Google’s constantly updating algorithm changing the rules of the game overnight. From 2012’s penguin update to the most recent BERT algorithm which according to Google “represent(s) the biggest leap forward in the past five years, and one of the biggest leaps forward in the history of Search.” How SEO was done 10 years ago has nothing to do with how SEO is done today. With all of these updates and changes in mind, what does an effective SEO marketing strategy look like in 2020? Our up to date six-step strategy has proven to be very effective for our clients and so we have decided to share a little of our magic touch with you.

Step 1: Research and Planning

The first step in any good strategy is understanding the underlying issues behind your existing efforts. And when it comes to SEO there is only really one question that you should be asking yourself -why am I not ranking #1 on Google search results instead of my competitor? In order to answer that question, you also need to figure out exactly which search terms you want to be ranking for on search engines. Conducting in-depth keyword research is the first step towards figuring this out. It can give you a better idea of the keyword difficulty in your industry, as well as give you new keyword ideas based on what your target market is already searching for. Once you have identified relevant keywords the next step is to conduct backlink research. This is simply the process of identifying all of the referring domains to your site. The more ‘high authority’ domains the better, and the more low authority (spam) sites the worst as they drag you down the search rankings with them. Once you have a good understanding of this it’s time to look at the competition. You should look at the content your top competitors are producing as well as their top ranking keywords to get a better understanding of how your site compares. Two great paid tools that can help you analyse all of these things are SEMRush and MOZ a great free tool is Ubbersuggest by Neil Patel.

Step 2: Technical SEO

Once you’ve looked at relevant keywords its time to delve a little deeper and look at your site health. Search engines have a few criteria they consider when positioning your site and one of them is the user experience. Is your page load speed slow? Is your site optimised for mobile? Are Javascript and CSS taking too long to load? This is the stage at which you may need to get your developer involved in fixing issues. A great place to point him or her to is google’s page speed insights.

Step 3: On-page SEO

On-page SEO is about optimizing pages in order to rank higher in relevant searches. It is where you can put to good use the initial keyword research phase done previously. On-page SEO has significantly changed in the last few years so it’s important to be up to date with best practices. Once you have the basics down such as a good meta description and interesting headline, you can then focus your efforts on high-quality SEO writing which takes into account both the users and search engines. Try to combine high-quality, relevant and engaging content with your selected keywords for great results.

Step 4: Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is all about getting other people to vouch for you. The key here is to get high-ranking domains to link back to your site. This will mean building good relationships with influencers relevant to your industry who can then link back to your site. If influencers write about your site using a list of keywords including long-tail keywords this will help search engines associate these words with your site. The higher the domain authority sites backlink to your own, the more you can climb the search rankings. Domain authority is an overall score given to websites based on all the ranking factors for a search engine. It is a score between 0 -100. A site with a ranking of 0 - 10 is likely to spam or a virus, while a site with a ranking of 95 is a highly trusted and authoritative site like Wikipedia or CNN.

Step 5: Content Marketing

Content marketing is now one of the key driving forces behind good SEO. If you create content that is high quality and relevant to your target audience with a high monthly search volume the search engines will begin to see you as a high authority site. You can create a complete content calendar plan that will feature blog posts optimised with relevant keyword phrases.

Step 6: Reporting & Insights

It is crucial that you monitor and report your SEO efforts over time to see how your sites search volume has improved based on the strategies you have implemented. You can use tools like google analytics and SEMRush in order to keep track of things like the number of visitors and the bounce rate.

If you implement these six strategies you will be well on your way to achieving great search engine optimisation. Over time people searching for things related to your business will be able to find you better. Alternatively, our expert team of SEO marketers can do all of the hard work for you, if you would like to find out more check out our SEO services or simply get in touch with us today.


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