get the full picture with an SEO strategy
What is an SEO strategy?
An SEO strategy is, to a certain extent, a digital, organic positioning document. For existing businesses, I’ll go through:
- the product or service you’re offering
- the current market environment
- the current state of your website including technical, content and backlinks
- the potential multipliers to conversion for your audience (assuming your Google Analytics is set up in a manner that allows for this)
- what to prioritise and why in your strategy execution
- the history of the company, including historical earnings and revenue
- the goals and targets you have set for your business, including why or how they should be changed based on the in-flight digital marketing strategy
- the other marketing verticals you’re working in and the spend you’ve got there for context – and if it makes more sense to focus there based on the goals you have
This is a strategic document. I’m not going to be telling you detailed specific tactics on how to get to these goals. I’ll tell you where you should be focusing your time and why, and provide a brief overview of the prioritized tactics.
I’m not going to tell you “you need to get 200 links a month from these x sources and here’s how. “ I’ll tell you to focus on site speed, or authoritative content in x, y and z topics, or start to running A/B testing because increasing your conversion rate to get to your goal makes more sense, or build out user generated reviews….you get the picture. I’ll give you the skeleton; the outline for a successful year in digital.
If you’re a new business, I’ll do much of the same things with a slightly different bent, and obviously won’t be able to work off of historical earnings, and will review your projected earnings from your business plan instead.
Who is an SEO strategy good for?
Whether you’re an e-commerce shop, startup, b2b, lead generation website, or in a different vertical and goal space entirely, an SEO strategy is useful when you’re looking for direction, and are happy to execute yourself.
This may be because you don’t have an SEO team in-house, or because you don’t have regular IT or front end dev support and need to work through things yourself at your own pace.
If you have an in-house SEO team or a dedicated IT/front end development team, I’d recommend starting with a technical audit as this would be more granular and allow you to make more nuanced gains on a strategy you’ve already got in place. If, of course, you don’t have an SEO strategy yet with a new in-house team, absolutely, start with an SEO strategy, and that can move on to a technical SEO audit for a detailed technical strategy document.
How often should you review an SEO strategy?
Like a technical audit, an SEO strategy should be reviewed at least annually. Businesses, websites, competitors and the digital environment all change rapidly, and may require some relatively big shifts in a 12 month timeframe.
Think about what you expected from a website 12 months ago and see how much that’s changed for yourself. It’s changed for other people too.
What about templates and checklists?
Templates and checklists for SEO strategy can be a good place to start, especially if you have a limited budget. In their very nature though, they’re generic.
As a business owner would you expect your local florist and your local bookshop are using the same marketing or digital strategy? The same goes for an SEO strategy. Custom strategies for your business, your audience and your specific circumstances are going to work best.
I’ve been doing this for 10 years, worked across nearly every industry vertical, worked in global and national markets (in multiple different countries) and know how to find the nuances in each individual niche to make sure your strategy is tailored to your specific needs and requirements.