SEO (search engine optimisation) is most effective when it is planned in advance. Knowing what your target audience is searching for online, as well as how to select and target your focus keywords, is vital to the success of SEO. As we look towards Christmas and the new year, now is the time to plan your SEO strategy for the year ahead. This guide outlines how to write an SEO strategy for 2023.
How To Write An SEO Strategy: Our Five Steps
- Carry out a website audit
- Do your keyword research
- Write your meta titles & meta descriptions
- Write your header tags
- Set out your SEO schedule
Step 1: Carry Out A Website Audit
SEO is aimed at driving organic search traffic to your website. However, the website itself plays an important role in helping your efforts pay off. This is because your search engine rankings partly depend on the amount of time people spend on your website. Furthermore, once people are able to find your website, you then need them to take valuable actions, such as sign up to your email list or make a purchase.
Your website needs to be well-structured and functional. It should be easy for your website visitors to find what they are looking for. Vitally, the steps required for your customers to checkout, sign up or enquire should be as straightforward as possible.
You can audit your website yourself by asking other people what they think of its usability (or take a look for yourself).
SEO applications can be used to carry out audits to find issues such as broken links, slow page load speed and missing meta titles. These audits will provide a more in-depth list of website issues that may be affecting your SEO and require fixing.
Step 2: Do Your SEO Keyword Research
An effective SEO strategy depends on your keyword research. In order to optimise your website for search engine success, you need to know which keywords you want to target. Depending on the size of your website and the type of business, you should begin with 20-30 target keywords.
Your target keywords need to be selected based on:
- Relevance to your business
- Relevance to your audience
- They need to be realistic in terms of difficulty
More competitive keywords (generally those with a higher search volume) are more difficult to rank for. It is a good idea to target a spread of keywords – choose some that are more general, with a higher search volume as well as others that are more specific and have a lower search volume.
You should have enough keywords to cover your main products and / or services, categories and your business as a whole. It is usually a good idea to reserve keywords containing questions for your blog content strategy.
Every page of your website needs a focus keyword, and this should be unique to every page. You should also allocate a secondary keyword and reserve keyword to each page. This will take some time, because you will need to organise your keywords based on where they are most relevant.
You may use your secondary and reserve keywords across multiple pages. You can also use a keyword as the focus keyword for one page, as well as the secondary or reserve keyword for other pages. Ultimately, the keywords you use should be relevant to the main purpose of each page.
Step 3: Write Your Meta Titles And Meta Descriptions
Every page on your website needs a meta title and a meta description. If you don’t specify one, Google will generate one from the text on the page. Meta titles and descriptions are used by search engines and users to identify what the website page is about.
Your meta title should be around 55-60 characters long and it should include your focus keyword. Your meta description should also include your focus keyword, but it should be around 155-160 characters long. Use an online character counter to check the length of your meta titles and meta descriptions, and store them in a spreadsheet.
Step 4: Write Your Header Tags
You should aim to use a mixture of H1, H2 and H3 tags on your website pages. These are used to tell Google what the website page is about. Furthermore, they help to break the copy up into sections, which makes it easier for the reader to digest.
Your H1 should include your focus keyword. It needs to clearly state what the page is about. Again, store your H1 tags in a spreadsheet.
Your H2 and H3 tags are used for sub-headings and should include a mixture of your focus, secondary and reserve keywords.
Step 5: Create Your SEO Schedule
SEO needs to be carried out over several months and reviewed at least annually to work effectively. Once you have your SEO plan, it is a good idea to create a schedule of work. This will help you to stay on track and carry out your SEO in a timely manner. This is the final and arguably one of the most important steps in regards to how to write an SEO strategy.
As well as optimising your main website pages, you will need to optimise any existing blog articles (if this hasn’t already been done) and factor in time to plan and carry out your SEO blog strategy.
You will also need to set time aside to optimise your website images and fix any technical or usability issues uncovered by your website audit.
Professional SEO Consultancy UK, VIP IT
VIP IT are a trusted SEO consultancy based in Hampshire, UK. We work with a range of businesses based across London and the South East and abroad. Our highly experienced SEO consultants are able to assist local SMEs with their SEO management, as well as provide consultancy services to international firms looking to break into the UK market. Visit our contact page today to get in touch or book your free digital marketing consultation.