6 Tips for Building an Effective SEO Strategy

Businesses and marketers have made SEO a priority in recent years. However, you’ll often find people talking about SEO without having any real knowledge about it. Instead, the majority of business owners simply know that they need it, while some may have a general idea about how SEO works. Unfortunately, if you aren’t actively engaged in SEO, you’ll likely have no idea where to start. 

Also read: Getting Inside the Mind of a Search Engine

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of using content principles and making technical improvements to your website to increase organic traffic and rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). Unfortunately, many businesses still don’t know how much work goes into SEO, which forces them to make mistakes early on that can hurt their digital marketing strategy. 

To help you avoid these pitfalls, here are 6 tips to effectively build an SEO Strategy. 

  1. Write for Humans First 

Many first-time marketers learn about SEO online and believe that they can take what they’ve learned and apply it to their own websites. Unfortunately, this can lead to businesses writing for search engines, not search engine users. What many people don’t realize is that Google’s algorithm is always getting smarter and thinking more like a human. 

The problem with writing for search engines is that you’re not providing value to your audience; instead, you’re simply writing to try to rank on Google. Doing things this way may get you more traffic at first, but it can hurt your conversion rate and increase your bounce rate.

Google’s top priority is the user, not your business, so align your SEO strategy with Google’s goals, and you’ll come out on top. Instead of writing keyword-stuffed content, write to your audience and optimize when you can. This will not only increase your traffic but increase your conversion rates and the time the average user spends on your website. 

Let’s take a look at ShareAble for Hire’s Online Criminal Background Check page. 

As you can see, there’s no keyword stuffing and no over-optimization. This page was created to provide value to the user, someone looking for a service that provides employee background checks for employers. This above-the-fold view offers a compelling headline and lets those interested in purchasing the service know what they’ll get. Providing value to your audience is that simple. 

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  1. Focus on User Experience

User experience (UX) should be your main priority when it comes to your website. Consider the last time you visited a poorly designed website that was difficult to navigate. Odds are you left that website pretty quickly and are unlikely to return. Websites with poor user experience, including dead links, error pages, and bad site structures, won’t convert, and Google will notice. This is where technical SEO comes into play. 

Simply put, if a website has a low page speed, most people won’t wait more than a few seconds before clicking the back button and going to the next page in line. Not only do you need a good user experience to have an effective website, but user experience also impacts Google’s crawlers as they scan content and determine your rankings. 

To improve user experience, you can use concise headings and easy-to-read paragraphs, clean up your sub-folders, optimize the website for mobile, and find ways to improve site speed. 

  1. Build Relevant Links

Many businesses know that SEO requires the use of link building, but what they don’t realize is that websites need quality, relevant links, not just any types of links. Link-building is a key ranking factor. Crawlers discover content by following links to different pages and judging how relevant they are to a search query. The same is true for both external and internal linking. After a good link-building strategy, you’ll likely see a difference in your ranking in just a few months. 

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  1. Earn Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are the highlighted answer boxes that you’ll find at the top of many search pages. If you earn a featured snippet, you’re doing your SEO correctly. You can make certain choices on your website, including formatting and styling, that improve your chances of getting a featured snippet. These include bullet points, numbered lists, answering question-based searches, and infographics. 

While snippets don’t always result in clicks, a large portion of SERPs have featured snippets, and we only expect to see more of them as time goes on. Snippets are great for increasing brand awareness and getting your website in front of more people, which increases traffic and clicks.

  1. Pay Attention to Algorithm Updates

Google is always updating its algorithm to improve its own user experience. Google gets smarter every single day through core updates and changes in the algorithm. These changes are constant but unexpected, and your website can either benefit or be penalized if you don’t adhere to the most recent update. 

For updates, you can follow Google on Twitter so that you always know when an update has occurred and find out how it’s going to affect your ranking so that you can make changes immediately. 

  1. Improve Existing Content

SEO never ends because it’s always changing, and you’ll always have to fight to stay at the top of SERPs. You’ll need to be continuously updating your website and competing with your competitors. Not to mention, you’ll also need to be constantly improving on the work that you’ve already done. If you started your website without using SEO properly, you’re going to need to spend time optimizing old content. Based on what you’ve learned here, you may even choose to create an entirely new website that’s focused on SEO, UX, and conversions.

Even if you have been doing SEO correctly this whole time, it’s best to review your content and your strategy about every six months so that you can see how rankings have been affected and what you can do to fix any issues. 

Make sure that you plan your content in advance so that you can optimize it as you write instead of writing it and then optimizing it. Optimizing as you go can help save you time and keep you from making critical content mistakes when it comes to SEO. 

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that go into SEO. However, building a solid SEO strategy isn’t impossible. With these tips in mind and a little discipline, you can improve your SEO performance substantially. By always revisiting your current strategy and making improvements, you can make the most of the investment you’ve put into your SEO efforts and keep your business at the top of the search rankings.

Matt Casadona

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music.