Every business requires a solid SEO strategy that will enable a steady, yet measurably exponential growth. Bearing that in mind, making the choice to move into using an SEO strategy is one of the wisest choices any modern business owner can make if they want to build a more loyal and broad customer base.
As we said, every business needs a solid strategy to build on and this includes strategically using SEO services to their full potential. Sorting out your SEO strategy can be the difference between 100 and 10,000 customers.
Bearing this in mid, this article will shed some light on just a few of the ways you can develop a killer strategy to have your business growing in no time. Here’s some major ways you can do just that with just a few well-placed choices:
1. Create a Mind Map
For anyone who doesn’t already have this most useful tool, building yourself a mind map will improve your entire strategy dramatically. Having a clear idea of your goals and pathways is the very foundation of what success is built upon.
Producing a polished mind map enables business people to build their business from the ground up, ensuring a full understanding of their company and goals as well as the choices and action that need to be made to be successful.
Hearing this, you may assume that creating a mind map is a quite complex task; however, you’ll find very quickly that, not only is it one of the best tools to use, but also one of the easiest to create. It is simply a map that lays out the grounds of your strategy. It is not a visualisation of it. Remember this and keep in mind that while this tool will help with building your strategy, it is not the sole tool you will need.
Usually starting from a central topic, a mind map connects the lines between categories i.e. your center should be titled “project plan” and branch out to such categories as to include what team members you will be assigning to the goals you want to reach, specifically what goals those are, the tools to use and the data to help build the backbone.
There are many templates available online to make your job even easier, so get your map together and then you can start building! If you are looking for assistance in creating a quality mind map, there are a couple of online tools available that will assist.
2. A Visual Representation
Time to remind yourself what a business strategy is; and that is, a plan at heart. This means that when creating this tool, you want to steer clear of drawing a picture representing simply bags of money.
After finishing your mind map, you’ll need a more professional document to represent your strategy. That will come in the form of a visual representation. To create one of these, you need to elaborate on the things you touched upon with your mind map.
This means, you are looking further into the ‘how’ of what you have included in your mind map. Creating a clear description of your goals and how you plan to achieve this turns them from ideas, dreams and wishes into a set plan with reachable goals.
As you’ve likely been told multiple times since childhood, when creating goals, try and start small and build from there. This makes your goals clear and visibly reachable in a realistic sense. The importance of this clarity comes from that you will need a way to present your ideas and plans in a convincing manner to any business partners or clients.
You should be able to explain your ideas quickly and easily to whoever it is you are speaking to so that there is no confusion about your intentions for your business. There are many tools out there both online and offline to help you build your visual representation, but bare in mind that the tool isn’t so much important, rather how you use it.
Your visual representation needs to concisely present to all stakeholders items such as:
- Which tasks will be assigned to who?
- Which tasks come first then what follows?
- Which tasks will need to be regularly done?
- Which tasks are currently in planning, underway and completed?
3. Complete Understanding of Your Company
On top of your planning, the best thing you can do to ensure your SEO strategy success is to have a clear understanding of your company. Whether you are an outsourced or in-house SEO, you will require an understanding of things such as strengths that you can use as leverage in order to get the best SEO results possible, what tactics work the best for you, the brand’s identity and what obstacles are standing in your way.
Some good questions you may want to consider before planning ahead are as follows:
- What is the product/ and or service’s selling proposition and what makes it unique?
- What is the company’s vision?
- What are the company’s biggest weaknesses at this point?
- What is the company’s brand identity?
4. Full Understanding of Your Target Audience
You may have heard the term “target audience” before but never really given it much thought. Most people tend to simply make their target audience anyone who will buy their products and this is something you will find hurts many business people the most.
Why? Because in order to keep loyal customers and continue increasing your customer base, you must be able to ensure all of your clients are satisfied. You cannot do this by having no clear idea of who you are aiming at.
In order to understand your target audience, it is quite simple. Consider the product or service you wish to provide. Consider who needs it. The best traits to think about are the age, social status and global positioning of the clientele.
Understanding who they are is the first step. Sounds a bit confusing? Let us use an example! Imagine you are in the dark and have different coloured cans stacked on several different pedestals. You have a coloured ball for each can and must hit each can with its matching coloured ball.
In order to do this, you need to know the following:
- Where each can is?
- What colour the can is?
- What height it sits at?
- What coloured ball to throw?
- How hard to throw it?
Using this analogy, consider your target audience. You want to be able to measure the following:
- Where in the world they are?
- What age they are (generally a span of 10 years i.e. 20-30 years old)?
- What their social status is?
- What product suits them best?
- What will gain their interest?
Remember that knowing your audience is about much more than just what keywords they will be searching for. In order to find these things out, you can easily approach clientele and try surveying them, browsing articles and studies relating to the audience you have in mind, or hiring a data analyst to do the work for you and summarise it all.
5. Precision Goal-Setting
Now that you know pretty clearly what direction you are heading, you need to know the exact destination. After all, it’s pretty difficult to get somewhere when you do not know the address, isn’t it?
For a goal to be useful, you need to know exactly what it is and how you are going to achieve it. One without the other will simply have you searching for needles in haystacks constantly. You need to be focusing on what parts you have and how they fit together in order to generate an opportune outcome. When choosing metrics and KPIs, it is important to deliberate.
Your overall goal is an obvious one: you want revenue to increase at a rate that is faster than your costs. This being said, it is recommended that you set a financial goal. The best thing you could be doing at this stage is begin setting goals that have time limits.
Remember that building your strategy is about achieving your goals which will have a very specific impact on your company. Remember what we said about recurring tasks and things that need to be done consistently? Try to gain an understanding of exactly what these are for your business.
Your metrics need to reflect exactly what is happening with every working piece of your company individually. This could mean anything from organic search traffic and rankings to links and authority.
Everybody needs to agree exactly on what metrics make sense and why. It is widely agreed upon that, in general, task-oriented goals are much more valuable than KPI goals. The reasoning for this is that the impact on KPIs is indirect. For this very same reason, setting goals for projects, living up to those goals then measuring the impact and adjusting the strategy in accordance is paramount.
This approach should lead your business to key knowledge and optimisation, as opposed to what you will find in searching for ways to manipulate KPIs and eventuating in losing sight of the long-term impact on your business.
6. Keep Your Enemies Close
Okay, you may not see them as enemies, but remember that you do have competitors. For this reason, one of the most important things you can do is gain a full understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to your business and adjusting accordingly.
How is this done? With elbow grease. Set up an excel worksheet document and create a tab that you will use to keep track of all of your overall site competitors, and if you’re going to track any subtopics on your site, create another tab for each one that you are going to track and research for.
The easiest way you will find out about your competitors is likely to do a quick search of relative terms into Google and see what comes up. Take note of who is showing up at the top of the results. You don’t need to search every keyword in your list, just choose a few of them and take notes of anything that shows up.
Using this information is imperative to giving you an edge on your competition. Remember to maintain your research as you find more and more competitors opening onto the market.
Building your SEO strategy can often become more daunting than you intended, as it does require a lot of work and patience. If you really want to get the best out of your company, you will put in the hard yards in order to squeeze every last drop of potential out of it.
If you find yourself stuck while creating any part of your strategy, there are plenty of resources at your disposal including apps, templates, tools, hired help and more. Do not hesitate to use these, as you will find they make your job a lot easier. Remember that your strategy is key to your success as a business and it is impossible for you to find that success without prior preparation while in the early stages of operation.
Set aside as much time as you can to plot out each and every goal and ensure you have a full understanding of where you want your business to head and where it is currently heading so that you can adjust accordingly before you stray too far off the path.
Many businesses fail in this, as it can be challenging to keep track of. However all the time and effort is well worth it in the end when you can look at your creation with glee. Keep planning as best you can and you’ll find your SEO strategy leading you to the success you deserve after your hard work.
Did you agree with our list? If so, we would love to hear your comments on what you like about it. If there was anything we may have missed, don’t hesitate to let us know, as we would love to hear some super strategies that have worked for you!
Charlotte is a digital marketing and communications practitioner at SEO Shark. She takes on a range of roles relating to SEO and has a keen interest in studying the SEO industry and its future direction, particularly in relation to content marketing. Charlotte takes her writing very seriously and always seeks ensure the content she produces is of a high standard of quality.