Creating an SEO Strategy for 2022
If you were not already aware, search engine optimization (SEO) is rapidly changing from what it used to be. Keywords are no longer your sole focus.
Relying on keyword research alone does not constitute an SEO strategy in 2022. Read on to learn more about what is actually involved in a winning SEO strategy this year.
Defining an SEO Strategy
Your SEO strategy should involve organizing your website’s content by topic so you can improve the likelihood of the website appearing in prominent search results. This will be the process you follow to help maximize the chances of getting organic traffic from various search engines.
It is essential to have an SEO strategy because doing so will help you stay on track when you are creating content. Instead of simply creating what you believe people will be searching for, a strategy can make sure that you are creating the content that people really are searching for.
When it comes to content marketing, an SEO strategy will be a crucial element because it ends up being how your content is viewed in the first place, especially when it comes to search engine result pages (SERPs). When website content is scattered and unorganized, search engine bots have a harder time indexing the website, identifying an area of authority, and ranking your website pages.
Have a Mobile SEO Strategy
Mobile SEO will be a critical factor to remember when you are creating an overall strategy. Mobile optimization makes sure your website and its content will be available and accessible to all visitors on mobile devices, meaning they get the same experience and obtain the same value as people using desktop browsers.
Mobile optimization has become even more important because Google now practices mobile-first indexing. In other words, the Google algorithm now uses the mobile version of a website when indexing and ranking pages for SERPs instead of crawling a desktop site.
It is important to note that 61 percent of Google search queries in the United States now occur on mobile devices. This means that an SEO strategy is going to be ineffective if it does not prioritize mobile optimization.
Even though it is not a completely separate process, there will be distinct considerations for mobile SEO such as local SEO, responsive site design, monitoring page speed, and the creation of content that is high-quality, regardless of the device it is being viewed on.
The search engine optimizers are the individuals who help optimize websites to make them rank higher on SERPs and get more organic traffic. This person will be a specialized content strategist who helps a business discover any opportunities to answer the questions that people have about their respective industries.
The three types of SEO that an SEO strategist might focus on can include:
- On-page SEO — This refers to the website content that’s actually on website pages and optimizing it to boost a website’s ranking for certain keywords.
- Off-page SEO — This refers to hyperlinks directed to the website from other pages or websites on the internet. The number of backlinks a website has from reputable sources will help you build trust with search algorithms.
- Technical SEO — This refers to a website’s backend architecture, such as website code. Google thinks of technical setup just as highly as it does website content, so this position is important for rankings.
Now it is time to discuss what goes into an SEO strategy.
Putting Together Your SEO Content Strategy
1. Develop a topics list.
While keywords may be considered to be central to SEO, they cannot be your first step anymore. Address the broader set of topics you want to address instead.
You can begin by compiling a list of roughly 10 words or terms that are commonly associated with your product or service. Consider using an SEO tool such as Google’s Keyword Tool, GrowthBar, Ahrefs, or SEMRush to research the words, identify their search volume, and determine the variations that will make sense for your company.
When you do this, you will associate topics with some of the most popular short-tail keywords without having to dedicate individual blog posts to such keywords. For example, let us assume a swimming pool company is hoping to rank for “above-ground pools,” and this phrase receives 550,000 searches every month.
A short-tail keyword might represent the overarching topic for the creation of website content, but the company will also want to identify any related keywords they can include in their website content. For example, “above-ground pool prices” or “above-ground pool cost” could help create additional rankings for the overall keyword of above-ground pools.
When you use search volume and competition as a measurement, you will be able to create a list of 10-15 short-tail keywords that can be relevant to your company and are being searched for by a target audience. You will then rank the list based on monthly search volume.
Every keyword you identify is called a pillar, and pillars will serve as the primary support for a larger cluster of long-tail keywords.
2. Create a list of long-tail keywords based on the topics.
You next want to begin optimizing webpages for specific keywords. For every pillar you identify, use a keyword tool to identify five to 10 long-tail keywords that will dig deeper into the original topic keyword.
While you might regularly create content about SEO, it will be difficult to rank well on Google for a popular topic with an acronym alone. You will also risk competing with your own content by creating multiple pages all targeting the same keyword and possibly the same SERPs.
Therefore, you should create content on creating an SEO strategy, optimizing images for search engines, conducting keyword research, and other subtopics within an SEO umbrella. All of this will help you attract people who have multiple interests and concerns, while also creating additional entry points for people who could be interested in what you have to offer.
Use long-tail keywords to create blog posts or web pages that explain specific topics within the pillars you have selected. All of your long-tail keywords will together create a cluster around a pillar topic, and search engine algorithms will depend on the relationships between clusters to connect users with the information they are looking for.
The more specific your website content is, the more specific the needs of an audience can be and the more likely you will convert such traffic into leads. This is also how Google will find value in the websites it crawls as the webpages that dig into general topics will be seen as the best possible answer to a person’s query and end up ranking higher.
3. Building webpages for every topic.
As it relates to websites and ranking in search engines, it can be difficult to get one webpage to rank for multiple keywords. Use your pillar topics to create a webpage or post giving a high-level overview of a topic that uses the long-tail keywords you came up with for every cluster.
Pillar pages may be essentially a table of contents that gives a description of the main topic and briefs readers on subtopics that will be elaborated on in additional posts.
The number of topics you create pillar pages for should coincide with your business needs, such as the number of products and offerings that you have.
4. Create a blog.
Blogging can be a very valuable way to rank for keywords and also engage with your website’s users. Remember that every single blog post will be a new webpage and another opportunity to rank in SERPs.
When your company does not have a blog, you need to consider creating one. With every blog post you write, expand on your clusters and do three things:
- Do not include a long-tail keyword more than three or four times throughout a webpage because Google will not consider exact keyword matches as often as it once did. As it turns out, too many instances of a keyword may be a red flag to search engines that will be considered keyword stuffing and can lead to penalties.
- Always link to the pillar page you have created for your topics. You may do this either in the form of tags in a content management system (CMS) or through basic anchor text in the body of the article.
- After publishing every blog post, link to it within the parent pillar page that supports the subtopic. When you connect both the pillar and the cluster, you will be telling Google that there is a relationship between the long-tail keyword and the overarching topic you are trying to rank for.
5. Get on a regular blogging schedule.
Each blog post or webpage you create does not have to belong to a topic cluster. There can also be value in writing about tangential topics customers might care about to help build authority with Google algorithms.
You will want to make it a point to blog at least once a week. You need to remember that you are blogging for your audience first and not the search engines, so make sure to study your target market and write about the things you believe that they will be interested in.
6. Have a link-building plan.
A topic cluster model can be your way forward in SEO, but it is not the only way to get website content to rank higher after it is created. Link-building will be the primary objective of off-page SEO.
Link-building refers to the process of attracting inbound links (also known as backlinks) to your website from other sources on the internet. Websites with greater authority linking back to your content will have a more significant impact on your website rankings.
Dedicate an appropriate amount of time to brainstorming the multiple ways you could attract inbound links. You could start by sharing links with local businesses in exchange for links to their own websites, or you might write a few blog posts and share them on different kinds of social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, or others.
7. Compress media files before uploading them to your site.
A small but still important step in the SEO process, especially as it relates to mobile optimization. When a blog or website grows, it will undoubtedly have more images, videos, and related media that support the content.
Visual assets can help retain a visitor’s attention, but such files can be extremely large. Because page speed will be a crucial ranking factor, it will be important to monitor the size of any media files you are uploading to your website.
The bigger the file size, the more difficult it will be for an internet browser to render your website. It will also be harder for mobile browsers to load these images because the bandwidth on the devices will be significantly smaller.
It can be worth considering the use of a compression tool to reduce file sizes before uploading images, videos, and GIFs. Sites like TinyPNG will compress images in bulk, while Google’s Squoosh can shrink image files to microscopic sizes.
8. Keep up-to-date on SEO news and best practices.
The SEO landscape is always changing. You will want to stay on top of any current trends and best practices, and there are several online resources to help you do so.
Some of the most common include:
9. Try to measure and track the success of your website content.
SEO will take considerable time and effort, and you will want to know if your strategy is working. It will be important for you to track metrics that help you understand the success of an overall process and identify any areas of improvement.
Monitor organic traffic using a preferred web analytics tool or create your own dashboard using Excel or Google Sheets. Also track indexed pages, conversions, return on investment (ROI), and your rankings on SERPs so you can recognize the success as well as identify any areas of opportunity.
Find SEO Help in Houston, TX | SERP Matrix
SERP Matrix regularly handles local SEO for clients in Houston and many surrounding areas of Texas as well as other cities across the country. You should also know that we offer an SEO services guarantee that refunds you a portion of fees for which any service is not performed.
You can count on our content writing team to provide you with the best meta descriptions and website content. We also handle link building that can incorporate the meta descriptions and get you links from only the best sources.
SERP Matrix takes great pride in its SEO efforts, so we are confident that can we can help you develop a winning strategy. Call us today at (713) 287-1134 or contact us online to receive a free consultation so we can review your case.