Search engine optimization or SEO plays a huge role in your business success, especially that brands nowadays are vying in a highly competitive online environment. In 2018, 33 percent of U.S. consumers used a search engine like Google to make a purchase online, and that number is second to the searches at Amazon.
So to get your brand at the top of the search results, a well-crafted SEO strategy is what you should have. It’s crucial for you to know how your current SEO game plan is faring and what you should do to take it to the next level. For your knowledge, here are four key things to consider to make your brand’s SEO strategy successful.
Crawlability: Make Your Site Visible To Crawlers
For you to rank up your site in SERPs, a search engine must be able to find it. If it’s your first time to engage in search engine optimization, you should see to it that you make your site visible to search engine crawlers.
A search engine crawler is a program that looks and reads the pages and information on various websites across the internet to create a search engine index.
At this phase, you should create the perfect robots.txt file to optimize your SEO objectives. Most people have no inkling about this little text file, but it’s an essential part of every site on the internet. You can add instructions to this file to command the crawlers to index certain pages on your website.
It’s also crucial to show to crawlers the structure of your website for better indexing. For that purpose, you need to create a sitemap at the beginning or update and develop an existing one. The categories, subcategories, and product pages of your website should be included in your sitemap.
There are tools and software nowadays that can create a sitemap that you can link to in your robots.txt file. After generating the sitemap and updating the robots.txt file, you can submit it to Google or any search engine to re-crawl your website right away.
However, there is one big challenge to crawlability if your website operates on old-school plug-in technology like Silverlight or Flash to display content. Search engine crawlers can’t find Silverlight or Flash content so it won’t pop up in SERPs.
Content Optimization: Make The Most Out of Your Assets
When the issues regarding sitemap, robots.txt file, and crawlability are smoothed out, the next important thing you need to face is content optimization. It’s necessary that you make the most out of your existing assets to boost your rank for specific keywords. Google Keyword Planner is an excellent tool for you to create an inventory of target keywords based on volume and ROI.
You can utilize this list of target keywords to improve your website’s meta tags and content, all the way from your topnotch pages and down to the categories, subcategories, and product pages.
One excellent alternative to do that is to pay particular attention to optimizing a few top-rate pages in your site. For instance, if a specific product category page does a good job, use Google Search Console for its performance evaluation. If the page fits well with particular keywords, you can do a category page optimization for those keywords to enhance more its performance.
Offsite: Link-Building And Brand Management
The next step you should do to build a solid SEO strategy is to build links and strike up relationships with social media influencers. Link-building and brand management are part of what SEO practitioners call “offsite work.”
You can already start your offsite work before your content optimization is complete. Still, it will be to your advantage if you build links and create relationships after you have optimized your existing content.
Research is the key to your link building efforts. As such, it’s a must that you read about the best practices for building links before you do your job. Webmetrix Group New York SEO suggests that you use a tool like SEMrush for you to search potential links and locate the origin of your competitors’ backlinks.
SEMrush provides you with a list of prospective websites to contact with link requests. Cut back that list to only include sites with excellent traffic and substantial social media presence. When you start your outreach campaign, don’t think that you’ll have a high response rate right away. You can already make do with a response rate of 10 to 15 percent for your link-building efforts.
The same with your link-building approach, you also need research to look for the ideal social influencers. Find social media users who have many followers and who post about your niche or industry and then study their audience. It’s wise for you to understand that the most popular influencers in your niche may not bring you with the highest ROI.
You can spend a significant amount of money working with popular influencers online, or you can opt to work with micro-influencers. Micro-influencers may not have a massive following like the popular ones, but they have built a high level of trust and authority in your niche. Working with this type of social influencers is more cost-effective depending on your niche and what you want to achieve with your brand management.
Content Creation: Focus on Informative And Knowledge-Based Topics
If you have already walked the long way in your SEO campaign, it’s a must that you take your content creation to the next level. In this case, you should go beyond product and service description to answering customer/consumer queries related to the product/service you offer.
For instance, instead of churning out more content about the bags you sell, you can write tips on how to choose the best bag for a particular occasion, or how to preserve the quality of your leather bag for you to use it for years to come. You need to have keyword and competitor research to create relevant topics in your niche.
Another important factor at this stage is to do a content gap analysis according to the product you offer. For example, a bag retailer’s keywords may use basic ones like “men’s bags” or “women’s bags,” but there are also other keywords they can utilize, such as “types of bags” or “custom bags.”
Doing a content gap analysis, you can generate hundreds to thousands of keywords that you can utilize to produce non-promotional content. But it does not mean you have to apply all those keywords for your content creation. Narrow down your keyword list and analyze the way you perform using those keywords in your list against the way your competitor performs. In this way, you can focus on keywords that have a competitive edge over your rival.
It’s crucial that you have a solid SEO strategy to rank up your website in search engine results pages. And to that end, you need to learn about the building blocks for a solid SEO strategy. Making your site visible to crawlers, content optimization, offsite approaches, and content creation are the key factors to make your SEO campaign successful.