Search Engine Optimization is an ongoing need for any business that is serious about establishing and maintaining good positions on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Many businesses depend on Google alone for more than 50% of their overall traffic.
Achieving that sort of success with SEO takes more than the basics (on-page, backlinks). It requires that your website take another step to plan out a site that is:
- Easy to navigate
- Structured with broad keywords at the higher levels, and more specific keywords deeper in the nav
- Generating quality new content on a regular and ongoing basis
While it is rather easy to dive in and start tweaking the on-page elements that are used by search engines (page title, meta description, H1 / H2 / H3, etc.), the opportunistic online marketing mind will ask the question, “Is this the right content in the first place?”.
Content Strategy Before On-Page
Before diving into the tactics, it makes the most sense to do a self-review of your business, cause, nonprofit, or whatever entity it is that drives you to generate quality content. Map out the categories (e.g. product lines or different audiences served) at the highest level and decide what keywords best match with those categories.
Then line up the most important topic areas in the next level beneath. These will also be keywords. Feel free to even build out more specific topics at the third level (we recommend only three levels for most types of site). Continue until you have a solid plan for what keyword-rich, highly relevant content you need.
From there, you can begin generating or reworking content to fit. As you generate the new material, take a couple of extra minutes to label the right keywords…highest level category, keyword for that level, any long-tail words that make sense….and insert those into the appropriate on-page locations. And be sure to pepper in some conversion pages to collect leads if it makes sense for your business.
Planning Ahead Works
There are multiple benefits to optimizing your website with this approach.
First, it gives you a chance to take a fresh look at your site from a macro perspective. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily minutiae, that we sometimes need to take a step back to evaluate where we are, how we got there, and where we want to be.
Second, the output will be very helpful at beginning your ascent up the rankings. By structuring your website in a way that the search engine crawlers will find logical, they will better be able to connect your website to the keywords you are targeting. The bonus is that, when you relaunch your website or launch a new website, Google will typically do a full crawl of the site quickly, assuming you have an XML sitemap file logged with them.
We Can Help
You can most likely manage the build out of a content strategy yourself. If not, SEO and Content Strategy are specialties of ours. If you need help, drop me a line at tommy (at) returnonnow (dot) com.
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