1. A Mind Map
Mind mapping has been around for a long time. They were originally created as an aide-memoir to visually represent information, sort of like an infographic on a piece of paper.
Mind Maps are graphic representations of data that can be used in various application areas. Documenting the information of an entire website is one of them. The importance of each page, like, for example, the homepage, can now be seen at a glance. This thus results in better decision-making when it comes to structuring the website and the number of new pages which have to be created. In addition, we also know better where to place them on the website. Moreover, we can use Mind Maps to divide a complex topic into smaller sections which we then discuss or explain by using different keywords.
You can use a platform like Mind Meister or actually jot down your thoughts visually as they occur to you. The key advantage of using a mind map is that it enables nonlinear thinking.
Mind Maps are a very powerful tool that can help you to run an SEO strategy efficiently. Mind maps help you to get the information out of your head and onto paper (or in this case – digital paper). This gives you the ability to link related ideas, helping you to create a clear plan to run your SEO strategy.
2. A Visual Representation
A picture is worth a thousand words which means that a visual representation of an entire strategy is worth billions.
Having a written SEO strategy is critical. However, for truly understanding the SEO strategy, there has to be a visual representation. One that can be looked at and easily understood. For most people this may seem easy, but it can get complicated over time.
Visual representations are required to let you see the big picture pertaining to your SEO strategy. There are many tools online that provide a visual representation of your websites; such as Google Sheets, Trello, Workzone, or Basecamp, or some other tool that fits your needs. The tool itself is irrelevant; what matters is how you use it.
All participants must clearly grasp how to read the plan and make necessary amendments. Additionally, it must be clear
- Who is handling which task;
- Those tasks immediately following the initial one;
- What tasks are scheduled, in progress, and completed.
A visual representation of your SEO strategy is a powerful thing. Imagine if you had a big picture view of all the tactics, skills, and assets you have to build your search engine rankings. That way, you could make sure that everything was connected and would fit together into a cohesive internet presence.
3. An Understanding of the Client
Understanding client intent is the first step in every SEO strategy. Once you have a clear understanding of your client’s problem as well as their business, you will be able to formulate and develop an effective plan that will eventually lead to increased revenue and credibility for your client. In addition, when executed properly, the strategies developed for any given client will allow you to adapt your efforts if the situation shifts.
What information should you look for in order to write a strategy?
One of the most important questions in developing an SEO strategy for your client is, “What is the product’s unique selling proposition?”. That’s important because this term relates to how to optimize your on-page and off-page SEO.
A unique selling proposition (USP) is a marketing slogan that helps to define the product or services in comparison to others. It is the attribute of the product that differentiates it from competitors, or at least attempts to do so. It is something useful, desirable, and difficult to copy.
The USP would have a significant effect on the kinds of outreach that make sense, the types of audiences we want to attract, and the types of keywords we want to track, among other things.
- What is the company’s vision?
As you embark on any SEO journey with your client, you need to understand the client’s vision.
- Is it a local SEO strategy for a local business, or will it be an international site targeting English speaking audience?
- Is this a new project?
- Is the goal to increase traffic?
- Increase sales conversions?
This vision becomes the cornerstone for everything else from there and the answer to these questions will help you understand what types of keywords and topics your client wants to be found for, and it will also help you guide your SEO strategy accordingly.
- What are the company’s pain points?
When writing an SEO strategy for a client, you should never forget to identify the client’s pain points.
It’s important to understand the expectations of the client and where they are having problems before developing and implementing your SEO strategy. This can be done by doing a site audit, keyword research, and competitor analysis.
This way you’ll not only have a clear vision that your client can follow but also set expectations for everyone involved. The more you collaborate with the client, the more chances there are to get their feedback on what they are looking to achieve.
4. An Understanding of the Target Audience
Everyone wants their website to rank on the first page of Google, however, there are millions of other websites that are competing for your targeted keywords. As an SEO consultant, it is vital to understand what your client’s website is about and who their ideal audience is to determine how competitive a keyword space they are targeting.
Here are a few things you can do to figure things out: speaking with your client, doing a survey of the target audience, visiting important internet hangouts, or doing any of the above, and more.
How accepting are the target audience of marketing and upselling?
Marketing strategies have evolved over the years, and these days concerning a marketing strategy, you must keep in mind that the target audience isn’t some abstract entity.
You also need to focus on the target audience and your potential customer’s reaction. For example, if you are dealing with a group of people who are likely to be interested in upselling, then it makes sense to devise an SEO strategy that will achieve this end and get you more clients in the process.
What is the knowledge level of the target audience?
There are so many things you need to take into consideration when creating an SEO strategy. A crucial part of this is the knowledge level of your target audience. Are they gurus? Or just people who know how to use Google search effectively?
The key is a proper understanding of your target audience and what they are looking to find on the search engines. This is the ultimate determinant of the keywords you will be bidding on and writing content about.
Is the target audience close to the industry?
Is the target market made up of customers (B2C) or companies (B2B)? Would these individuals be intimately acquainted with the business or will they be almost completely unfamiliar with it? Are they interested in learning more about the market, or are they just concerned with the benefits of the products?
These are also important factors that must be considered when creating an SEO strategy.
5. Well Defined Goals
Well-defined goals are vital to any SEO strategy. Setting goals will keep you on track and help you analyze new opportunities that might arise in the future.
If you have something as simple as trying to rank for the term plumbers in Manchester, your goals will probably be far simpler than that of an enterprise-level client. The more complicated the campaign, the more in-depth your strategy needs to be.
Having clearly defined goals requires us to be intentional in our selection of metrics and key performance indicators.
Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, are used in business and can also be important in SEO strategy. The measure of success, objectives, and activities can be tracked so you know whether you have met your objectives and whether you should make changes to your strategy.
That said, no set of business goals or vision is complete without defining the expected Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure success against. The same applies to those who create SEO strategies for clients. By defining your business goals and then linking them to specific actions, you can be more effective in achieving your desired results.
Achieving your goals will give you a sense of accomplishment and allow you to continue moving forward with your SEO project.
To conclude, while it may be tempting to jump right into keyword research and link building, you should understand the key components of creating a successful SEO strategy first. You need to plan your actions well before executing them. Otherwise, you risk wasting a lot of time and money on SEO tactics that don’t produce results.
SEO has a ton of moving parts in the best circumstances. For every niche, there are hundreds of ways for companies to get their content ranked. While every SEO expert knows this, most struggle with how to strategize an SEO plan that will work with a client’s business goals.
SEO strategy is a creative process so be innovative and follow the points discussed above and you will guarantee your success with Search Engine Optimization.