Chris Siebeneck, VP of Strategic Partners at SEO Werkz, Changing the world … one campaign at a time
Coming up with a strategy behind your SEO is the most important part of SEO. If you don’t have a strategy, then what are you basing your work on? Your strategy should be based on the fact that Google wants to know where to send people who want information about what you do.
The issue with modern websites is that there are lots of pages that can be the answer to the same question, which means duplicate content. It will confuse Google and can keep Google running in circles. Strategically, a website wants to make sure that there is one page that answers a question and can be Google’s focal point. Users want a great answer to the question asked.
The first step in a successful SEO strategy is to identify the keywords you want to use. Your keywords are the search phrases that your business is a great answer for. In addition to what you do and what you sell, what problems do you solve? What help can you give? What information do you have that can get people interested in your business? Once you have identified the content that you need to have on your website, you need to group keywords thematically and semantically by intent. When people use internet searches, their intent is different depending on how they search.
Google has become much more involved in figuring out why people are searching and what type of answer they are looking for. Are they just researching topics or is their intent to go somewhere, buy something or simply get more information? You want to map your keywords to your existing website pages, or you need new pages for specific topics.
Since most sites have been focused on creating content, you may need to look at your duplicate content issues and find which pages you can combine. Fewer pages are not bad, but you don’t want to combine pages and end up putting too many topics on one page.
As you are building out your content, make sure that there’s an individual need for each page. Thin content can be as bad as duplicate content. Make sure you’ve got plenty of information on a page and that it’s similar to an encyclopedia entry. Informative, factual and useful information that can be used to answer questions or do research.
Keep An Eye On Patterns
Once you start working on a strategy for your website, you’ll find it an ongoing process as people come to the site and bounce or fall off certain pages because they’re not finding what they need or they’re not being given the next step.
As you go through monthly reports, you want to make sure that as people’s search patterns change, and as your services and business change, you can help people find new information while helping Google figure out which of your pages are the most important. You’re going to have multiple pages, but you should have some that are the most important landing pages and then have some child pages underneath, helping to bring customers into your sales funnel.
Make sure your site maps and your technical SEO are up to date on the strategy that your content is now living up to. Make sure your schema is installed and your snippet-rich content — which is your videos, reviews, recipes, news, etc. — are all mapped and you’ve got your schema markup in the code. That way, Google knows that’s what that page is about so they can show it specifically for the types of searches that are looking for specific types of content. Videos, for example, can rank very well if they’re well-strategized with SEO. If Google knows what they are about, they can be a great answer to a question.
Strategy is also important in your off-page SEO, which is all the links that are coming into your site. The information around them indicates to Google the subject matter. That information needs to agree with the page that they are linked into. A great example of this is if you have a page or service that no longer exists, but you have a lot of links that are coming in on that topic. You should have a page that explains how you used to do this but now you don’t. This makes it so Google has a landing page for that subject matter. Links that you build coming into your site should go to pages with the same topic content as the page they’re coming from.
Building your strategy is crucial to finding a measure of success in SEO. Remember what Google looks for and what users demand.