free strategy session
free strategy session

Search engine optimization consists of many different activities. This includes things like keywords, internal linking, page loading speed …and backlinks. While a SEO strategy mainly focuses on on-site content marketing and technical aspects, one of the most important off-site elements is building up a profile of valuable backlinks that connect to your quality content.

This is called link building, and it is a great way to increase your ranking online. If you’re aware of the need for backlinks to boost your SEO, but you aren’t sure what to do, here are some thoughts and tips on how to build a rock-solid SEO backlink strategy.

What Are Backlinks in SEO?

Backlinks are hyperlinks that point from one page to another. In SEO, a backlink exists when one site creates content with an embedded link that directs visitors to your website.

Backlinks also go by a variety of other names, including inbound links and one-way links. These reflect the incoming traffic element that makes a backlink so important.

Why Are Backlinks Helpful for SEO?

Google sees each backlink as a digital “vote of confidence.” In other words, a backlink is a third-party website signaling to the search engine that your content has value and is worthy of attention and priority.

Creating high-quality content is a critical first step of SEO. Backlinks take this further by alerting search engines to the fact that your content is a solid online resource for related search queries. This leads to search tools ranking your content higher in their SERPs (search engine results pages), which results in more traffic, quality leads, and a better conversion rate.

What Is an SEO Backlink Strategy

Backlinks are an essential part of any SEO campaign. Unlike on-site content, though, you can’t compose backlinks as you would create, say, a blog or webinar. So, how do you get a high quality link, then? 

The first answer to that question is that you don’t just want backlinks. You want quality backlinks from high-authority websites. Fortunately, there are many backlink techniques and tactics that can help you get these valuable inbound links. Here are a few common ones:

Research the Success of Others

The first step is to use a tool like Semrush, Ahrefs, or Moz to study backlink profiles. That means looking up the collection of domains and web pages linking to a website that ranks well for a particular word or phrase. 

Backlink profiles can help you see how others are ranking for the keywords that you’re targeting. You can use this information to inform your own link building efforts.

Find Guest Blogging Opportunities

Guest blogging is a popular form of off-page SEO. Often called “outreach,” this involved contacting other popular websites and then offering to write a piece of content for them as a guest author, aka a guest post. Typically, guest posting comes with a backlink. 

You can also use a social media site like LinkedIn to build links in the form of high-quality posts. Working with industry influencers is another great way to collaboratively create the conditions for quality backlinks.

Utilize Broken Links

A broken link is one that no longer clicks through to a live page. There are two ways to use this in your SEO strategy.

First, look for broken links on high-authority websites and ask if they’d consider swapping them out for a live link with the same solutions. Second, make sure your own links aren’t broken on your site so that no one can do the same to you.

Track Your Success

Backlink strategies aren’t effective unless you can track them. Use tools like Google Search Console to collect data and observe analytics in relation to your link building strategy over time.

Monitor your site’s traffic. Check your search rankings. Look for which pages are benefitting from backlinks and which ones need more help.

A Quick Word on Organic Backlinks

As you invest in a backlinking strategy, remember that the ultimate goal is to create organic backlinks. These are instances (whether you create them or not) where your links naturally make sense in other publications’ content. 

Organic backlinks come from offering genuine value to the reader and surrounding each quality link with appropriate textual context. They have relatable anchor text (the actual words hyperlinked) and don’t misdirect the reader as to their destination.

How Do Backlinks Play Into an Overall SEO Strategy?

Backlinks are a powerful off-site indicator that it’s worth visiting your content (or, in the case of search engines, directing users to visit your content). Even so, backlinks should never be your primary focus.

A quality SEO strategy incorporates backlinks into a larger plan that includes keywords, internal linking, and technical SEO. Even then, a good SEO strategy should just be one part of a larger approach to growth marketing that includes digital PR and a good content strategy as a way to simultaneously improve your company’s visibility, credibility, and authority across the interweb.

If you’re uncertain how to work all of these things together into a single, cohesive digital marketing strategy, you may want to work with an SEO company to ensure your efforts positively impact your bottom line. Whether you develop your strategy on your own or with third-party support, backlinking should have its rightful place as an effective part of your online marketing endeavors.

Organic SEO is a powerful way to gain authority in your industry. But how do you improve something that happens naturally?

Contrary to what the name implies, there are many ways you can influence the organic search traffic that comes from search engine optimization. If you’re trying to boost your SEO strategy, you want to keep organic SEO techniques in the mix.

What Is Organic SEO?

Most people are familiar with the term “organic SEO.” But coming up with a definition can be a bit confusing.

We prefer to define organic SEO by its results. Organic SEO strategy engages in activities that help your online content show up in search engine ranking. In other words, when you have good organic SEO, Google search and other search engines place the links and metadata from your content higher on their search engine results pages.

Why Is Organic SEO Important?

Organic SEO is a critical behind-the-scenes element of any effective digital marketing campaign. Once again, when done properly, organic SEO leverages the power of things like hyperlinks, keywords, search intent, and Google Analytics data to optimize your web assets.

Many people talk about organic SEO in terms of website traffic. But it also includes related items like CTR (clickthrough rate — that is, how often people who see your links click on them), heat mapping (where a person navigates to on a web page), and dwell time (how long a visitor spends on a site). 

Higher CTR means more traffic. Heat maps can help you position on-page content for optimal conversions. Higher dwell time means your giving visitors the content that they’re looking for.

When you track and optimize all of these organic search engine optimization elements, you can dramatically increase the impact of your digital marketing investments and your position in a search result.

What Are Organic SEO Techniques?

As you might expect, organic SEO happens organically. At least, that’s how it appears when compared to something like PPC (pay per click) advertising, where you pay for each click that your google ads and links generate. 

In contrast, organic SEO happens simply because you’ve optimized your content marketing enough for search engines to find it and offer it to searchers as a potential answer for their related queries. That means a search engine like Google is directing visitors to your content not because you paid for that traffic, but because of the content itself. 

While this appears “organic” on the surface, organic SEO is actually powered by fantastically sophisticated algorithms. These use certain indicators, such as user behavior, a keyword phrase, and backlinks, to decide what content to offer searchers. 

That means, if you know enough about how those algorithms respond to certain inputs, you can create content that is specifically primed to attract organic attention — something referred to as organic search techniques.

5 Organic Search Techniques to Boost SEO

There are many techniques you can use to improve your organic SEO. These typically fall into three categories:



Image describing technical, off-page, and on-page SEO

Here are some of the most common SEO tips and techniques that you can use to take your organic search traffic to the next level.

1. A Technical SEO Audit

Start by making sure (or hiring an SEO company to make sure) your site’s structure is sound. Test everything from website speed to navigation, mobile-friendliness, and accessibility.

2. Keyword Optimization

When creating content, consider the keywords that you should include. This doesn’t mean you should stuff your content with the same words over and over again. You always want to prioritize the user experience first. However, make sure you’re also deliberately using the best words and phrases related to your topic. Some upfront keyword research is key here.

3. Search Intent

The customer is always right. It’s a mantra used in sales — and it applies to SEO, too. What are your website visitors looking for? Say they search “work out” in an attempt to learn more about exercising. They’ll likely want something more informative than if they search the term “running shoes to buy.” Fashion quality content around the intent with which they’ll search for those answers online to be the most helpful.

4. Backlinking

Backlinking (also called “external linking”) is a powerful way to boost your website’s authority via other authoritative websites. This happens when you get a brand mention or have a hyperlink that points back to your site (or ideally both) on high authority publications. This digitally associates your brand with their pre-established search engine prowess, boosting your own site’s rankings in the process. It also signals to Google that whatever you have linked is a helpful resource, all of which Google appreciates.

5. Internal Links

Hyperlinks can also help your organic SEO right on your website. Internal links take place when you link to various pages across your site within your own content — like this. Think of internal links like a spiderweb. As you criss cross the various threads of your content, it strengthens the authority of the entire website, in addition to making it easier for users to find helpful information.

Mastering Your Organic SEO Strategy

Organic SEO is the lifeblood of many companies. As such, you don’t want to leave such an important part of your business to the whims of the interweb.

Use the suggestions above to weave organic SEO techniques into your larger digital marketing strategy. That way, over time, you will strengthen your website’s natural presence on the web and establish your brand’s high quality content as an authoritative and popular source of solutions for your audience.

Picture this: You’re scrolling through the latest business news, sipping your coffee, when a statistic jumps out at you.

Nearly 70% of online experiences start with search.

What? No way. That can’t be right.

You tap the microphone icon on your phone. “What percent of online experiences start with search?”

And then the irony hits you.

These days, search engines are the ports from which our inquiring minds disembark. And yet, search engine optimization is basically a footnote in your marketing strategy.

If you’re ready to devote more resources to search engine optimization techniques, you want to get it right. You might be wondering, Can I do SEO by myself? Do I need paid SEO tools? An agency partner?

Let’s dive in and answer these questions.

Can I learn SEO myself?

The short answer is yes. You can learn a lot about SEO strategy on your own if you’re a business owner or a marketer who’s never dipped your toes into SEO. It’s possible to DIY SEO for small business, at least for the basics.

Does SEO work for small business? Absolutely! Even small teams with modest budgets can produce strategic content to bring in organic web traffic over time.

Can I do SEO for free?

Yes, you can do SEO for free to an extent. Between free tools, self-learning, and manual research, you can address many of the important SEO factors.

However, most marketers and business owners eventually hit a ceiling when doing SEO for free. Most of the free tools available have built-in limitations to drive users toward a paid subscription. (Hey, we’re all out here to make a living.)

It can be frustrating to make it so far through an optimization process only to hit a wall. You might decide that paying for subscriptions to some tools is worth the investment. Our recommendation: Try the free version of the tool first to see whether it meets your needs. Many tools also offer a free trial of advanced features.

What is the best SEO checker tool?

There are lots of SEO tools out there, ranging from completely free to $500+ per month subscriptions. If tackling SEO by yourself seems intimidating, start by evaluating your existing content. Here are some of the best SEO checker tools to help you create a great SEO strategy

Audit your site

Most SEO tools include a site audit feature. Why start with an audit? Using a tool like SEMRush’s free website audit will help you identify glaring issues and opportunities for improvement. With the report from a tool like this, you’ll see how your site stacks up in terms of speed, crawlability, internal linking, and more.

Identify high-performing keywords

Most searches happen on Google, so it’s no surprise that several of the best SEO tools come from Google. To see which keywords are already bringing in traffic, look no further than Google Search Console. Go to the Performance tab and look in the Queries section to see what your visitors searched to end up on your site.

Analyze backlinks

Curious how many backlinks your content has earned? Serpstat’s backlink analysis tool will give you all the data you need. Reviewing this data will give you a good idea of which types of sites are likely to link to your content in the future.

Assess overall site performance

Google’s got you covered on site performance as well. Google Analytics is a trove of valuable data. To see which content on your site has gotten the most traffic, go to the Reports tab and then Engagement > Pages and Screens report. You can also build custom reports to dig into the nuances of your content’s performance.

Efficiently scaling your SEO efforts

The main reason folks often decide to pay for SEO tools or partner with an SEO agency is efficiency. Sure, you can cobble together your manual research with insights from free tools. You’ll be able to make some progress that way.

But is that the best use of your time? What else could you accomplish for your business if you invested in getting better results more efficiently?

If your budget allows, the most effective and efficient way to achieve your SEO goals is to partner with an agency. They’ve done the research. They know your industry. And they have the relationships to earn your content authoritative backlinks.

The bottom line is: Yes, you can build an SEO strategy by yourself for free. But when you start to see results (and you will!), it’s hard to scale a DIY approach. When you get to that point, it’s time to get out the big guns by paying for SEO tools. Or better yet, hire the big guns by partnering with a full-service SEO agency.

Take a look at any “SEO checklist” and you’ll find hundreds of factors you could include in an SEO strategy. It can be hard to know where to start. As you’re evaluating search engine optimization techniques, here are the five most important factors to consider.

What are the 5 SEO factors?

Here are the main factors to think about as you’re building your plan of attack.

1. Strong technical foundation

The best integrated SEO plans are built on a solid technical foundation. Content-focused marketers might be tempted to ignore technical SEO (or at least save it for last). But it’s the cornerstone of high-ranking content.

That’s because search engines have gotten very good at identifying a great user experience. If Google sends a user to a poorly-designed website, the user is less likely to trust Google to provide the best search results. Therefore, if your website has technical issues or inefficiencies, your content won’t rank well, no matter how expertly-crafted it is.

For these reasons, it’s crucial to check table-stakes technical SEO elements like website speed, site structure, mobile-friendliness, and accessibility.

2. Keyword-optimized content matched to search intent

We talk a lot about keyword optimization in SEO. Why are keyword research and optimization so important?

Keyword research is valuable because it’s a kind of prospect research. As marketers, we’re sometimes removed from the audience we’re targeting. Unlike sales or customer service, we don’t interact with our prospects and customers every day. This distance can cause us to drift from research and start relying on assumptions.

Consistently including a keyword research step in your SEO strategy helps you validate your assumptions. It allows you to ask, “What topic is our audience actually searching for? What kind of language do they use when searching?”

A key part of keyword search is identifying search intent. Look at the types of keywords your audience uses. Are they informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional? Then, craft your content using this research.

Types of Keywords - correct and enlarged

3. On-site interlinking

When it comes to linking strategy in SEO, we sometimes jump straight to backlinks. But on-site interlinking also plays an important role in ranking.

Building links between your own website content helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your website. From Google’s perspective, on-site interlinking passes link equity back and forth between your pieces of content.

Interlinking also improves your website’s user experience by making it easier to navigate. Think about it this way: New content you create is probably related to other content you’ve already published. Maybe the two topics are laterally connected, or maybe one piece is a deep dive into a concept mentioned in the other.

Users who landed on one piece from a Google search may not know about the other piece. It’s important to connect the two via on-site interlinking.

4. Backlinking

Of course, you can spend all day linking to your own content internally. But there’s a reason why 82% of consumers trust reviews and only 4% trust ads. What other people say about you is simply more credible than what you say about yourself.

That’s why building backlinks is one of the most important off-page SEO factors. Search engines view backlinks as a sign that others have found your content helpful.

If your strategy is to publish excellent content and sit back as the backlinks flow in, you’re missing opportunities. There are sites out there with an audience that would love your new content. But that publisher likely won’t find your content without a friendly introduction.

5. Helpful content

Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about content. Great content can’t accomplish your SEO goals by itself. But it’s a vital component of your strategy. If you don’t get content right, the other factors we’ve discussed won’t matter.

What makes content helpful in the eyes of search engines? We don’t have to take a shot in the dark to answer this. Google has shared that it uses its E-E-A-T framework to judge content’s quality.

Publishing helpful content is the bread and butter of on-page SEO. Let’s dig a bit deeper into these concepts.

Why on-page SEO is important

Improving on-page SEO factors can boost your content’s chance of ranking at the top of the SERP. Here are the three most important SEO ranking factors for your content.

What are the 3 most important ranking factors in on-page SEO writing?

There are many ranking factors in SEO. Here are the three most important for writing content.

Your content should be:

Your 5 steps to success

As you develop an SEO marketing strategy, focus on the five SEO factors we’ve discussed. There are lots of optimization opportunities in each of these areas. But having a roadmap will help you ensure you’re putting your effort and resources toward a well-rounded strategy.

The future is digital. These days, optimizing your digital content for search is crucial to position your marketing strategy for the future. Ready to incorporate search engine optimization into your marketing plan, but not sure where to start? Here are some search engine optimization techniques to try for yourself.

What are the three search engine optimization techniques?

The three main SEO techniques align with the three types of search engine marketing:

  1. Technical
  2. On-page
  3. Off-page

Search engine optimization techniques image

SEO is a broad field. A holistic SEO strategy divides different techniques into these three buckets for a well-rounded approach.

1. Technical audit

Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your website’s infrastructure for a better user experience and easy access by search engines. Evaluating and improving the technical side of your website is a crucial first step in search engine optimization. After all, if Google can’t understand your content, it can’t boost it to the top of the SERP.

To establish a strong technical foundation for your website, start by auditing the basics: website speed, structure, and mobile-friendliness.

Website speed is a critical metric for SEO. If your site loads slowly, users will not have a good experience with it - and won’t stick around. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is a fast and free way to check your speed. Its core vitals report is a great resource to take into a discussion about improvements with your website team.

A clear and simple site structure is invaluable. It improves your site experience for both people and search engines. Try to reduce your layers of navigation and use short, descriptive URLs.

Simplifying your site structure will also help with mobile-friendliness. A significant portion of your traffic is likely mobile, so a great mobile experience is essential to ranking in search results. Improving accessibility features like alt tags also boosts mobile-friendliness.

2. On-page content optimization

While all three types of SEO are crucial, content creation is the bread and butter of SEO. In many ways, your content drives the rest of your strategy.

Creating high-quality content that’s optimized to target keywords is called on-page SEO. It happens right there on your website. You have full control over these optimizations, which means it’s your opportunity to shine.

Before you create any content, you must have a keyword-driven content strategy. Without one, however, your content will be less focused and less likely to help you achieve your goals.

Firstly, start by identifying your content niche. Set out to solve your prospects’ problems - and not by recommending your own product. SEO content that’s truly helpful to readers will rise to the top of the SERP.

Once you’ve identified your niche, spend some time researching keywords to focus on. There are many keyword research tools available to help. You can also use customer and competitor research to learn what your audience is searching.

Finally, choose a keyword and create content with quality as your priority. What does “quality” mean to search engine algorithms? Google doesn’t share all its secrets, but we do have some guidelines. Google uses the E-E-A-T framework to help judge a piece of content’s quality.

One way to signal E-E-A-T factors to Google is to provide an author bio covering the creator’s credentials. Keeping your content easy to read, adding new insights to the topic, and using structural elements like headers also increase your chances of ranking.

Be sure to include your focus keyword in the body of your content as well as the title, URL, headers, meta description, and image tags.

3. Building backlinks

In addition to technical and content quality factors, there’s another element Google assesses when ranking your content: backlinks. Backlinks are links to your content from external sites.

Backlinks are important for the same reason people trust product reviews more than ads. Feedback from a third party is more likely to be trustworthy and accurate. Search engine algorithms assume that if lots of third parties link to your content, it must be helpful.

Once you’ve published your content, you can earn backlinks by targeting websites that appeal to your audience. Find existing content on the site where a link to your piece would fit. Then, reach out to the publication with a personalized message. Finally, give a summary of your content and how it helps their readers. Suggest the link’s location and anchor text. And if the publication does add your link, return the favor when you can!

How to do search engine optimization

A comprehensive SEO strategy includes all three of these techniques. The best way to make sure you’re hitting the right notes at the right time is to hire an expert - an in-house specialist or SEO agency. But if that’s not on your roadmap right now, you can tackle the basics yourself.

How to do SEO yourself

Here are some free or inexpensive SEO tools you can use as an SEO marketing beginner.

Build your SEO foundation

SEO is an ever-evolving field as search engine algorithms become more sophisticated. However, looking at SEO holistically can be a little intimidating. By breaking your approach down into these three SEO techniques, you can solidify your content strategy’s foundation and pave the way for incremental improvements down the road.

As a marketer, you know SEO is important for your brand. You might have tried a few SEO tactics here and there. But were they rooted in a solid SEO marketing strategy? Did they achieve what you expected?

To make sure your SEO efforts are providing the best possible return, it’s important to build your SEO strategy on a strong foundation. Here’s how.

What is SEO marketing?

Let’s start with the basics. SEO refers to a set of techniques that improve your digital content’s rank and appearance in search engine results. Within a marketing context, SEO marketing is an efficient way to bring more organic traffic to your website without a high-dollar investment in advertising.

We shared some examples of SEO marketing in our post, What are examples of SEO marketing?

How do you develop an SEO marketing strategy?

SEO is a rapidly-evolving field and it can be easy to get distracted by the shiny, new tactics your favorite LinkedInfluencer is posting about. But before you get wrapped up in testing new things, make sure you’ve developed an SEO strategy rooted in the fundamentals.

After all, if you don’t get the basics right, any advanced SEO tactics you try will be like building a house on sand. Follow these five steps to develop a solid SEO marketing strategy for your brand.

1. Identify your content niche

If you’re working with an established company, this first step might seem straightforward. You’ll create content about what you know: your product. Right?

Identifying your content niche can be trickier than you think. SEO content is not sales-focused. If you only write about yourself (your brand), you’ll capture very little attention from an organic audience.

Your prospect probably won’t search for anything about your company or brand unless they’re way down the funnel and practically ready to buy. And in general, that’s not who your SEO strategy is targeting. You have sales content for those folks.

Instead, focus your SEO content on solving your prospects’ problems. This might expand beyond the problems your product solves. Don’t be afraid to create content about topics outside the specific scope of your product. If it’s related to what you do and you can speak to it with authority, it’s fair game.

2. Do thorough keyword research

Once you’ve identified your niche, it’s time to do some keyword research to find out what your prospects are searching. Here are a few simple (and free!) tactics:

Remember that the goal of your SEO content is not to sell your product. It’s to help your audience. The keyword research phase is the time to truly follow the data. If a keyword doesn’t seem like it will lead to a sale, but it’s a hot topic to your audience, include it in your SEO marketing strategy.

3. Create optimized, high-quality content

Now, choose a keyword and start creating high-quality content with your audience in mind. What do we mean by quality? Your content should be:

Of course, we’re talking about SEO here - your content must also include your target keyword. If you’ve chosen your keyword wisely, it should naturally fit into the body and headers of your content. In addition, be sure it appears in your title, URL, meta description, and image tags when appropriate.

4. Deploy your backlink strategy

Okay, you SEO maven, you’ve created some excellent, keyword-optimized content! Your piece might get some attention on its own, but to get the most value out of it, there’s more to do.

The first three steps above are considered on-page SEO (with some technical elements). When deciding which content to show in its results, Google considers more than the on-page and technical SEO factors discussed above. The algorithm also looks for signs that others have found your content helpful: backlinks.

Backlinks are links from external sites to your content, and the best way to earn them is to ask for them. Identify popular sites that your target audience visits. Track down the person or team responsible for their digital content, and ask them to consider linking to your content. Include a summary, how it benefits their readers, and where the link could go.

5. Measure and adjust

When you’ve put all this energy into researching, creating, and promoting your content, you absolutely must keep track of how it’s performing. It’s the only way to uncover how your next piece can be even better.

Some common key performance indicators for SEO content are:

As you’re developing your SEO marketing strategy, it’s crucial to be on the same page with leadership about which metrics will indicate success.

What are the benefits of an SEO strategy?

Once you understand the foundations, it’s easy to see the benefits of an SEO strategy in digital marketing. A solid SEO strategy can have many benefits, including:

There are many benefits of building a cohesive SEO marketing strategy vs. simply trying a few tactics here and there. Having a thought-out strategy ensures that any adjustments or innovations you try will be built on a solid foundation. With the SEO strategy example above, you can build that foundation and then get creative.

Search engine optimization is one of the best investments you can make in your brand’s digital future. An SEO strategy is a plan to optimize your website content to improve its ranking in search results. And it’s a vast field with both technical and content-based components. Let’s break it down into three strategies you can tackle one by one, until the organic traffic is flowing.

What are the top 3 SEO strategies?

Ready to superpower your SEO marketing strategy? Here are the top strategies to get you started.

1. Perform a technical audit and optimizations on your website

Many marketers think of SEO as part of their content creation strategy. But a great SEO foundation starts before you create a single piece of content - with technical SEO.

There are hundreds of optimizations you could make to improve your website, but here are a few of the most important technical SEO ranking factors. Here’s how to audit these factors on your website and make optimizations for SEO.

2. Build a consistent, keyword-driven content strategy

When it comes to SEO, content is still king - and Google’s algorithm is better than ever at recognizing truly valuable content. To create consistently high-quality content, use these on-page SEO techniques:

  1. Identify your content niche. Focus on solving your prospects’ problems, and don’t be afraid to write about topics outside (but related to) the scope of your product.
  2. Perform thorough keyword research. Use keyword research tools and competitor analysis to identify what your audience is searching.
  3. Create optimized, high-quality content. Your piece should be easy to read, educational or entertaining, and credible. Incorporate your keyword into your content.

3. Acquire backlinks

Once your content is polished up, it’s time to pursue backlinks. Earning backlinks means using off-page SEO techniques to get links to your content from external sites. This shows Google that other users have found your content helpful.

Here are some tactics to earn backlinks:

In the context of SEO, what does EAT stand for?

Just what marketers need, another acronym. Trust us, this one is essential for your SEO marketing strategy. Introduced by Google in 2014, E-A-T stood for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. In 2022, Google added another “E” to the framework - experience.

E-E-A-T is one of many guidelines that Google’s algorithm uses to determine content’s value and, therefore, its ranking. While it’s not a direct ranking factor, it’s a “green flag” for high-quality content. According to Google’s Search Quality Guidelines, high-quality content exhibits:

Googles E-E-A-T

How to incorporate EAT into your content

By sticking with the three SEO strategies outlined above, your content will naturally include the E-A-T elements. But you can take things a step further to make sure your content is Google’s dream come true.

Here are a few unique SEO strategies that use E-A-T concepts:

Optimize with confidence

In the end, SEO is about creating valuable content that users can trust. To hit the quality bullseye with your digital content, start with technical optimizations. Create relevant, keyword-optimized content with plenty of E-A-T indicators, and then maximize backlinks with a focused strategy.

In 2023, Google celebrates 25 years of helping users find answers on the internet. By now, you’ve probably heard of search engine optimization (SEO). But if you’re new, SEO marketing for beginners might seem like a mysterious power that only seasoned marketers can wield.

The truth is, there’s no magic formula that gets you to the top of a Google search result. And SEO isn’t just for marketing experts. Thanks to marketing automation, you can use SEO strategy to get more traffic to your website and increase sales. 

So if you’re just getting started, here are some SEO basics for our beginners out there.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization is the practice of improving your website’s rank and appearance on the search engine results page (SERP). Optimizing your site’s content for search engines takes a multi-pronged approach. Let’s start by digging into the role of search engine optimization in digital marketing.

The importance of SEO in digital marketing

Digital marketing encompasses a lot, from advertising to public relations to content marketing strategy. SEO is just one piece of your overarching marketing strategy – but it’s a crucial one. Here’s why.

Why is SEO important?

Today’s world is digital. Your target audience lives, laughs, and learns online. Your website is likely your primary online real estate. No marketer will tell you they don’t need more qualified web traffic – that is, people who are likely to be in-market for your product at some point.

Sure, you can use advertising to get those folks to your site, but that can get expensive. And while advertising can boost brand awareness, it simply can’t buy brand affinity . Plus, when you stop advertising, that traffic stops flowing in.

By contrast, an investment in SEO is a gift that keeps giving. Yes, your website will need some attention to ensure it’s still optimized. But as your content earns more traffic, it will gain more authority, making SEO a truly evergreen tactic.

What is basic SEO? Steps for beginners

SEO marketing is a vast field. We’re talking James Webb Space Telescope vast. You could hire a full-time expert or even a full-service SEO agency. But you don’t need to go that far to take your first steps toward optimization. To reach SEO success, you need to:

1. Perform Keyword Research

There are SEO tools dedicated to keyword research. But as a beginner, don’t over-complicate this step. When optimizing your website content to keywords, go with what you know best – your business and your customers. Ask yourself:

If you sell clothing for dogs, some keywords that might come to mind are:

For more inspiration, google search some keywords and see what’s suggested. If anything jumps out to you, add it to your list. It's important to pick a relevant keyword based on the search intent. And don’t worry about including every keyword under the sun – four or five keywords might encompass your offering.


Dog clothing search results for What is SEO marketing for beginners?

2. Work the keywords into your web content

Match each keyword up to a web page on your site. If a keyword is on your list but doesn’t fit any of your content, that’s a sign that you might need a new page for that topic.

Once you’ve paired each relevant keyword with a page, make sure it appears in these key areas:

Incorporating your keyword shouldn’t be difficult or sound unnatural. If you have a hard time working it in, it might not be the best keyword for that page.

3. Create a content plan

Because search engine algorithms prioritize fresh content, you should consider starting a blog if you don’t have one. Posting a high-quality blog post consistently is one of the most effective ways to build your credibility and start ranking higher for the keywords that are important to your business. 

Thanks to the keyword brainstorming you’ve already done, you should have some good ideas for topics. Keep your team on track by putting together a simple content calendar with each article’s topic, author, and target publish date.

Your SEO content plan should also include regular reviews of your static web pages. Depending on how dynamic your organization is, auditing your website content two to four times per year is usually enough.

4. Link building

One of the main signals search engines use to determine your authority is your number of backlinks – that is, how many times other sites link to yours. Link building is a great SEO tool to support your SEO efforts. If your content has a lot, people likely find it helpful and reliable.

Once you’re consistently publishing high-quality content, you’ll collect some backlinks without trying. Look at you go! But to really take your SEO strategy to the next level, you’ll need a link-building plan.

Earning a backlink can be a simple off page SEO technique. Start with these steps:

How SEO works for business

The first result on the SERP has a click-through rate of more than 28% . The tenth result? Only 2.5% of users click through. That means to have a significant impact on your business results, you’ll need to muscle your way to the top few results.

Done well, your SEO efforts can benefit your business in many ways. It can:

Simply put, SEO helps you bring more people to your website who are actively interested in topics related to your products and services. From there, it’s up to you what to do with that traffic. So, in a way, it is a little bit like magic. 

You know what they say: Nobody’s perfect. Marketers are no exception. But when it comes to your SEO strategy, the first five organic search results get nearly 70% of the clicks. When ranking is more important than ever, mistakes can cost you.

Here are some of the most common SEO mistakes and how to avoid them.

What is the main mistake of SEO that companies make?

The journey to the top of the SERP is a winding road, and there are many opportunities to wander off the path. What is the most common SEO mistake companies make?

If you take a wrong turn in the first five minutes of a road trip, everything you do after that will be off. Your SEO strategy is the same way. The early steps are where mistakes can have the biggest impact.

We’ve found the main SEO mistake companies make is targeting the wrong keywords. It’s not that these folks are totally off base. They’re not cosmetics companies targeting pet food keywords.

They’re just… not totally on base either. They’ve missed the mark on identifying the most valuable keywords with the most opportunity.

Companies making this mistake have often based their keyword strategy on shooting for the stars. They target the keywords with the most volume. After all, that’s the biggest pie - surely there’s a little sliver available for them?

Unfortunately, those keywords are also the most difficult to rank for. The brands at the top of the SERP are usually monoliths with decades of built-up authority and marketing budgets in the millions.

How to choose the right target keywords

How can you narrow down your target keywords and choose one you actually have a chance of ranking for? Look for longer-tail keywords that are specific to your audience and content niche.

Don’t be afraid of low volume keywords. These show up in your keyword research tool as having low search volume, but the truth is that these can be amazing opportunities. The “low” just means volume data is unavailable because a low number of people are searching for that term. In reality, you could convert a large portion of those users with the right content.

Which are the most costly mistakes in SEO?

SEO is “organic,” but that doesn’t mean it’s free. It takes time and expertise to pull off a comprehensive SEO strategy. And all the moving pieces are connected - so mistakes in one area can throw off progress in another. From this point of view, any major SEO problems can cost your organization.

However, the most costly SEO mistakes occur when you start putting a ton of resources toward a promotion tactic without also first focusing on content quality. This might mean buying low-quality backlinks or churning out low-effort content just for the sake of backlinks.

How to earn backlinks with high-quality content

Creating linkable, high-quality content is an essential first step to building backlinks. The best backlinks are earned, not bought. But that doesn’t mean it won’t take effort to earn them.

The bulk of your backlink strategy should be organic through creating great content and pitching it to publishers. Relationship building can make this process much smoother.

What are some on-page SEO mistakes?

Many common mistakes happen “on page” - right there in your content. These are usually issues with on-page or technical SEO. One of the top essentials that some beginners miss is including the target keyword in meta data fields.

Another common on-page SEO issue is not matching content to keyword intent. We’ve seen excellent content that’s optimized to the target keyword… but it doesn’t match the keyword’s search intent.

For example, a user who searches for “best running shoes for long distance” probably intends to make a purchase with the information they find.

If you write content that talks generally about what makes a good long-distance running shoe, it could rank for that keyword. But it’s lacking key information that the searcher will miss: top brands, specific shoes, reviews and ratings.

In this example, the searcher would likely look at your content, see that it doesn’t have what they need, and click back to the SERP for another resource. This is a big red flag to Google’s algorithm and it will start to notice that your content isn’t meeting expectations.

How to optimize content to keyword and search intent

To optimize your content to both keyword and intent, refresh your knowledge of the different types of keywords. Is your target keyword informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional?

Once you’ve aligned your content with the searcher’s intent, use a standardized checklist to include your keyword in all the appropriate fields:

Checking these fields will help you fix one of the top technical SEO issues we see.

Practice makes perfect

Your digital content will never be perfectly optimized. And as soon as you get close, Google will announce a big algorithm update. Despite it all, marketers will keep striving for SEO perfection from technical optimization to keyword research.

By avoiding the common pitfalls we’ve discussed, you can continue fighting the good fight to bring more organic traffic to your website.

An SEO strategy is a plan to improve the ranking and appearance of your digital content on the search engine results page. The role of SEO strategy in digital marketing is to generate more organic traffic to your website over time.

What are the different SEO strategies?

There are three primary SEO marketing strategies: technical optimizations, keyword-driven content, and backlink building. Let’s dig into all three.

A technical audit and optimizations

It’s critical to build a solid technical SEO foundation before you start creating and promoting content on your website. If you’re new to SEO or developing a strategy for a new organization, a technical audit should be the first step in your plan.

What does a technical audit include? You don’t need to reinvent the wheel on this one. Look for resources from the big names in SEO. We like this technical SEO checklist from Moz because it prioritizes each element and suggests tools to help.

Here are some technical details to evaluate in your audit. 

Copy of On-page and technical SEO

A keyword-driven content strategy focused on quality

High-quality content is the backbone of SEO. By itself, however, it’s not enough to get the best results from your hard work. Your content must be rooted in thoughtful keyword research to ensure you’re reaching the right audience and meeting their expectations with your content.

There are many keyword research tools to get the ball rolling. Google’s free keyword planner is a great place to start, and for deeper insights, try Ahref’s keyword generator.

From your research, choose focus keywords that match your audience’s intent. One of the most common SEO mistakes we see is a mismatch between content and search intent.

For example, a user who searches for “best running shoes for long distance” probably intends to make a purchase with the information they find. If your content lacks key info like reviews and ratings of specific shoes, it won’t meet the searcher’s expectations. Google will notice this based on user behavior and demote your content.

Once you’ve targeted a keyword and identified the intent behind it, it’s time for content creation (finally). Today, search engine algorithms are better than ever at identifying helpful content. Here are some traits they look for:

A robust backlink strategy

Search engines look at the backlinks your content has earned to help determine whether others have found it helpful. For this reason, your SEO strategy should include a proactive plan to get backlinks from trustworthy sources.

How do you get backlinks? Keeping up with owned web properties outside of your website is one way. Share your content on your own social pages with engaging posts that foster sharing and discussion. If your product or service appears on directory websites, claim those profiles.

The primary way to get backlinks, though, is to strategically ask for them. Follow these steps:

  1. Identify target websites with content that’s related to your own.
  2. Find a piece of content where a link to your content would fit well.
  3. Reach out to the publisher - a specific person when possible.
  4. Share a summary of your content and why it’s valuable for their readers.

You can also ask these publishers about opportunities to guest blog on their site. These might be paid or free opportunities - or the pub might not accept guest content at all. But you won’t know until you ask.

What is an example of an SEO strategy?

A simple plan would incorporate the SEO tools and techniques described above. Here’s an example:

  1. Start with a technical SEO audit. Identify the high-priority issues and opportunities. Make those optimizations to ensure you’re creating content on a solid foundation.
  2. Perform thoughtful keyword research that includes analyzing search intent. Target keywords for your content.
  3. Create high-quality, engaging content that incorporates your target keywords. Focus on helping your audience solve their problems.
  4. Deploy a backlink building strategy to gain authority and credibility for your content.

How do I create an SEO strategy?

Overall, an effective SEO strategy can increase your website traffic, build brand trust, and increase conversion rates. By following the steps and strategies we’ve discussed, you can create an actionable plan using SEO techniques in digital marketing.

Privacy PolicyCookie Policy
Privacy PolicyCookie Policy
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram