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Marketing funnels are a common way to visualize the customer journey. Different marketers describe the funnel in various ways. 

Marketing funnel stages are often discussed in relation to sales, paid ads, and customer service. But what about SEO? Here is a quick rundown of how a solid SEO strategy can impact visibility across the entire digital marketing funnel.

What Is SEO Visibility?

If you’re asking yourself, “What is SEO visibility in the first place?” The answer is as simple as it sounds. If you’re ranking on SERPs (search engine results pages), then you have good visibility. SEO ranking means you’re getting good attention and traffic for your website and its content. Website visibility is important, as it makes your brand discoverable, even to those who don’t know you exist yet.

There are many paid and free SEO visibility tools, each of which functions as a different version of the same thing: an SEO visibility check to see if your content is discoverable by your target audience through search engines. These tools compare your content to an SEO visibility index and use that to create a content score. 

Each site’s score can vary based on what metrics it considers. Moz, for instance, provides an SEO visibility score definition that reads, “the percentage of clicks we estimate you receive based on your organic rankings positions, across all of the keywords you’re tracking in your Campaign.” 

While the specifics can vary, SEO visibility always revolves around the key concept of how much traffic and attention your SEO is getting you. High SEO visibility is a powerful thing. It’s also an organic marketing element that has an impact on all parts of the marketing funnel.

SEO Across the Sales Funnel

So, how does good SEO visibility impact the various stages of the marketing funnel? Let’s start at the top.

SEO is never more important than at the early stages of the marketing funnel. Good SEO visibility ensures that your content is showing up when customers are searching for solutions to the pain points that you address — even if they don’t know who you are. 

As they see your brand appearing in searches, they become aware of you and the odds of them engaging with your brand grows. Awareness leads to acquisition, which then leads to activation and retention (i.e., getting an established customer to use your solutions and then become a returning customer).

Once again, SEO comes into play here. Greater search engine visibility leads to a steady stream of brand reminders. Seeing positive feedback from other customers encourages engagement. Quality search engine optimization also ensures that you’ll be at the top of the list the next time the customer does a google search for the same or similar solutions that your brand can answer. 

Investing in SEO provides a perpetual and affordable way to maximize customer retention and improve the speed at which potential customers move through the funnel for the first time. This translates to better customer lifetime value (CLV).

Finally, there’s the referral stage. Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful all on its own. However, good SEO visibility reinforces this when a customer recommends your products to a friend, and they can immediately find that product online.

Improving SEO Visibility Across Your Funnel

Good SEO visibility can improve your reach and general awareness, facilitate decision-making, and turn consumers into repeat customers and even referral machines. If you aren’t experiencing these benefits yet, here are a few suggestions for how to increase SEO visibility:

There are many ways to boost your visibility through SEO. The key is remembering the comprehensive benefits that SEO visibility offers to the entire customer journey.

Using SEO for Comprehensive Brand Visibility

Remember, don’t invest in SEO services simply as a way to generate leads or create brand awareness. Build out your organic search content with the big picture in mind. 

If you’re struggling to see results, or even to know where to begin, our team at Relevance can be your SEO expert to help craft an SEO strategy that benefits every stage of your sales funnel. 

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.

Search engine optimization can be one of the highest-yield investments you make in your brand. But if you’ve spent much time with SEO, you know it’s both an art and a science.

Emphasis on “science.”

Because let’s be candid. A thoughtful, beautifully-written piece of content won’t pay the bills.

What will make you more money is more qualified website traffic. Crafting elegant content that’s backed by research and data will help you earn that traffic. And that’s what SEO is all about.

What are SEO tools?

It’s nearly impossible to nail the data-driven aspect of SEO without tools. SEO tools help you effectively deploy SEO techniques for your website. They provide research and insights to help you focus your SEO efforts instead of just shooting in the dark.

What is the most effective tool for SEO?

Although some platforms claim to be a “one-stop shop” for SEO, most marketers use a variety of tools to carry out their SEO strategy. The best tool for the job depends on your goal.

What kinds of research should drive your SEO plan? There are three big ones:

Here are the tools we recommend for each.

To evaluate current performance:

One of the best predictors of future performance is past performance. For assessing your current content’s performance, Google’s free products can provide all the insight you need. Use Google Search Console to learn which queries are already bringing users to your site. You can also see which keywords are earning impressions but have a low click-through rate. These are golden SEO opportunities.

To see which content is getting the most traffic and engagement, check out the reports in the Engagement tab of Google Analytics. Google Analytics has a learning curve, but you’ll get the hang of it after spending a bit of time with it. For step-by-step resources to mine meaningful data in GA, we love Analytics Mania.

For competitor research:

Knowing who your competitors are and what they’re doing is foundational for SEO. This information helps you determine where you need to cover the same bases as your competitors. And more importantly, it can uncover content gaps that are opportunities for your brand to shine.

For competitor research, you’ll want a third-party SEO search tool. SEMRush’s competitive research tool allows you to find some information for free. In most cases, you’ll need to pay for a tool to get substantial competitor data.

For keyword research:

Keyword research is an essential step in developing an SEO marketing strategy. The more you know about what your target audience is searching for and which terms they’re using, the better your keywords will perform.

Ahrefs has an excellent free keyword generator that can get you started. Just enter a keyword to see useful metrics like search volume, traffic potential, and keyword difficulty.

What 3 Google tools would you use for SEO?

If paying for sophisticated SEO tools is outside your budget at the moment, you can accomplish a lot with these three Google tools.

1. Google Analytics

Once you’re comfortable in GA, a world of valuable data opens up. Of course, you can see how users are engaging with your existing content. Here are a few other ways to use it for SEO:

Google Analytics

2. Google Search Console

GSC isn’t as notorious as its cousin Google Analytics, but it has a wide range of uses in SEO. In addition to query data, it also tracks backlinks to your site. This information is a great place to start when targeting publications to build future backlinks.

Google Search Console can help you identify technical issues that might impact your site’s search rankings, like broken links, duplicate content, and crawl errors. It will also alert you of any potential security issues such as malware or user-generated spam.

3. Google Keyword Planner

Many marketers use Google’s keyword planner for paid search campaigns, but you can also use the data for SEO. You can even enter your website to see examples of SEO keywords that match your existing content.

Build your data-driven strategy with SEO tools

An SEO strategy without data is… well, it’s not much of a strategy at all. Like many of the finer things in life, SEO strikes a balance between art and science. Between the tangible and the intangible. Luckily, there are lots of SEO tools out there to help you with the research portion of your plan.

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.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year - time to put together your annual marketing plan. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, your plan probably includes some elements of SEO marketing. But the digital landscape has changed a lot in the past five years. Is your SEO strategy up to date?

Whether you’re revisiting your strategy or just starting to build one, here’s a look at the three components of SEO strategy and how to tackle each one.

What is SEO strategy?

What does SEO marketing strategy mean when it comes to your overall marketing plan? You can’t achieve all your marketing goals with SEO alone, but it is a key part of your digital marketing strategy. Today, 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. SEO is a cost-effective way to capture some of that traffic and direct it to your website.

What are the components of SEO strategy?

Depending on your perspective, there are hundreds of components you could include in your SEO strategy. We tend to group them into three main buckets:

Let’s take a look at these three categories and explore how you can apply each to your own SEO strategy.

A strong technical foundation

While technical optimizations are ongoing in your SEO strategy, we tend to prioritize them first. Before you create any content, some factors are “table stakes” to play the SEO game at all. If these aspects of your website don’t meet standards, the chance of your content ranking will be seriously damaged.

Audit these technical SEO factors before you even think of deploying a content strategy.


A strong technical foundation table

High-quality, optimized, linkable content

When your website is in tip-top technical shape, you’re ready to think about content. To develop your SEO marketing strategy, start by identifying your content niche. What are your prospects’ pain points? What problems can you help them solve?

Next, use keyword tools like Google Trends and AnswerThePublic to research target keywords for your content. Competitor analysis can also help you decide which keywords to optimize for.

High-quality content is more likely to be ranked, and creating it is all about your reader. Google’s algorithm is just the middleman. Here are some quality indicators that Google looks for:

Off-site promotion strategy

Once your content is polished up, don’t stop there! Amazing content doesn’t deserve to gather dust on page three of your blog. Instead, get eyeballs on your content by promoting it on your owned channels and earning backlinks from external publishers.

In addition to your website, you probably have some other online real estate - for example, your social media channels and your Google Business Profile. You should absolutely incorporate these into your SEO strategy.

Then, deploy your backlink strategy. Backlinks are one way search engines know that other users have found your content helpful. The best way to start earning backlinks is to create linkable content with data, quotes, and engaging media.

How do you create an SEO strategy for 2023?

To synthesize these components into a comprehensive strategy, you need a prescriptive process. Here’s an SEO strategy example you can tailor to fit your own needs.

Make technical optimizations

To determine how to optimize the technical side of your website, do a technical SEO audit. Here are some common first steps:

  1. Enter your site into Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool for a core web vital report. Use the information to identify opportunities for improvement. Some common issues are: large media files, unnecessary code, and large network payloads.
  2. Look for opportunities to simplify your site’s nav. Have someone less familiar with the site complete a scavenger hunt to find the most important features.
  3. Examine your URL structure. Are they short and descriptive?
  4. Test your website’s responsiveness on your own mobile device. Is it easy to navigate? Are the buttons and text large enough? Are there any issues with functions like search or form submission?

Create high-quality content

We know, you’re an expert at creating insightful and entertaining content! But building top-quality content for search algorithms is about more than that. Here are a few questions to include in your content checklist:

Build backlinks with promotion strategies

To make the most of your content and build backlinks, try these tips:

Your comprehensive SEO strategy

An excellent SEO strategy takes a holistic approach. Tackling these three components will help you ensure that your bases are covered from technical, content, and promotional perspectives.

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.

If you’re a marketer focused on content creation, the idea of optimizing the technical details of your content might make you freeze like a deer in the headlights. But creating amazing content without optimizing it for search is like cooking a delicious meal and neglecting to give your guests any silverware.

Technical SEO and on-page SEO are the forks and knives that search engines need to find and rank your content. And higher rankings mean more traffic for your site.

What is SEO and how it works

SEO is the process of optimizing your website content to improve its ranking and appearance in search engine results. What is SEO ranking and how can you build an SEO strategy that boosts your content to the top for the right searches?

There are four types of SEO: on-page, technical, off-page, and local. If you’re newer to SEO, it makes sense to start with the two types you have the most control over - technical SEO and on-page SEO. Let’s take a look at both and explore some best practices.

What is technical SEO and on-page SEO?

Technical and on-page SEO are the two types of SEO that happen on your own online real estate. That means you have the most power to impact them and can start making improvements today.

Technical SEO involves optimizing the technical infrastructure of your site. The importance of technical SEO is twofold, because it:

  1. Improves user experience. Features like clear navigation, short load time, and mobile-friendliness remove friction from people’s experience using your website.
  2. Helps search engines crawl your site. To show your content in search results, Google has to be able to find it, index it, and easily tell what it is.

Like technical SEO, on-page SEO also improves user experience. It involves creating high-quality content focused on a keyword or closely-related group of keywords. Because search engine algorithms are better than ever at identifying valuable content, on-page SEO is foundational to your content marketing strategy.

How do I audit technical SEO?

There are hundreds of optimizations you could make to perfect your website’s infrastructure. For many marketers, a technical SEO audit feels like a daunting task. But there are a few technical SEO factors that are often “quick wins” for first-time auditors.

Google PageSpeed Insights tool example

Once you’ve fixed existing technical issues, it’s easier to keep them in line for future content.

What is an on-page SEO strategy?

On-page SEO starts with thorough keyword research. You can research keywords for your content with a few simple (and free!) tactics:

Once you’ve identified a target keyword for your content, it’s time to focus on quality. High-quality content educates and entertains your reader. It includes a mix of internal and external links. While the content can be thought-provoking or challenging, the language shouldn’t be. Keep things simple, scannable, and easy to read.

Weave your keyword naturally into your content. If you’ve done your research and selected an appropriate keyword, things should fall into place. Your keyword should appear in the following areas:

It’s important to review all these elements before publishing your content. Tools like the Yoast WordPress plugin can help you systematize this process.

What is an off-page SEO strategy?

Since we’ve covered on-page SEO, it’s worth answering: What is off-page SEO? This part of your SEO strategy is more akin to PR - but it does integrate elements of on-page and technical SEO.

A search engine’s goal is to show users credible and authoritative content in their results. One way Google judges this is backlinks - links to your content from other sites. Off-page SEO involves creating linkable content and then deploying a backlink strategy.

Earning backlinks is a relational task that requires getting into the heads of publishers and other marketers. Start by identifying trustworthy, popular sites that your target audience is visiting. Track down the person responsible for their digital content, and reach out with a backlink request. We outlined approaches and specific examples in this post, What are examples of SEO marketing?

Help your audience dig in to your content

If you’re creating content, you must understand how to get it in front of your target audience. Technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO all work together to get your content ranking on the right keyword searches. Put it all together, and you’ll be serving up your content to potential buyers in no time.

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