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What does an SEO strategy include?

Date published: February 23, 2023
Last updated: February 23, 2023

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:

  • Technical optimizations
  • Solid content
  • Off-site promotion

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:

  • Easy to read
  • Educational and entertaining
  • Expertise
  • Authority
  • Trustworthiness

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:

  • Can readers scan your headers and find what they need?
  • Did you follow content quality best practices like short paragraphs, bullets, and descriptive anchor text?
  • Will your reader have fun or learn new insights reading your content?
  • Did you include E-A-T indicators like author bio and credible citations?

Build backlinks with promotion strategies

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

  • Link to your content from your own social channels
  • Claim and complete your Google Business Profile
  • Focus on linkability when creating your content
  • Develop an outreach process to ask publishers for backlinks
  • Contribute quotes, testimonials, or donations to company partners

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.

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