Are you ready to boost your website's visibility and drive organic traffic to your online business? Look no further, because we have the perfect guide for you! In this comprehensive article, "A Step-by-Step 6-Step SEO Plan with Templates," we will walk you through the essential strategies and actions needed to optimize your website for search engines and achieve long-term success.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ever-evolving field staying ahead of the curve can be daunting. That's why we have designed this 6-step SEO action plan to help you easily navigate the complexities of SEO. Whether you're a seasoned marketer or just starting, this guide will provide you with a clear roadmap.
Throughout the article, you will find detailed templates and practical tips to implement each step effectively. From conducting thorough keyword research to optimizing your website's structure and content, we will cover all the critical aspects of SEO. By the end of the article, you will have a solid foundation to improve your website's search rankings, increase organic traffic, and ultimately achieve your online business goals.
Get ready to take your SEO game to the next level and watch your website soar in search engine results pages.
Let's get started!
How To Create A Good SEO Plan For 2023?
A precise to-do list will enable you to concentrate on your activities to increase your SEO traffic and revenue. Let’s begin the journey:
Step 1: SEO Benchmarking
1. Mark Your Current Performance
Benchmarking your present statistics is the first step of a structured SEO plan to establish objectives, measure outcomes, and assess what works and doesn't. As a starting point, keep the current status of the following to find out the loopholes:
- Organic traffic: It refers to the number of people who arrive at your website from organic (non-paid) searches.
- Keyword ranking: It refers to your website's organic position in search results for a specific keyword. It is because your page with higher ranks receives more organic search traffic.
- Backlinks: They are essentially a vote of confidence. If several credible sites link to yours, search engines might deduce that it is valuable enough to be in the SERP.
When combined, these insights provide you with a comprehensive view of your site's overall performance.
2. Conduct Your Website's Technical SEO Audit
A genuinely scalable SEO strategy for a new website goes far beyond plugins and third-party software subscriptions. Conduct a thorough audit of your website’s technical search engine optimization elements with technology solutions to know the exact status of:
- Site structure and navigation,
- Website Security,
- Page speed,
- URL structure,
- 404 errors,
- XML sitemap,
- Robots.txt file,
- Structured data, etc.
Once the audit is finished, look for the issues in crawling and indexing to remove silos and establish well-proved SEO strategies to survive in the digital world. Remember to create a list of tasks that can be improved technical-wise.
3. Web Analytics Implementation
Just preparing a checklist won't suffice to halt search engine optimization efforts Instead, it demands continuous website tracking which can be achieved through the implementation of web analytics. With web analytics, you can measure online traffic and track bounce rates, marketing campaigns, and websites, find the right target audience, and many more. You can reap all the benefits of web analytics implementation with the follow-up of these easy steps:
- Define your business goals and KPIs
- Analyze your website
- Operationalize your goals and KPIs
- Create a tracking plan
- Choose the right analytics platform
- Implement the platform
- Add events
- Set up goals and funnels
- Configure the UI
- Create different segments
- Grant permissions
- Constantly monitoring changes
Step 2: Strategic Content Optimization
1. Competitor Analysis
Before you embark on an extensive competitor analysis, you must identify and check all the errors or issues left in the previous step. Once all the issues are identified, continue examining your competition's organic search ranks, online reviews, blog strategies, and backlink profiles.
Thereafter, investigate their user experience, social media, target audience segmentation, unique selling points (USPs), and differentiators.
Of course, your top rivals should be included in your competitive analysis. However, you should also know about your online competition in the SERPs. Look for websites that rank on the first page of Google for your goal SEO keywords, even if they aren't direct rivals.
2. Audit Existing Content
Content auditing is a practice of examining your existing content to identify areas for improvement with the help of content optimization tips. This stage is critical for knowing what you need to do to improve the SEO performance of your site by working on your content. It assists you in identifying underperforming pages, the reasons behind underperformance, and how to improve them. Your content audit should include the following:
- Focus on low-performing pages: Identify your site's low-performing pages to eliminate, re-route, or improve them.
- Examine Your Content Using Traffic metric: Focus on what will be left behind once you eliminate, merge, or redirect your worst-performing content.
- Look for Missing Visual Elements: Identify the content that needs visual breaks to simplify complicated topics to improve the reading experience.
- Identify Broken Links: Find broken links and photos to refresh everything and update the text to reflect changes in your niche.
- Check Previous Google Updates: Consider working on your existing content as per the previous and current Google updates to eliminate the penalty effects.
3. Conduct A Keyword Research
A good SEO always demands choosing the correct keywords that real people use when looking on Google, Bing, and other search engines. You should rely on keyword planning for SEO and create a list of keywords with a high search volume, minimal competition, and buyer intent. Higher the competition for a specific keyword, the more challenging it will be to rank on page one of the search results. If you want to enjoy increased traffic, leads, and ultimately revenues, keep in mind the following points:
- Use comprehensive SEO tools like Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMRush to sort keyword-related data.
- Use keyword research tools such as KWFinder, KeywordTool.io, and Soovle.
- Use a keyword difficulty tool to determine the difficulty level of ranking a specific keyword.
- Remember to look into long-tail keywords as well as head phrases.
- Examine Google Search Console to determine which keywords are already driving organic traffic and find areas for improvement.
4. Set Your Goals And KPIs
Once you have analyzed your competitors and assessed your website's condition, it is time to define your SEO goals. These goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) to provide clarity and direction for your SEO efforts.
Consider the insights gathered from competitor analysis and website assessment to identify areas of improvement. Your goals may include increasing organic traffic by a certain percentage, improving search engine rankings for specific keywords, enhancing website usability and user experience, or boosting conversion rates.
Setting clear goals and SEO key performance indicators (KPIs) assists you in evaluating the effectiveness of your website and SEO activities. In the journey of multiple SEO tasks, setting up your goals with related KPIs will help you to determine whether any future changes are required. Begin by selecting your desired digital marketing goals, and then move back to describing your KPIs.
- Do you want to boost your eCommerce sales via a customized website?
- Are you attempting to increase your market share within specific audience segments?
- Do you want to increase the number of visitors to your website?
- Do you want to increase conversions with demand generation marketing or lead
Here are five key performance indicators to keep an eye on:
- Organic traffic
- Rankings for keywords
- CTR on average (click-through rate)
- Coverage Issues
However, it is simple to slip into traps such as overcomplicating your objectives and KPIs or failing to set them up ahead of time. After defining your goals and KPIs, your next step should be creating an SEO and content strategy to achieve such limits.
5. Start With Content Creation
When it comes to content creation, it is important to consider the types of content that resonate the most with your target audience and generate high engagement. Here are some popular content formats that tend to drive engagement:
- Blog Posts: Written articles that provide valuable information, insights, and solutions to your target audience's pain points. They can cover various topics related to your industry, products, or services.
- Infographics: Visual representations of data or information that are visually appealing and easy to understand. Infographics are highly shareable and can convey complex concepts concisely and engagingly.
- Videos: Visual content that can include tutorials, interviews, product demos, or educational content. Videos have become increasingly popular and can generate high levels of engagement and shareability.
- Case Studies: In-depth analyses of how your product or service has helped a specific customer or solved a particular problem. Case studies provide social proof and can be compelling for potential customers.
- E-books/Guides: Comprehensive and in-depth resources that offer valuable insights and actionable advice on a specific topic. E-books or guides can establish your authority and position your brand as a thought leader.
- Social Media Content: Engaging and visually appealing content designed for social media platforms. This can include images, short videos, polls, quizzes, or interactive content that encourages likes, shares, and comments.
Google does not divulge the specifics of its "secret sauce" search algorithm, but they publicly state which variables are vital for a high-ranking page. Yes, you’re thinking in the right direction.
Publishing useful, high-quality content is one of the most crucial aspects for a website to effectively rank in Google. So, chasing your journey with creating such content for your website can do wonders to improve your site’s ranking in Google and other search engines. Here’s how:
- Understanding the requirements of your potential customers
- Identifying keywords linked to these queries using different keyword research tools, such as Google's Keyword Planner
- Prepare a list of topics as per your niche that is the most trending
- Draft an educational/informational post based on the relevant topic
- Finally, create a content bucket and work on the next steps.
Remember to produce at least one informative, high-quality blog article on your website every week, targeting your niche, trend, and search volume.
Step 3: Comprehensive Content Optimization Strategy
1. Work on On-Page Issues
Now that you've created your keyword list and content, make sure to strategically position these keywords throughout your website content. If you want to rank well in search engines, you should include your target keyword in the following areas whenever you write a new blog post, product page, landing page, or any other web page:
- Page Title: Include your keyword in the page title, preferably at the start.
- Body text: Your web pages should be at least 500 words, with your target keyword appearing in the first 100 words.
- Subheadings: Use your keyword in the H2-H6 subheadings on your website if feasible.
- Meta title and description: These are the words that appear in a Google search and should include keywords for quick search.
- URL permalink: Make your permalink easy to read by incorporating your targeted keyword.
This checklist may also be used to optimize existing web pages. However, do not modify the URLs of any published pages. This will break any links going to that page, harming your SEO.
2. Optimize Existing Content & Media
The optimization can be analyzing your current content, identifying areas for improvement, and applying SEO best practices. This is one of the key aspects of your SEO plan for a website.
Start by conducting a comprehensive audit of your website's content, focusing on keyword usage, meta tags, headings, and internal linking. Identify underperforming pages and update them with fresh, keyword-rich content, ensuring proper keyword placement and density.
Optimize your media assets, such as images and videos, by adding descriptive alt tags and optimizing file sizes for faster loading times.
3. Plan For Content As Per Competition
Utilizing a content calendar template for small businesses and other businesses can assist you in planning how to use your content resources over different platforms, including your website. Your existing content requirements should also be included in your content schedule. Once your content schedule is complete, it's time to prepare your content for publication according to the calendar and competition.
Undoubtedly, you can manually submit each content at the allotted time. But that is a significant time waste that exposes you to basic errors like typos and external links. That’s why it is preferable to schedule the content ahead of time using the tools to have a real-time perspective of your content strategy and double-check all the specifics. This approach also enhances your productivity by consolidating the time you spend creating content into a single block, rather than interrupting your work on a daily basis.
4. Content Posting, Distribution, & Many More!
Once you have created the content according to your content schedule, it is the perfect time to publish it. However, the question arises: where should you post it? There is a need to find the right platforms to distribute your content to add value to your readers while reaping the benefits of s of increased traffic. Such platforms can be:
- Blogging Sites such as Medium, WordPress, etc.
- Social Media Accounts such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
In fact, every piece of content you've ever produced and published has value. Someone out there is yearning to understand what those posts teach.
5. Content Syndication
Content syndication refers to the practice of sharing your private online content on a third-party platform in order to reach a wider audience. By doing so, you can expand your reach. However, the key to effective content syndication lies in selecting platforms that can connect you with an audience that is ready to make a purchase.
Even if you've never published a viral blog article before, you probably have some entries that performed well or better than others. You may replicate, enhance, and update that content to find more backlinks. When it comes to syndicating content, these platforms might adopt various ways:
- Publish the work again.
- Reduce it to a shorter portion.
- Post a brief snippet from the original.
While the original publishing platform receives credit, content syndication benefits both parties involved. The syndicate gains access to fresh content, while the business that created the original content gains access to a new pool of potential customers.
6. Work On Other Off-Page Activities
Apart from link building and publication on third-party websites, there is a need to work on other off-page SEO activities. Link building or Off-page SEO refers to any actions you do away from your website to boost your SEO.
You must demonstrate to search engines that others see your brand as authoritative. All this can be done by deliberately outreaching high-quality, trusted websites and influencers to enhance your organic search results. You can also make use of off-page SEO tools such as:
- Google Search Console
These tools can assist you in various aspects of off-page SEO, including backlink analysis, competitor research, content marketing, influencer outreach, and more. Each tool offers unique features and functionalities to help you improve your website's online presence and drive organic traffic.
Step 4: Enhanced Content Engagement and Performance Analysis
1. Repurpose Content Strategy
Instead of just creating more and more content, you can also consider the strategy of repurposing content. When you repurpose content, you are repurposing something you spent a long time generating and changing it into different formats so that it may be consumed more broadly.
Consider it like recycling. The goal is to spend less time creating new content and more time ensuring that it reaches your target audience.
For example, your blog article on marketing statistics may be turned into a beautiful infographic or a movie. If you generated something in one format, consider all the different ways you might reuse that content that would be equally beneficial.
2. Add Client Testimonials On Various Platforms
Reviews and client testimonials are essential for SEO and must be done for the following reasons:
- User experience: Testimonials provide useful context and social evidence to product and solution sites, landing pages, blog entries, and other places.
- Domain authority: Third-party site reviews boost your domain authority when posted with relevance to specified areas and keywords.
- SERP ranking: Testimonials immediately influence your site's performance while increasing your brand's visibility through rankings on third-party sites. Further, incorporating testimonials into SERPs demonstrates Google's long-term objective of rewarding credibility and openness.
3. Analyze Gaps & Measure Results
Before measuring any results, it is essential to analyze all the gaps to start working on them. Such analysis can be initiated with the identification of backlinks gaps as compared to the competitors to formulate the strategies accordingly.
Even though content marketing has been around for a while, some organizations still need help understanding that content marketing outcomes seldom appear as macro-conversions. Using the appropriate analytics can assist you in identifying underperforming content that may be enhanced. It will also enable you to identify your top-performing content. Data analytics may assist you in determining the best "recipe" for content production and marketing. Then rinse and repeat to achieve content marketing success.
Step 5: Ongoing Performance Analysis and SEO Maintenance
1. Check The Results Till Now
Understanding your outcomes is the first step in assessing the effectiveness of your SEO campaign. So, it is time to check for the impact of your efforts by measuring the following:
- Organic traffic: Defines the number of visitors your site receives as a consequence of users clicking on your sites when they appear in search engine results.
- Keyword Ranking: Displays the position of your website about competing keywords.
- SERP Visibility: Determines how many people see your website in search results, influenced by the authority of the SERP elements.
- Click-through rate: The percentage of users who clicked on your website from the SERP.
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of people visiting your site but exiting without interacting further.
- Website Authority: This metric forecasts how well a domain will rank.
- Monitoring backlinks: It will give vital information into the progress of your strategy.
2. Continue Creating Better Content
Many businesses first create a marketing plan, replete with projects and campaigns, and then include SEO as an afterthought. Thereafter, they try to improve on what they've previously created.
Consequently, it demands continuously creating content as per the latest trends and following the process of posting, sharing, and other related efforts. Creating better content is a continuous process that involves understanding your target audience, conducting thorough research, implementing SEO best practices, and delivering valuable, engaging, and relevant content that satisfies user intent and drives organic traffic to your website.
Regularly analyzing and improving your content based on user feedback, search trends, and performance metrics is essential for maintaining relevance and staying ahead of the competition. Further, this will help you match buyers' persona and pieces of content.
3. SEO Maintenance And Updates
Capitalizing on your strengths is a highly successful method for dominating organic search results. All thanks to the strategy of SEO maintenance and updating as per the market demands. Rather than focusing on a few unrelated high-volume search phrases, assault the vertical in which you currently excel until you conquer it. Saturating the funnel with vast sets of overlapping keyword groups can help you communicate your expertise to search engines.
You should also aim your efforts where Google already perceives your brand as relevant and authoritative, and you will notice incremental results much sooner and simpler. In this manner, you may continue to construct a focused ecosystem to establish supremacy in that area before attacking other, more difficult ones. This should be accompanied by regular meetings and discussions on the loopholes to finalize further strategies for SEO maintenance and updates.
Step 6: Collaborative Content and Performance Evaluation
1. Content Partnership
The journey in the SEO roadmap template of creating more and more content with balanced use of repurposing. The content partnership is one such aspect. It is a strategic collaboration between entities to create and distribute content that benefits both parties.
This partnership involves sharing resources, expertise, and audiences to reach a wider target market. Through content partnerships, businesses can leverage each other's strengths to create high-quality, engaging content that resonates with their respective audiences.
The collaboration can take the form of co-creating blog posts, videos, podcasts, or hosting webinars together. Content partnerships expand the reach and enhance credibility, foster audience engagement, and generate valuable backlinks, ultimately driving organic traffic and promoting mutual growth.
2. Find Low-Performing Pages And Fix SEO Issues
Dealing with underperforming content is a common challenge that many encounter. However, with the right tools and processes in place, anyone can learn how to address this issue. SEO is not a mysterious art, and the solution is typically logical and reasonable.
To begin, it is essential to identify the root cause(s) of your underperforming content. Once you have ensured that your content meets Google's technical requirements, you can proceed to determine the intended purpose of your content. This will enable you to make the appropriate SEO adjustments and content modifications to align with your desired outcomes.
3. Analyze The Performance With SEO KPIs
It is always important to define KPIs for SEO ahead of time so that you can measure your SEO success data relevant to your goals. Everything else is a gimmick. Consider KPIs in terms of the 80/20 rule: “Concentrate on the 20% of activities that account for 80% of your results.”
At a high level, you could compare your organic search market share to that of your online competitors. Alternatively, watch how your top pages perform at a more granular level so that you can apply an SEO content plan to boost them. As a business owner, set up objectives for all critical conversion touchpoints on your website, such as the contact form and email list opt-in. You can also test each goal once to ensure correct conversion tracking parameters. Accordingly, discuss your performance in a meeting with the concerned persons to work on the strategy as per the results.
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Google ranking is a balancing act. When you optimize old content and strive to rank for one keyword, your rankings for other keywords frequently begin to decline. As a result, the SEO effort is only partially complete. All SEO tactics for your small business should be iterative. You must rinse and repeat while constantly evaluating your effort. There are always new chances to drive growth.
Remember to begin your journey by setting your objectives and key performance indicators. Also, monitor and reflect on your KPIs thoroughly every few months to ensure you're on pace to reach your objectives. You must keep repeating the steps to achieve your SEO goals. These guidelines are sufficient for smaller sites. Further, you can also contact RiseSocially for professional SEO services and SEO audit guidance.