How to Create an Effective SEO Strategy for 2022

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It’s never been easier to sell online. Last year, the retail ecommerce market surpassed $4.9 trillion and is expected to grow to $7.4 trillion by 2025. In other sectors, online sales and marketing is used at a comparable scale to drive revenue, brand awareness, and growth.

SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the best ways to grow your brand online because it involves making your site more visible on search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher you rank, the more traffic you’re likely to get, and the more opportunities you’ll have to convert leads into customers.

And unlike PPC and performance-based advertising, SEO is an inbound marketing strategy that will stay with your business forever, even when you stop throwing money at it.

So, if you’re looking for a sustainable way to grow your business online, here’s how to create an effective SEO strategy for 2022.

1. Strategically plan your keywords.

Let’s face it. You’ll never win against the enterprise company with a $100k/month marketing budget. But you can rank for keywords that are specific to your niche and have low competition.

To find these Long-Tail Keywords, start by brainstorming a list of words and phrases related to your products or services. Then, use a keyword research tool like the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool to find terms with high monthly search volume and low competition.

Remember, the goal is to find keywords that you can realistically rank for without breaking the bank.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding which keywords to rank for:

Reader Intent

There are four main types of reader intent:

  • Navigational: The reader is looking for a specific website (e.g., “facebook login”).
  • Informational: The user needs information on a topic (e.g., “what is SEO?”).
  • Transactional: The user wants to buy something (e.g., “where to buy Nike shoes”).
  • Commercial: The user is looking to compare products or services before purchasing (e.g., “Nike vs. Adidas”).

Each of these intents requires a different keyword strategy. For example, if you’re selling products, you’ll want to focus on transactional and commercial keywords.

But if your goal is to drive brand awareness or build thought leadership, informational keywords will be more valuable to you.

Search Volume

With a large marketing budget, you’ll be able to target some of the most popular keywords. But if you’re like most businesses, you’ll need to be more strategic about which keywords you target.

Remember, the goal is to find keywords with high monthly search volume and low competition. For example, a keyword like “social media marketing” has high search volume but is also very competitive.

On the other hand, a keyword like “social media marketing for small businesses” has lower search volume, but you’re more likely to rank for it, and it’ll still drive the same kind of traffic to your page.

Keyword Difficulty

Keyword difficulty is measured differently depending on which SEO tool you use. But in general, it’s a measure of how hard it is to rank for a keyword based on the backlink profiles of the top-ranking pages.

For example, a keyword like “SEO tips for SaaS businesses” will have a lower keyword difficulty score than a keyword like “SEO tips” because fewer pages are competing for that term.

Terms with lower keyword difficulty scores will be easier to build links to, so they’re a good place to start if you’re short on time or budget.

2. Plan your content around your keywords.

Once you’ve selected your target keywords, it’s time to start planning your content around them.

Remember, the goal of SEO is to drive traffic to your site and rank higher in SERPs. But if you want people to stick around once they get there, you need to have great content that meets their needs.

When planning your content, one of the most important considerations will be the search intent of your target keyword.

If you’re targeting a transactional or commercial keyword, your goal will be to get the reader to take action (e.g., buy a product, sign up for a free trial).

On the other hand, if you’re targeting an informational keyword, your goal will be to educate the reader and build trust.

Once you know what kind of content you need to create, you can start planning your keyword strategy.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Use keyword-rich titles and meta descriptions.

Your title and meta description are two of the most important places to use your target keywords. They’re what show up in SERPs, so you want to make sure they’re eye-catching and relevant.

Use keywords throughout your content.

Include your target keywords in your headline, subheadings, and body text. But don’t stuff your keywords in there just for the sake of it-only use them if they make sense in the context of your content.

Use related keywords and LSI keywords.

In addition to your target keywords, you should use related and latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords throughout your content. These are words and phrases that are related to your target keyword and help Google understand the context of your page.

For example, if you’re targeting the keyword “SEO tips,” you might also use related keywords like “SEO strategy,” “tips for SEO,” or “SEO techniques.”

Including these keywords throughout your content can help Google understand what your page is about and improve your chances of ranking for that keyword.

Use images and videos.

In addition to text, you should also include images and videos in your content. This will help break up your text and make your page more visually appealing. Good examples of content to include are infographics, screenshots, and product videos.

Images and videos are also a great way to include your target keywords. You can include keywords in the file name, title, caption, and tags of your images and videos.

3. Strongly emphasize user experience.

Every dollar spent on UX brings $100 in return (a 9,900% ROI). User experience (UX) is how a person feels when interacting with your website or app, and it plays a big role in how likely people are to stay on your site and convert into customers.

There are a lot of different factors that go into UX, but some of the most important ones for SEO strategy are:

  • Design: Sites that are easily navigable and have a clean, modern design are more likely to rank higher in SERPs. Text should be readable, CTAs should be clear, important elements should fall where your readers are looking, and you should have AI chatbots, a search bar, and other tools to help visitors find what they need.
  • Loading speed: Pages that load quickly are more likely to keep people on your site. A site that takes three seconds too long to load will increase your bounce rate by 32%, damaging your SEO significantly.
  • Mobile-friendliness: More and more people are using their phones to search the internet, so it’s important to ensure your site is mobile-friendly. If it’s not, you’re likely to lose a lot of traffic-and rank lower in SERPs as a result.
  • Content: As we mentioned before, the content on your site needs to be high-quality and relevant to your target keywords.

And to understand how your users interact with your site, you need to track your data and run A/B tests.

Google Analytics and Google Search Console are great free tools that you can use to track your data. You can use them to see how many people visit your site, where they’re coming from, what they’re doing on your site, and more.

A/B testing is a method of testing two different versions of something (like an email, landing page, or ad) to see which one performs better.

You can use A/B testing to test different elements of your site and find out what works best for your users. For example, you could test two different headlines or site layouts to see which one gets more clicks.

4. Don’t put all your trust into software and expect your strategy to win.

Many SEOs swear by software, letting it dictate their strategy. Landing pages that could have 250 words of impactful content end up being stuffed with 800 words of fluff because “the software said so.”

This is a terrible idea for several reasons.

First, it’s important to remember that Google is a software company. They make the algorithms we all optimize for-so they’re good at it. But that doesn’t mean you should too.

Plus, using grammatically incorrect keywords that people search for (e.g., “digital marketing agency Dallas”) in your content, titles, and tags will only make your readers roll their eyes.

No software can replace the human touch-it merely complements it. An effective SEO strategy requires creativity, ingenuity, and outside-the-box thinking.

SEO copywriting tools are useful for creating excellent, SEO-ready content, but if you follow them to a tee, you’ll end up with content that doesn’t sound human.

Google’s Helpful Content Update that they rolled out in August 2022 says that their algorithm will look for more people-first content with a primary focus and purpose beyond SEO.

This means that you should focus on creating helpful and engaging content, rather than just keyword-stuffed and full of links.

You may be able to get a boost in SERPs by learning Google’s algorithm and making software a part of your strategy, but if you don’t have excellent content, your SEO strategy will lose to those who focused on creating something truly great for their audience.

5. Build links to your money-making landing pages and most valuable content.

Link building is a critical part of any SEO strategy. By building links to your most valuable content, you can help improve your site’s search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your business.

There are several ways to build links, including guest blogging, directory listings, and social media outreach. However, it’s important to ensure that you’re only building links to high-quality sites that add value to your business.

Linking to low-quality sites can actually harm your business, so it’s important to be selective about the sites you link to. Avoid private blog networks, link farms, and other low-quality sites.

Instead, focus on building relationships with other businesses and influencers in your industry. These relationships can help you build links to high-quality sites that benefit your business.

6. Always prioritize technical SEO.

Technical SEO is the practice of improving the structure and performance of a website with the goal of making it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and rank the site.

While many factors go into technical SEO, some of the most important include site speed, mobile friendliness, and XML sitemaps.

With so many factors to consider, it can be difficult to know where to start. But the best place to start with technical SEO is to focus on improving site speed. Site speed is one of the major ranking factors used by Google. Plus, it is a key component of user experience.

Studies have shown that slow loading pages lead to higher bounce rates and lower conversion rates. As a result, by making site speed a priority, you can help improve both your search engine ranking and your conversion rate.

So, How Can I Create an Effective SEO Strategy?

There’s no easy answer, but the most important thing to remember is that your SEO strategy should be unique to you and your business.

No two businesses are the same, so why would you want to use the same SEO strategy as everyone else?

Instead, focus on what makes your business special and find a way to stand out from the rest.

Still need assistance with your company’s SEO? Intensify can help! Contact us to schedule a free SEO strategy consultation.

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