With any per performance advertising increasing in cost each year, companies with a successful SEO strategy is becoming more and more essential. Do you have a winning SEO strategy for your business? We are here to help you develop the right strategy for 2019 by listing out the techniques that actually work. Each year complex search engine algorithm updates can leave your SEO efforts ineffective.
The techniques listed in this guide are developed after years of research on thousands of sites and case studies.
The SEO battle plan laid out here is proven and has produced millions of dollars online for all types of businesses. The question is – are you ready to make it work for you?
What Do You Need to Drive Rankings in 2019?
Most people make haphazard efforts towards their site’s optimization. They throw random links and create inconsistent content – then wonder why it’s not working.
You will not only manage to get more traffic (from the targeted segment) by taking a holistic approach to SEO and creating a solid SEO strategy, but you will also be reaping a lot of leads and conversion in the process.
Now, to truly make SEO work for you, it is important to understand what drives ranking in search engines. It is not far-fetched to claim the SEO industry to be a bit crazy.
The industry is known to change rapidly and shift its perspective almost overnight. Many SEO experts have been left biting the dust because they just couldn’t keep up with the rapid and relentless changes.
While, Google and other search engines don’t really go and tout their horn about their updates, a Google spokesperson claimed that they make tweaks and adjustments to their algorithm almost on a weekly basis. This is done to stay on top of black hat practices and to satisfy searcher intent in a better way.
Google is one of the most popular search engines because it gives searchers exactly what they are looking for. A big focus is placed by Google now on understanding search intent, content, and topics. In fact, their algorithm Hummingbird changed the face of SEO.
Before, Hummingbird digital marketers could get by with keyword stuffing and not providing any valuable content on their pages. However, now a site gets penalized if the content is not free-flowing or readable because of high keyword density.
The Hummingbird update was a game-changer since it places more stress on understanding correlations and connections between topics, subtopics, entities, and synonyms. SEO strategy must focus on keywords research and quality of contents and its relevant topics.
So, what really drives ranking is not keyword placement or SEO gimmick anymore, but the right Links and Content. A good SEO plan is about organic search now and getting organic traffic, which is what Google has been trying for the last decade.
Links have always been in use by SEO gurus to drive traffic. You could get any amount of backlinks from random websites. However, now the stress is upon getting links from other authority websites in your industry or sites that are relevant to your niche. Spammy links is more likely to get your site penalized than help it rank higher.
SEO is changing. But, the basic driving factors still remain the same. All you need to really get ahead of your competition and attain exposure is to create awesome content that adds value to your readership and make efforts to get backlinks from the right sources. The only thing that has changed is that SEO is more organic right now, as compared to artificial driving factors of before.
Google’s end goal is to match user query to the right results in the best possible way. So, it has developed a way to rank documents based on their likelihood of answering user query. This is the reason why there is a shift from “link voting mechanism” to the actual content. You also need to become an authority in your field.
Authority can be better understood by taking a look at its three components:
Links (basic component of SEO strategy) are one of the biggest ranking factors. However, quality links from authority sites are more important than before. Authority links can get you long-term SEO benefits.
You need to build your site or blog to be a valuable horde of information that interests your audience. Create numerous articles that answer all the kinds of questions your clients may have.
You need to ensure that each article is long-form. Readers attain more information from long articles that fully answer their query. Google will rank your page higher when it sees that your articles tend to satisfy search intent.
Out With the Old, In With the New SEO Plan
Past SEO plan was really old-school, focused on just Rankings and Keywords. Brands would believe that they won when they ranked high for their product keywords.
However, this is not what SEO is all about. In fact, this thought-process is the short-sighted watered down version of what SEO can really achieve. By continuing with the ranking-keyword mentality, you are in for major failure.
Links have already been established as the major rank driving factor. However, with the old fashioned way of doing SEO, you would be focusing on your keywords and product pages.
No one wants to link out to product pages which makes it very difficult to attain SEO success the old-fashioned way. You need to get informational content on trending content, which will make people want to share the article and link to it. Good content is a plus. See our article on the ideal blog post length.
This is what new school SEO strategy is all about. Traffic and topic are the new ranking and keyword. It is great to rank for the end-buyer cycle keywords, but that’s not enough. Customer journey is the main consideration now.
You need to focus on the mid or beginner level keywords that include questions your buyers may have before they zero down on a product or service.
This is exactly what this SEO battle plan is all about. It is designed specifically to help you increase your conversions and make more money. You won’t just see a massive increase in leads, but will actually find those leads converting into raw profits.
The Only SEO Battle Plan You Need
You need to conduct a quick audit of your site before implementing this SEO strategy. This is to ferret out all underlying issues because you really don’t want to build on a hollow base.
For instance, if you noticed sudden drops in traffic, then check your Webmaster Tools to see if you got any penalties. There are some sites that are too doomed to recover. Don’t waste time on these and just start a new one.
Here’s the SEO battle plan in 6 easy steps:
Step 1: Who is Your Target Audience?
You need to define your target audience before starting any marketing campaign. There are customers who are easy to deal with, don’t ask for much, and are quick with the payments.
Then there are customers who ask for a million things, take up a lot of your time and efforts, and are general cheapskates. Now, you can sell to both these groups – but do you really want to?
So, understand your audience because determining the target audience will help you identify the keywords (keywords list of SEO strategy) and the content style. By identifying your target market, you can identify their potential questions and build relevant content that answers those questions.
Step 2: The Right Way to Keyword Research
Keyword research is actually pretty easy when you know what you need to do. There are two sets of keywords – the ones you are already targeting and the ones you are not. Use keyword tools and build on what you have already achieved in terms of keyword ranking for easy or quick wins.
A good SEO strategy involves creating a list of all those keywords you are ranking for the spot 4 to 30 and optimize your pages for these keywords to attain more traffic. You can improve your ranking and get traffic a lot faster by using the terms Google already thinks you are relevant for.
The second component of keyword research is to find those terms you are not yet ranking for. These can be identified through competitive gap analysis, which basically means that you need to identify the keywords your competitors are ranking for. You need to target both direct competitors and indirect competitors to create a long list of keywords.
Step 3: Build Content for SEO Optimization
Needless to say, SEO content strategy is an important area. You need to build quality content and make sure the topic is covered in depth (long-form content). Pages should be optimized with special importance on URL, Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Images, Header Tags, and more.
Build the content around the keywords you identified during keyword research and make sure you identify topics that are relevant to your target audience. This will attract audience to you, which is referred to as inbound marketing.
You will also need to make sure that users get what they are looking for. Try minimizing negative ranking signals, like bounce back rate. Don’t forget to optimize product descriptions if you have an online store or an ecommerce site.
Step 4: Subtle Link Building Efforts
Link building when done using organic, natural, and purely white hat techniques can really drive rankings, without getting the search engine to frown upon your methods.
Two major problems of SEO plan most sites face while building links is that they underestimate the number of links they require and over-optimize their anchor text to create an unnatural profile, which eventually lands a penalty.
You need to focus on branding on all major social media platforms and give your site tons of diversity by using natural anchor texts. Then you need to get other diversified properties that use a mix of natural and low competition (long tail variation) keywords.
Once you have built a substantial base, you can move on to building high powered quality links with close (or even) exact match anchor texts. Again, never repeat the same anchor text. Make slight variations and also don’t forget to do guest posts on authority blogs.
A blogger outreach service such as that on OutReach Frog can go a long way towards building authority and traffic to your site.
Step 5: Track Your Results and Success
Each aspect of SEO plan is measurable and quantifiable. Use a combination of various ranking tools and Google Analytics to track your performance. This is important since you can tweak your strategy if you think you are not where you expected to be.
However, you need to understand that SEO is a long-term play and there are no quick fixes. Don’t lose hope too soon and junk the entire battle plan. Give it at least a few months for the results to come pouring in.
Step 6: Extras for Local Sites
You will need to do a few extra things if you are a local or a brick and mortar business. For starters, you need to set up and claim your Google My Business Page. Then, invest time in carrying out a local citation audit that will tell you the citations you are missing.
Map pack is the first listing in local search queries. You need to make sure you rank there by building links and citations. Use ego directories and industry sites to identify the links of your top ranking competitors and keep building on these.
Smart Tips for a good SEO strategy in 2019
- Use LSI
Search engines no longer look at searches on the basis of keywords, but try to understand the intent behind those keywords. They understand that different keywords can mean the exact same thing which means you need to focus on building topic-based pages and not keyword-focused pages.
- Long Form Content
Statistics show that long-form content manages to answer searcher query in a better way. However, the content needs to be written well. Long-form content are the ones that range anywhere between 1,700 words to 3,000 words. Make sure you avoid walls of text and break down the content using headings and bullet points.
- Match Searcher Intent
By creating quality content that answers queries (a part of keywords list and topic of content SEO strategy) . You don’t just capture more traffic, but also position yourself as an authority in your niche. This paves the way for you to build a relationship with your customers based on trust and confidence.
- Become an Authority
Search engines are becoming smarter and the best way to rank is to become an authority in your industry niche. When you achieve this, Google will automatically open the traffic “floodgates”.
The Final Word
The right SEO strategy can be very rewarding when you take all possible search factors into consideration. You are in for some major SEO and online marketing success for your business if you follow the plan we have outlined for you here.