As a business owner who dabbles in marketing to promote your brand, you probably understand the basic concepts of SEO (search engine optimisation).

But to use SEO to your advantage, you need a sound strategy to make sure the content you create has maximum impact on your customers and business.

If you have no idea where to start creating your strategy, you’re not alone.

That’s why we’ve made this guide to explain:

  • What an SEO strategy actually is
  • How to create an SEO strategy for your business
  • How to succeed with your content marketing

If you need to learn the basics first, check out our beginners’ guide to small business SEO.

What an SEO strategy actually is

Your SEO strategy is the process you follow to maximise your opportunity to gain organic traffic from Google and other search engines.

(Organic traffic is site visitors who found your site on their own, meaning you didn’t pay for your business to appear in front of them using paid ads)

Having an SEO strategy is crucial since it helps you stay on track and create content that your target customers actually look for.

How to create an SEO strategy for your business

SEO strategies will look different depending on the business you run. That said, here are the key steps every business needs to follow to create a successful one.

Set your SEO goals

If you don’t know where you want to end up, how can you plan a route to get there?

Every strategy you create needs to have clear goals to help guide it, including your SEO strategy. Without clear goals, you have no way of measuring how effective your strategy is.

So, start by deciding what you want to achieve with your SEO.

For example:

  • Do you want to increase sales? For which products or services?
  • Do you want to reach more people within a particular audience segment? Which segments and how will you measure your success?
  • Is your goal to increase traffic to your website? If so, how much?
  • Do you want to convert more leads into customers? How many? How will you measure these conversions?

Look into your competition

Once you know what you want to achieve, take a look at your competition.

Competitive analysis is where you evaluate your competition to improve your own SEO strategy.

You do this by:

  • Analysing their organic search rankings, online reviews, blog strategy, and backlink profiles
  • Digging into their user experience, social media, unique selling points, target audience groups, and so on

Your competitor analysis should cover the main competitors in your field and the ones you compete against online. For example, look into businesses that are on Google’s top page for phrases that relate to your business (SEO keywords).

If you need more information about how to do this, the SEO software provider SEMrush has a guide on SEO competitor analysis.

Do keyword research and topic analysis

Keyword research is the backbone of any SEO strategy since it helps you create content that your audience searches for.

Proper keyword research prevents you from overproducing content that gets lost in the void. Instead, you can cover topics that generate more website traffic, more engagement and increased conversion rates.

You can use SEO tools such as:

Search for both single-word keywords (called fathead keywords) and longer phrases (called long-tail keywords) that relate to your business.

Fathead keywords will have higher search volumes and reach more people, while long-tails are hyper-specific to attract more of your ideal customers.

Build topic clusters

Once you have a list of keywords you want to use, group them into separate themes or ‘topic clusters’.

It’s important to identify the overarching topics you're an expert on and that you deserve a high SERP (search engine result page) ranking for.

Topic clusters are perfect for leveraging broad themes through so-called pillar pages. A pillar page broadly covers a topic and links out to in-depth resources where readers can learn more.

You can use a simple Excel or Google Spreadsheet to create your topic clusters.

Create a link-building plan

Link building refers to attracting inbound links (also called backlinks) to your website from other internet sources. Generally, having sites with high authority link to your content can significantly impact your SERP rankings.

So, dedicate some time to brainstorming the ways you can attract inbound links.

For example, you could try sharing your links with local businesses in exchange for sharing theirs. Alternatively, you could write a few blog posts and share them on social media.

Or, you could look for guest blog opportunities and create content for other brands. This way you can share links to your site in the content you write.

How to succeed with your content marketing

Now that you know how to create an SEO strategy for your business, it’s time to put it all together and start creating content.

Here are some tips to help you succeed:

Make use of your strengths

The only way to create an effective strategy that dominates organic search is to capitalise on your strengths. Do this by doubling down on the categories that:

  • You already rank for on Google
  • Are super-relevant to your brand and niche
  • You know a tonne about already

Instead of cherry-picking a few random high-volume keywords (high volume means lots of searches), focus on the topic cluster you have a chance of dominating.

Set up a blog

Blogging is an excellent way to target keywords and engage your website visitors at the same time. After all, every blog post presents a new opportunity to rank high in the SERPs.

So create a space where your target audience can learn about things related to your brand and expertise and hopefully become customers.

Pro tip: Try creating a content strategy to help you remain consistent and focused on your goals when creating your posts.

Measure and track your content's success

SEO can take a lot of time and effort, so you’ll want to know how your strategy works. It’s essential to track how your SEO strategy measures up to your goals, so you don’t waste time on content that doesn’t perform.

You can monitor your success using a tool like Google Analytics and SEMrush, or just create a dashboard using Excel or Google Sheets.

Keep track of your finances with one simple app

With a good SEO strategy, you’ll soon bring more paying customers to your business. So, you’ll need a good system to keep track of that new income.

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK.

Save yourself hours of accounting admin so you can focus on growing your business.

Start your three-month free trial today.