While anyone can start a digital presence for their business, not having the proper knowledge, tools and strategy will guarantee only one thing – failure. This is perhaps the most challenging truth to accept when starting online.
The technology for building websites is well-developed and easy to use but reaching customers consistently to increase leads and sales is another story. So if you don't like the idea of 'renting a spot' with endless ads, there's a much better use for your time and resources – learn SEO strategy this year.
To date, there are over a billion pages on the internet, and a large percentage of these websites languish, never truly seeing the light of day in SERPs.
If your site is not surfacing on Google or any other major search engines, then all your investment into your website will stagnate.
No one wants their business to wallow alongside other non-competitive sites. Your goal as a business owner is to appear on top and stay there. If you're able to develop an effective SEO strategy that aligns perfectly with your intended audience, market, and industry, your business has a fighting chance in 2022.
Step One: Learn SEO Strategy the Best Way Possible
Getting the right SEO education is the first and most crucial step. Your choice at this point will affect everything else that follows. There's a huge reason why SEO coaching is the only effective method of learning search engine optimization for the first time. Each business with its accompanying website is unique.
Therefore, the business goals, problems, and issues affecting your website will be unique to your case. Working with an SEO mentor means you can tell your mentor your experiences. He will be able to look at the current state of your digital presence and devise a unique learning plan that also aligns with your everyday problems.
The quality and effectiveness of your SEO education are in your hands.
You can try to self-learn SEO, maybe give it a few months or even a year, and try to apply what you've learned. There will be no guarantees that the general courses on optimization will work wholly for the case of your site.
Knowing the engine parts does not mean you can fix those parts. Improving and optimizing a site is entirely in the realm of someone who has successfully applied strategies and measured their results over an extended period.
Successful SEO does not happen overnight. However, you can observe the benefits of optimization, at a minimum, after a few months. As your site enters the optimization period, you must keep working on your website, off-page optimization efforts, and technical SEO. All these interlocking cogs take time to work on, and you must test, test, and test to see which tactics will work best for your site.
Step Two: Develop a Business-Centric SEO Plan
Some people learn SEO strategy but never get to the point where they tie this knowledge with the overall marketing plan.
Your website is only a part of the larger machinery for digital marketing. It should not be the only platform for marketing. Regardless, your website is the very heart of your operations and should come first in terms of effort and optimization.
No battle is ever won without a plan, so your website should certainly not be an afterthought. Instead, as you walk the tightrope of balancing your marketing efforts, you should create a website optimization and development strategy that suits your short-term and long-term objectives.
Establish your brand identity goals
The visual characteristics of a brand, such as its professional logo, design, and color, identify and differentiate a business in the eyes of consumers. However, there is a difference between a brand's identity and its current image.
Even if a brand's identity is strong, a strong brand's image can still be weak. Legacy brands trying to appeal to a new generation or demographic face many risks as they navigate the unknown territories to build a positive brand image.
Having a successful and strategically sound brand identity can produce a brand identity with a ton of value. However, it cannot be easy to measure brand value since it is intangible. Your SEO strategy can help in branding identity efforts insofar as you can target audiences and measure their engagement over a period. Scaling engagement by creating content that best aligns with customers is also possible.
Identify your audience
The most important part of a digital marketing effort is knowing your target demographic/s. Your target audience influences all aspects of your digital marketing approach.
It is essential to know your target audience to tailor your website and other platforms for their use. Target audiences are the most likely to be interested in your information, products, or services. These people or groups are also unified by different factors like online behavior and demography.
Make sure to go very detailed when defining your target demographic. Broad categories such as millennials or mothers in their thirties should give you a good start but be sure to pare down until you have the most precise image of your ideal audience.
You can't focus on everyone from a practical standpoint, but you don't have to. Your website has to serve the likeliest people to do business with you in the best ways possible. Remember - you cannot simultaneously speak to your target audience's children, parents, coworkers, bosses, etc.
Step Three: Determine the Functions You Need
A good SEO strategy is friendly to both design and functionality. Design complements functionality. There is such a thing as overthinking design, but if you are just getting started with your business online, it will take a lot of effort to reach that point where someone can say that you honestly overthought or overdid your site's design.
If you run a WordPress website, know that you can also work with a professional developer who can build web apps, while you learn SEO strategy. Your needs determine the type of functionality that you need as a business and what customers need from you when they land on your website. Also, make sure that the content on your website makes sense and is relevant to your target audience. Blogs, social media posts, and all other forms of content marketing efforts should connect straight to your audience.