The success of inbound marketing relies on getting your content in front of the right people and encouraging those people to take the action you want. A search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that helps people find your content and bring your site referral traffic is essential.

Steps to Build an SEO Strategy

Building an SEO strategy is paramount to the success of your inbound marketing. When we think about the reports and the audits that have to go into the full strategic plan that you’ll need for the next year, there are four distinct components at which we look.

The first audit that we run is an obstacle analysis report. That obstacle analysis report draws on feedback the search engines provide online through their starter guides, blogs, or webmaster portals. We’ll use those different tools to develop a robust list of specific criteria that search engines look at today.

Most of those criteria help users, such as making sure your website looks good on a mobile device, on any browser, on any Internet connection. And making sure your site isn’t blocking scripts, so search engines know how that rendered content should appear. It’s looking at desirable criteria for their users, which is useful to us because if that works for them, maybe we’ll get more customers out of it.

The second audit that we look at is the keyword discovery report. That keyword discovery report looks at the search terms that you have on your website, from Google Search Console, the webmaster tools, and your AdWords Search Term data. Taking all of those keyword insights to understand what your users seek, so when we create our content, it provides users what they are looking for and is less myopic on keywords themselves. Taking those competitive insights on, say, intersecting keywords that your competitors use to get traffic, to introduce new keywords to your content also plays into keyword discovery.

A link analysis allows us to do something very similar. But instead of keywords we use an intersecting amount of links from which your competition receives traffic.

Those typically end up being useful industry portals that drive referral traffic. Referral traffic’s great. Everybody loves referral traffic; you shouldn’t rely on search alone. So when we think about our link analysis report, we’re going to take competitive sites and come up with a list of potential referral traffic opportunities that could benefit search.

The last report is a competitive baseline. Where are we right now across metrics that emulate a lot of the same formulas that search engines use, compared to the competition so that in three, six, twelve months from now we can run delta reports and see how we’re improving on those same metrics.

All those audits and reports and research play into what becomes an SEO strategic plan. With a creative link-base strategy to get other websites to share our content, ultimately we end up with an SEO strategic plan.