Updated Nov 2020

SEO strategy for marketing

6 steps to boost your rankings and grow your business

Quick win

Icons which users see in search results for Google My Business pages

1. Understand what topics your customers are interested in which relate to your product or service

Find your core topics

  • Keyword research helps you understand what customers are searching for
  • Google understands topics, regardless of the exact wording customers use. Therefore think of this as “topic research”
  • Use Google Search Console to find out what people were searching for when they landed on your site, and how you rank for those terms

Look for insights and inspiration

  • Find related keywords by looking at autocomplete suggestions on Google, YouTube or Amazon (use incognito mode), or by looking at “people also ask” and “related searches” in the Google search results
  • AnswerThePublic gives an expansive and inspirational view of what people are interested in
  • Google Ads Keyword Planner gives search volume for related keywords, and pay-per-click competition (not SEO difficulty)
  • Google Trends shows if interest in a keyword is rising

2. Find segments where you can win

  • To get clicks you have to be in the first few results for the segments you target
  • Use Google Search Console to see where you rank for specific keywords, tools like KWFinder to check SEO difficulty, and tools like SERPChecker to check how you rank
  • Can I Rank is useful because it tells you whether it’s realistic for your website to make it to the top for a given keyword
  • If necessary, target a more specific niche. There are many available. Each day 20% of Google searches have never been seen before

3. Write content good enough to share

  • The critical test is whether your content is good enough that your readers want to share it. This matters because other people linking to your site is the most important driver for how high your site appears, and social sharing also boosts rankings
  • No other consideration is more important. For example don’t repeat keywords if it makes your content less readable. Google wants to show the best content, and is not easily tricked
Thumbs up icon

Shareability is the single biggest driver of SEO success

4. Get others to link to your content

Link building / backlinks

  • Make it easy to share your content. Use social sharing buttons
  • Ask people you know to add links from their site to yours
  • You can approach sites in your sector and ask for links. Typically you have to write content for them (guest posts) which link back to your site. This works, but is labour-intensive
  • The best strategy is to do collaborations with others in your sector where you both get value, and exchange links

Monitor and track progress

  • It is possible to buy links (e.g. from Fat Joe). This is risky because Google may detect that the content is poor, and penalise the rankings. If you’re using an agency, check they’re not doing this
  • In Google Search Console you can see who has linked to your site, and with tools like LinkMiner you can see your own backlinks and those of competitors (allowing you to identify potential partners to approach)

5. Check your website follows SEO best practice

6. Track your performance

  • Track search clicks in Google Search Console
  • Choose a set of strategic keywords (e.g. for each of your top 5 topics), and track your rankings over time. This can be done with tools like SERPWatcher or SEMrush (which also includes a full range of SEO solutions)
Screen shot from SERPWatcher

SERPWatcher shows all critical rank tracking data on one screen

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