July 4, 2021 Abeer Mohamed

SEO Strategy In 2021 | 9 Effective Steps

How to create an Effective SEO Strategy? (2021 Guide)

Reading Time: 10 minutes

SEO Strategy In 2021: Your company is redoing its website and you’re in charge of the content. Pretty exciting, right? Then your boss tells you you’re responsible for search engine optimization (SEO), too. Suddenly, the project doesn’t seem quite so exciting anymore. You’re not a SEO guru. You don’t have years of experience with SEO. The panic sets in.

Hold on! Believe it or not, whether you’re taking over, improving, or just starting your SEO Strategy In 2021, the basics of SEO aren’t that hard. In fact, they’re mostly just common sense. I’m not trying to take anything away from the rock stars who have made a career around SEO expertise. We need those folks. Their expertise is incredibly valuable because there is a lot of science to SEO, and it is constantly changing as search engines like Google continue to update their algorithms.

What I’m saying is that you don’t have to have a master’s degree in SEO to ensure your website is well positioned for organic search engine traffic. Check out these 9 simple ways to build a strong SEO Strategy In 2021.

What is SEO strategy?

SEO Strategy In 2021 is a detailed plan to improve a website’s search engine rankings in order to capture more organic traffic. This plan should draw from several foundational pillars, including technical SEO, content strategy, on-page SEO, link building and user experience.

Put simply, SEO Strategy In 2021 is about delivering extreme relevance and value to searchers.

But there’s another side to the SEO coin that’s often overlooked: brand protection. A holistic approach to Enterprise search engine optimization also ensures that searches related to your brand, executives or products remain positive.

One of the primary benefits of a successful SEO Strategy In 2021 is that it presents your brand to searchers at every stage of the customer journey. As a result, your company becomes a trusted, familiar resource for consumers no matter their stage in the purchase funnel.

In fact, this commissioned study by Forrester Consulting found that customers sourced through SEO were more loyal and engaged. As a result, they lead to higher customer lifetime value (CLV).

Step #1: Create a List of Keywords

Everything in search engine optimization revolves around keywords.

Which is why keyword research is usually the first step of any legit SEO Strategy In 2021.

You can easily find keywords that your target customer searches for using Google Suggest.

Start typing a keyword into Google’s search field, and it will populate a list of suggestions:

Google search suggestions

These usually make awesome keywords for SEO because they come straight from Google.

So you know that people are actually searching for them.

Plus, longer keywords (known as “long tail keywords”) tend to be less competitive than “short tail” terms.

Long tail keywords

So even though long tails have relatively low search volume levels, you can usually rank for them faster.

I recommend typing a few different keywords into Google until you have a list of about 10 keywords.

If you want to check out the search volume and competition levels for those terms, you can use a keyword tool like SEMrush or Ubersuggest.

SEMrush and Ubersuggest

Step #2: Optimizing on-page elements

One of the most critical SEO Strategy In 2021 is optimizing on-page elements. On-page elements impact your site’s ranking because they serve as signals to Google as to whether your page is relevant to someone’s search.

Here are some on-page elements you’ll want to optimize:

Title tags

Title tags are the first things users see when they search. These tags tell them about the context of your page. People get a glimpse into what to expect from your page.

 

 

Search engines also use your title tag to determine if your page is relevant to search results, so you must optimize it to reach the right people.

When you create your title tag, you’ll want to use your keyword as close to the front of the title tag as possible. It will help you show both visitors and search engines that your page is relevant.

Second, you want to ensure you stay within the limit for your title tag. Title tags should be less than 60 characters to ensure they don’t get cut off in search results, which is another reason to use your keyword near the beginning versus the end of your title tag.

Finally, you’ll want to ensure you create a title tag that’s engaging and catches your audience’s attention. A title tag like “10 Photo-Worthy Vacation Spots to Visit This Summer” will catch more attention than a title tag like “10 Vacation Spots to Visit.”

Meta description

Along with your title tag, your meta description is another critical element in search results. The meta description is a short blurb that tells searchers what to expect on your page. Think of it as a sneak peek of your content.

 

 

Your meta description tells search engines what to expect too. It helps them determine if your page is relevant to search results.

When writing your meta description, you want to ensure you’re staying within the 150-character limit, while also providing as much relevant information as possible. Be sure to include your core keyword too!

URLs

The last element we’ll mention for on-page optimization are URLs. URLs are a critical component of your on-page optimizations. You want to optimize this element to ensure it’s memorable, so your audience can remember the URL better and return to your page later.

 

 

It’s also essential to optimize your URLs so search engines can read them and further understand how your page is relevant to search results.

To create an optimized URL, integrate the keyword of your page into it. Don’t use random numbers and letters, as search engines and humans won’t understand or remember them. Keep your URL simple, but also ensure it provides your audience with insight into your page.

Step #3: Improving the backend of your site

Next on our list of SEO Strategy In 2021 examples is improving the backend of your site.

The backend of your website, while not visible, is critical to determining your site’s ranking. You need to have a website that’s functional and operates properly to ensure your audience has a positive experience.

Here are two search engine optimization strategies you can use to improve the backend of your site:

Speed up your site

The first step to improving the backend of your site is to speed up your site’s load time. Users hate to wait for pages to load — 83% of users expect your website to load in three seconds or less.

Since users expect sites to load fast, Google wants to deliver websites at the top of the search results that load quickly. If you don’t optimize your site’s load time, you’ll miss the opportunity to rank higher in search results.

To start improving your site’s load time, use Google PageSpeed Insights to gain insight into your site’s current load time.

Google will then provide you with helpful tips on how you can improve your site’s load time. If you’re familiar with working on the backend of your website, you can make these changes to improve your website.

For people who aren’t familiar with backend coding, there are always page speed optimization services from a digital marketing company. You can have professionals, like those at Imbassy, optimize your site to help improve load times and increase your rankings in search results.

Make your site mobile-friendly

More people are using mobile devices, so you need a site that delivers a proper mobile experience. If you don’t, you’re neglecting over 50% of the Internet traffic that comes from mobile users.

Additionally, Google uses a mobile-first indexing system, which means that your mobile-friendliness influences your site’s ranking.

So, how do you make your site mobile-friendly?

The best way to create a mobile-friendly website is to integrate responsive design into your site. Responsive design ensures that your site adapts to whatever device someone uses by scaling it to the device.

Step #4: Creating user-friendly pages

Next, our list of SEO techniques focuses on user-friendly pages.

This element is one of the essential elements of an SEO Strategy In 2021 because it impacts how your audience interacts with your site. If you don’t have a user-friendly website, your audience will leave your site.

Creating user-friendly pages will help you rank better in search results because users will spend more time engaging on your pages. When people spend more time on your site, it sends a positive signal to search engines that your page is relevant, which helps you earn higher rankings.

To help improve the user experience, follow these best practices:

  1. Break up the text on your pages into small paragraphs of 2-3 sentences. Having shorter paragraphs of text helps increase readability and makes it easier for your audience to skim your content.
  2. Avoid jargon. Many people believe jargon is a great way to show they’re knowledgeable, but it often does more harm than good. Your audience may not know what the terms mean, which can become overwhelming. The best thing to do is to avoid using any slang.
  3. Add visuals. While your information is critical, your audience can easily get overwhelmed if they see blocks of text. Adding visuals, like photos and videos, can help break up text and make it easier to skim through your pages.

Step #5: Write High Quality Content (Naturally)

The key here is to use your marketing Spidey sense and create engaging content that is valuable to your target market. Valuable content includes content that answers the questions that your buyers have, provides them with insights they can use, and educates them so they can be better at what they do. Within the great content you’re creating, remember to use appropriate keywords naturally.

Don’t try to stuff your pages (i.e. adding keyword terms over and over again in your content, in your meta tags, in your Alt descriptions, etc) in an attempt inflate your site’s ranking. It won’t help your search ranking (in fact, it could hurt it). If search engines catch you (and they will because their bots are super smart!), they can penalize your site by lowering your ranking or completely removing your site from their index.

Plus, it won’t impress your website visitors. Who wants to read the same words over and over: “Are you looking for organic dog food? If you’re looking for organic dog food, look no further. Our organic dog food website is the best place to order your organic dog food.” Keep it real—you’re writing for a person.

Now it’s time to actively build links to your content.

Specifically, we’re going to tap into 3 link building strategies that are working GREAT right now.

Broken Link Building

Here’s where you find a broken link on someone’s site…

…and offer your content as a replacement.

For example, this is an outreach email that I sent to a blogger in the marketing niche:

Outreach email to blogger

(Note how specific I am. I don’t say “Please consider linking to me in a blog post”. I have a specific place on a specific page where my link makes sense.)

And because I helped the person out BEFORE asking for anything, they were happy to add my link:

Blogger – Happy to add Brian's link

Competitor Analysis

This strategy is old school.

But it still works.

First, find a site that’s ranking for a keyword you want to rank for.

For example, I’m trying to rank for the keyword “SEO Audit”.

So I grab this result from the first page…

SEO Audit SERPs with Ahrefs highlight| SEO Strategy In 2021

…and look at their backlinks.

Ahrefs – Page backlinks| SEO Strategy In 2021

I can see that this page has links from 160 domains:

Ahrefs page – Referring domains| SEO Strategy In 2021

So I should be able to get at least a handful of the same links they have.

To do that, I go one-by-one through their backlinks.

Go through backlinks – Ahrefs

And find pages where my link would add value.

For example, this post mentions the Ahrefs content by name:

Post mentioning Ahrefs' content by name

There’s no reason to link to my post there. So I moved onto the next opportunity on the list.

And I came across this post:

Good candidate post| SEO Strategy In 2021

This time, the link to Ahrefs is part of a big list of resources.

Link to Ahrefs – Part of a resource list| SEO Strategy In 2021

A list that would be even BETTER and more complete with a link to my SEO audit post.

Evangelist Method

This strategy is less about links… and more about getting your content in front of the right people.

(Specifically: people that run blogs in your niche.)

I’ll explain how this strategy works with an example…

A while back I wanted to promote a new Skyscraper Technique case study.

So I used Buzzsumo to see who recently shared content about The Skyscraper Technique.

BuzzSumo – Recent Skyscraper Technique shares

And emailed everyone a variation of this template:

Outreach template

And when they replied “sure, I’ll check it out”, I sent them a link to the post:

Outreach template reply

(Note how I DON’T ask for a share. This is a Judo move that makes your outreach stand out.)

Which led to dozens of shares to my brand post:

Resultant shares of template use

As you gather up a list of SEO Strategy In 2021, don’t forget to add competitor analysis to your list! When you’re trying to earn better rankings in the search results, it’s critical to know who you’re competing against and how you can outrank them.

Whenever you want to rank for a keyword, search for that keyword on Google and see what results come up. Look at who ranks for that keyword. Check out their pages and see what kind of information they cover on the topic.

When you look at a competitors’ pages, answer these questions:

  1. How do they structure their page?
  2. Does the page include multimedia?
  3. How long is their content?
  4. What does the page do well?
  5. And what is the page missing?
  6. What could I do better?

It’s critical to answer these questions so you can get an idea of how to approach your content. You don’t want to copy your competition word-for-word, but you can look at their articles for inspiration.

So, for example, let’s say you’re a traveling company, and you’ve decided to write an article about the top 10 places to visit on the East Coast of the United States. You check the search results to see what other companies write and answer these questions:

  • How do they structure their page?

Most of my competition’s pages are structured with numbered lists with large paragraphs for each number.

  • Does the page include multimedia?

Every page has photos of people traveling, but they do not look destination specific.

  • How long is their content?

Most of the content pages are around 1500 words.

  • What does the page do well?

The pages cover a lot of good locations, and the number structure makes it easy to find the different destinations. They also have bright visuals that are eye-catching.

  • AND what is the page missing?

The page lacks some personalization. The photos are a little generic and not relevant to the locations listed.

  • What could I do better?

For my page, I could use a numbered list, but create smaller paragraphs that make it easier for readers to skim. I could also introduce videos, as none of my competitors have videos in their articles.

Additionally, I could add destination-specific photos to make my audience feel more connected to the locations.

As you can see here, answering these questions helps you gain a better understanding of what your competition does, what you can mimic, and where you can improve your content to help it stand out.

Step #8: Optimizing for voice search

Did you know that more than one billion voice searches happen each month?

If you don’t include voice search optimization as part of your SEO strategies, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to help your business reach more users.

Voice search optimization enables you to optimize your website for verbal searches.

When it comes to optimizing for verbal searches, you need to ensure that you optimize for the way people search verbally.

Verbal searching and typed searching are different — people search longer and more grammatically proper queries with voice search. When users search verbally, they also phrase their queries as questions.

So, for example, if someone wanted to find the best places to hike in Pennsylvania, they may type “best places to hike in PA.” On a voice search device, however, they would likely search, “Where are the best places to hike in Pennsylvania?”

When you’re optimizing for voice search devices, you want to ensure you’re optimizing for the way people search verbally. From the query format to the use of slang, you must keep this information in mind when you’re optimizing your site.

Step #9: Monitoring and optimizing

Another one of our SEO Strategy In 2021 examples involves monitoring and optimizing your page. When you invest the time and effort to maximize your SEO strategies, you don’t want it to go to waste. You must track your strategy’s performance so you can optimize and adjust to get the best results.

Monitoring and optimizing are critical elements of an SEO Strategy In 2021. They help you maximize your budget by adjusting your plan to ensure you’re getting the most from your strategy.

When you monitor your SEO Strategy In 2021, you want to ensure you’re checking metrics like:

  1. Traffic
  2. Bounce rate
  3. Pages per session
  4. Click-through rate (CTR)
  5. And more

By including monitoring as part of your SEO marketing strategies, you can adjust to help your campaign perform better.

SEO Strategy In 2021: Looking to the future

For SEO success, you can’t just “set it and forget it.” You must continually optimize your site, publish high-value content and secure trusted backlinks. On top of this, always be ready to capitalize on new SEO trends (voice search was a non-starter years ago, for example).

With this in mind, pay attention to growing areas of importance such as mobile search, voice search, video and structured data.

For a peek into the future, be sure to attend or watch a video of the Google I/O developer conference every year. “I/O” stands for input/output, as well as the slogan “Innovation in the Open”. During the event, Google provides a glimpse into the future, revealing new products, features and technologies. This will help you to see the overarching directions in which Google is heading.

With the vast proliferation of connected devices, it will also be important to monitor searcher behavior using different types of devices in different environments and situations. For example, voice search via your car’s dashboard may evolve beyond what we typically think of when talking about Google search on a laptop or smartphone. What will not change are the basics – delivering a great user experience that matches search intent no matter where the person is in the funnel.

Create your SEO Strategy In 2021

After looking at these SEO Strategy In 2021 examples, you can get ideas for how to create a strategy that drives results for your business.

If you aren’t sure which SEO marketing strategies are right for you, Imbassy can help. We’re a full-service digital marketing company that specializes in SEO. We can help you create a campaign that enables you to drive results for your business.

Are you ready to help your business grow with SEO? You can get started with Imbassy

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Abeer Mohamed

👨‍💻 I write stuff for the web.

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