How to Create an SEO Strategy in 7 Steps

In the vast digital universe, ensuring your website stands out can feel like a monumental task. However, one tried-and-true method remains a lighthouse amidst the digital storm: Search Engine Optimisation, more commonly known as SEO. This essential tool has transformed the online landscape, playing a crucial role in how websites increase their visibility, traffic, and ultimately, their success.

In this article, we'll demystify the world of SEO and explore how to create an effective SEO strategy, taking you through seven detailed steps to help you conquer the digital summit and reach your target audience more effectively.

Understanding SEO (search engine optimization)

understanding seo

Before we embark on our journey of crafting an SEO strategy, it's essential to grasp the basics of SEO and why it's such a pivotal element of your online presence.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of enhancing your website to improve its visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). The goal is to make your website more appealing to search engines, thereby increasing organic (unpaid) traffic. SEO can seem complex due to its various elements, but understanding its fundamental components can significantly simplify it.

  • Importance of Keywords: Keywords act as the bridge between your content and your audience via search engines. When users input queries into a search engine, the engine looks for websites that most accurately and comprehensively answer that query. By identifying and properly utilising the keywords your audience uses, you can enhance your visibility on SERPs.
  • Role of Backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites to yours. They function as endorsements, enhancing your website's authority in the eyes of search engines. High-quality backlinks can significantly boost your SEO, making your website appear more reliable and reputable.
  • Significance of Content: In the world of SEO, content is king. High-quality, relevant content is what keeps users on your page, encourages them to return, and inspires them to share your content on their networks. All these factors contribute to improved search engine rankings.

Now, let's briefly touch on the types of SEO we'll be delving into more deeply further along in this guide:

  • On-Page SEO: This refers to the actions you take on your website to improve its ranking. It involves optimising content, improving page load speed, and configuring your meta tags and URL structure, among other elements.
  • Off-Page SEO: This focuses on improving your website's reputation and authority. It involves actions taken outside of your website, like building high-quality backlinks, social media marketing, and guest blogging.
  • Technical SEO: This refers to non-content elements of your site, such as your site's architecture, mobile-friendliness, security, and page speed. Technical SEO ensures your site is easy to crawl and index, providing a solid foundation for your content.
  • Local SEO: For businesses that operate in a specific geographic area, local SEO is an essential component. This strategy aims to optimise your online presence to attract more local business, increasing your site's visibility to people in your area searching for your services.

With this foundation of understanding, we can now progress to the importance of an SEO strategy and the steps to create a powerful one that meets your website's unique needs.

Importance of an SEO Strategy

importance of an seo strategy

An SEO strategy is an indispensable component of your overall digital marketing plan. In the age of internet ubiquity, businesses must strive for visibility in a saturated digital environment, and this is where a well-crafted SEO strategy comes into play.

  • Firstly, an SEO strategy can significantly improve your website's visibility on search engines. By targeting the correct keywords and optimising various aspects of your site, you increase your chances of appearing higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), making it easier for potential customers to discover your business.
  • Secondly, SEO improves the credibility and trustworthiness of your website. When search engines like Google rank your website highly, it’s akin to a digital seal of approval that reinforces your credibility in the eyes of potential customers.
  • Finally, an effective SEO strategy increases organic traffic, i.e., users that find your website through unpaid search results. This traffic is particularly valuable because it comprises users who are actively seeking the products, services, or information that your business offers. This active intent often translates into higher engagement and conversion rates.

In essence, SEO is not merely about attracting website traffic—it’s about attracting the right kind of traffic. It's about understanding who your audience is, what they're interested in, and how they're searching for it, and then making it easy for them to find you.

Steps to Create an SEO Strategy

steps to create an seo strategy

As we continue our exploration of the crucial role SEO plays in our digital world, we now venture into the heart of the matter: the creation of an SEO strategy. Devising a comprehensive SEO strategy might appear daunting, particularly with the myriad of factors to consider, from keyword research and keyword targeting to content creation to technical aspects like website structure and speed.

However, fear not! The process becomes far more manageable when broken down into individual components. Each step of the process serves a distinct purpose, working in harmony to increase your website's visibility and elevate its ranking in the search engine results pages. Moreover, a well-structured SEO strategy ensures that your efforts are directed efficiently, helping you to make the most of your resources and ultimately leading to more in organic search and traffic and a higher return on investment.

So, without further ado, let's embark on this journey of creating an effective SEO strategy, one step at a time. We'll be examining seven key steps, each of which will provide you with a clear direction and practical actions to optimise your website for search engines and users alike.

1. Conducting an SEO Audit

conducting an seo audit

Just as you can't reach a destination without knowing your starting point, you can't improve your SEO without knowing your website's current state. An SEO audit is your roadmap, highlighting where you're succeeding and where improvements are needed. It's an in-depth examination of your website's on-page elements, content, backlinks, and more. Let's delve into what an SEO audit entails.

Website Performance Review

This review evaluates your website's performance metrics like page load speed, mobile-friendliness, search engine optimization and overall user experience. Search engines favour websites that deliver a swift, user-friendly experience across all devices.

Moreover, visitors are more likely to remain on, and return to, sites that load quickly and look good on their devices. Hence, gauging your website's performance is crucial for future optimisation.

Content Audit

This part of the audit assesses the quality, relevance, and performance of the content on your site for search intent. It ensures that your site content is engaging, accurate, and up-to-date. Search engines, like Google, are committed to delivering quality content to their users, so outdated or inaccurate information could hurt your rankings.

Furthermore, good content keeps users on your site longer, reducing your bounce rate and increasing the chance of conversions.

Backlink Analysis

This examines the quantity and quality of internal links from other sites that link back to yours. Backlinks and online directories are like votes of confidence from other websites. The more high-quality backlinks you have, how much traffic and the more credible your website appears to search engines.

But it's not just about quantity inbound links; the quality of the websites linking to you matters immensely. Links from reputable sites hold more weight and can greatly boost your website’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

2. Keyword Research

keyword research

One of the cornerstones of SEO is to conduct keyword research. This process involves identifying and analysing the search terms that people enter into search engines, and then strategically using those terms in your own content marketing yourself. By doing so, you're improving your chances of ranking high on search engine results pages for those terms. Here's how to undertake effective keyword research.

Importance of Keyword Research

Understanding and using the right keywords is crucial. Keywords act as the link building the conduit between what people are searching for and the content you provide to fill that need. Your goal in your keyword strategy and research should be to identify the search terms that your audience uses, and to rank high for those particular keyword terms in search engines.

Tools and Techniques for Effective Keyword Research

Several tools can assist you in this process, including Google's Keyword Planner and SEMRush. These platforms can provide information such as search volume, target keyword, difficulty, and even suggest other related keywords that you may not have considered.

Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are phrases find keywords that are typically three to five words long. Although they may have lower search volumes than shorter, more generic long tail keywords do, they are usually less competitive and attract a more targeted audience. This often leads to better conversion rates as these visitors are more likely to find precisely what they're looking for on your site.

3. Creating Quality Content

creating quality content

Quality content is the heart of SEO. It's what draws users to your site, keeps them engaged, and encourages them to share your content with their networks. But not all content is created equal - it needs to be relevant, valuable, and engaging to stand out. Let's look at the role of content in SEO and how to create SEO-friendly content.

Role of Quality Content in SEO

Quality content serves several crucial roles in SEO. Not only does it provide valuable information for your users, but it's also the vessel where you integrate your target keywords. The more engaging and high-quality your content is, the more time users will spend on your site, leading to more traffic and better search engine rankings.

Tips for Creating SEO-friendly Content

When creating content, you should aim to make it both user-friendly and search engine-friendly. This involves creating content that's engaging, easy to read, and provides real value to your audience. Additionally, you should optimise your existing content by integrating your target keywords naturally, using meta tags effectively, and ensuring it's easily navigable voice search for. In essence, good SEO content meets the needs of both your users and search engines.

4. On-Page SEO Optimisation

on page seo optimisation

On-page SEO involves optimising elements on your website's individual pages to improve their search engine ranking and visibility. From meta descriptions and URL structure to header tags and image optimisation, there are various factors you can control on your website to improve SEO. Here's how to optimise these on-page elements for SEO.

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are brief summaries of your webpages that appear in search engine results. An engaging and relevant meta description can improve search volume, keyword rankings and your click-through rates significantly. Despite not being a direct ranking factor for search intent, they affect your page's performance by encouraging users to choose your site over others in the search results.

URL Structure

A well-crafted URL provides both humans and search engines an easy-to-understand indication of what the content ideas the page will be about. Keeping URLs as simple, relevant, compelling, and accurate as possible is key to getting both your users and search engines to understand them. A clean URL structure can also impact click-through rates from search queries and results positively.

Header Tags

Header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) help to structure your content, making it easier for readers to understand existing content and for search engines to identify key sections of your content. Using keywords in header tags can improve your SEO, but they need to be used correctly to avoid appearing manipulative to search engines.

Image Optimisation

Images bring life to your content and help increase engagement. However, not optimised images can slow down your site. By compressing images, using relevant file names, and including alt tags, you can maintain a fast-loading site while providing a better user experience.

5. Off-Page SEO Optimisation

off page seo optimisation

Off-page SEO refers to the actions taken outside of your website that can impact your organic search- engine rankings. These actions aim to improve your site's reputation and authority, with quality backlinks playing a crucial role. Let's explore some key off-page SEO tactics.

Building Quality Backlinks

Quality backlinks are a crucial aspect of off-page SEO. They act like endorsements from other websites and can significantly improve your own site’s authority. Remember, the quality of your backlinks can be more important than the quantity. Earning links from high-authority sites can provide a substantial SEO boost.

Social Media Engagement

Actively engaging on social media platforms can also contribute to your SEO efforts. Social signals may not directly impact rankings, but the more organic traffic generated from social media can influence organic search traffic and ranking indirectly. Additionally, a strong social media presence and online traffic can enhance your brand's online visibility.

Guest Blogging

Writing guest blog post or posts for reputable websites in your industry can be a powerful way to get your brand in front of a new audience, build high-quality backlinks, and drive traffic to your blog post or own site. It's a win-win scenario where the host site gets free, quality content, and you receive exposure and a backlink in return.

6. Technical SEO

technical seo

While on-page and off-page SEO focus mainly on content and backlinks, technical SEO deals with the backend elements of your site. It's the unsung hero of SEO, ensuring your site is easily crawlable and indexable for search engines. Here's what you need to know about technical SEO.

Website Structure and Site Map

A well-structured website with a clear site map enhances the user experience and aids search engines in using search queries and crawling your site more efficiently. This ensures that search engines can find and index all of your content ideas and your important pages.


With the majority of online searches now happening on mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly site isn't optional—it's a necessity. Mobile optimisation impacts not only the user experience but also your rankings, as search engines like Google penalise sites that aren't mobile-friendly.

Stay ahead in the digital game and learn how to adapt to Google's Mobile First Index with our enlightening article.

Site Speed

Site speed is a significant ranking factor. A slow-loading site can harm your rankings and also frustrate users, leading to higher bounce rates. Various techniques, like using a fast hosting provider, compressing images, and enabling browser caching, can help improve your site speed.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

A secure website is not only crucial for user trust but is also a ranking factor. SSL encrypts the connection between the user's browser and your site, ensuring data integrity and privacy. Sites with an SSL certificate rank higher than those without one.

7. Local SEO

local seo

If your business operates in a specific geographical area, local SEO is a must. It optimises your online presence to attract more local business, making your site more visible to people in your area searching for your services. Let's discuss the importance of local SEO and how to optimise your site for local search.

Google Business Profile (previously known as Google My Business)

One of the most potent tools for local SEO is Google Business Profile. This free tool lets you manage your online presence across Google, including Search and Maps, making it easier for potential customers in your area to find you.

Online Reviews and Ratings

Encourage happy customers to leave reviews online, and don't forget to respond to these reviews. This not only improves your business's online shopping reputation but can also boost your visibility in search results.

Local Keywords

Including location-specific keywords in your content can help attract local customers. For example, if you're a bakery in Manchester, using keywords like "bakery in Manchester" can help locals find you more easily.

That concludes our seven-step journey to create a comprehensive SEO strategy. With these steps, you'll be well-equipped to improve your site's visibility, ranking, and most importantly, attract more of your target audience.

Tracking SEO Success

tracking seo success

While embarking on your SEO journey and implementing your strategic plan is vital, it's equally crucial to measure your success along the way. Tracking your SEO results allows you to understand the effectiveness of your efforts, highlighting both triumphs and areas needing improvement. This ongoing process not only validates your hard work but also provides valuable insight to refine your strategy continuously.

Importance of Monitoring and Adjusting Your SEO Strategy

SEO isn't a set-it-and-forget-it process. Search engine algorithms are continually evolving, as are the needs and behaviours of your audience. Therefore, to maintain and improve your rankings, you must monitor your SEO performance regularly and adjust your strategy as needed. A well-rounded SEO strategy is a responsive one. Adjustments based on monitoring search results will ensure that you're consistently delivering what both your users and search engines are looking for.

Key SEO Metrics to Track

Various metrics can give you insights into your SEO success. These include organic traffic, bounce rate, conversion rate, page load time, and rankings for your target keywords. Additionally, monitoring the number and quality of your backlinks can indicate your site's authority and reputation.

Tools for Tracking SEO Performance

Several tools can help you track these metrics, such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and SEMRush. These platforms can provide a comprehensive view of your site's performance and the impact of your SEO efforts. They help you understand how users interact with your site, which pages perform best, and how your site is ranked for specific keywords. Using these insights, you can continue refining your strategy to align organic search traffic with your business objectives.

Tracking your SEO success is a non-negotiable part of the process. It's through this monitoring and adjustment that your efforts truly pay off, paving your path towards sustained online growth and success. Remember, SEO is not just about reaching the destination—it's about staying there.


In the digital age, having an online presence isn't enough. You need to actively work to make your website more visible to your target audience, and the most effective way to do that is through SEO. We've covered a lot of ground in this guide, from conducting an SEO audit and keyword research to optimising individual web pages and focusing on local SEO. By integrating these seven steps into your digital strategy, you're not just making your website more visible—you're ensuring it stands out in the vast universe of online content.

Remember, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires ongoing effort and attention. But by committing to a comprehensive, well-structured SEO strategy, the rewards you'll reap in increased visibility, higher traffic, and better user engagement will be well worth it. Stay diligent, monitor your metrics, adjust your strategy as needed, and watch your website rise to the heights of search engine rankings. Safe travels on your SEO journey!

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