If there is an interaction between SEO and business vision, designing an SEO strategy presents a huge opportunity – the ability to be more aligned with what users want in the future, a potential to reinvent themselves and stay (or become) agile. On the other hand, it also means that you have to align your measurements with what characterizes the company.
In this phase, we can translate the information gained about the target group into concrete search queries. Once we have collected the first formulations and keywords it is necessary to use tools to check if they are actually searched. Particularly useful in this process are the autocomplete in Google Search (Google Suggest) and related queries at the bottom of the search results page, keyword tools, Keyword Generator or the Google Keyword Planner
However, comprehensive keyword research is an art in itself and is beyond the scope of this article. We recommend our keyword -focused article for further reading.
Once the keywords have been identified, they need to be prioritized. Keyword prioritization plays a central role in the subsequent prioritization of measures: if we know which keywords are most important to us, we can also focus on measures that specifically aim to improve them.
Keyword mapping and content strategy
In this phase the defined keywords are assigned to the corresponding pages of the website. It is therefore important to ask yourself: which of my pages best suits the user’s intent? A URL often covers several keywords that can be combined into keyword groups with the same search intent. On the other hand, it also happens that the keywords are not yet covered by the existing pages of the website. In these cases we have already defined a first measure within the framework of the strategy design.
Sometimes it can happen that a search intent is addressed from several landing pages. Pages must then be redesigned or merged to avoid duplicate content and keyword cannibalization. And so the first concrete SEO measures begin to emerge.
At this point, it is essential to think about the site structure and content strategy. Both topics deserve a separate article, but to summarize the most important thing: With the help of reverse engineering of search intent, you define your landing page requirements. The starting point is the specific search query, which is then typed into Google and the top 10 search results are analyzed.
Technical SEO analysis is essential in planning a broad strategy. Here it makes sense to carry out the so-called Technical Audit: the entire website is put to the test and the potentials that need to be optimized are discovered. Until a few years ago, the focus was very much on on-page factors such as snippet, H1 and H structure, URL structure, etc. and while all these points continue to be important, it should be clarified that there are further technical factors that are playing a central role and that must absolutely be thoroughly analyzed as part of the technical audit: crawlability and indexability of content, the concept of mobile first and Core Web Vitals as a new Google ranking factor.
With the completion of the technical audit, you should have accumulated a full report of measures which should be processed and recorded accordingly. Where do we start?
Prioritize the measures and plan the time agenda
Now that the optimization measures have been determined, priorities must be established. The point of a strategy is just that: knowing what is important and when, to be able to set a clear focus and not work wildly on all construction sites at the same time. In assessing the priority of measures, two factors are of crucial importance:
- How high is the cost of the measure?
- How high is the expected impact of the measure on my concretely defined objective?
Once the measures that have priority have been identified, a timetable for optimization can be established. In this case it is necessary to estimate the time required for the corresponding optimizations. Of course, this estimate is also subjective. Welcome to search engine optimization!