12-Month SEO Plan (Free Template)

Table of Contents

This blog will provide you with a framework to use when strategizing your 12-month SEO plan.

Use our SEO strategy template to organize, analyze, and plan your SEO strategy.

Market Research

Your 12-month SEO plan will be dictated by your market and your audience.

You must understand how your audience is using Google, and how competitors are positioning themselves.

Keyword Research

Uncovering the popular keywords in your market will give you a content marketing framework. The idea is to create SEO content targeting the keywords in order to get in front of your audience.

The content will guide the reader to take action such as making an inquiry, downloading marketing material, signing up for a webinar or demo, requesting a trial or pricing, etc.

Competitor Analysis

Doing a teardown of the top competitors in your market will show you exactly what they are doing, what is working, and what is not.

Take what is working, and forget the rest.

Website Audit

Perform an audit of your website to uncover critical issues that need fixing such as:

  • Crawling and indexing
  • Non-200 Response Codes
  • Page Speed
  • Broken backlinks
  • Duplicate content
  • Poor on-page optimization

You can perform an audit yourself using a SEO tool, or outsourcing it.

Have a web developer fix the issues and improve your website’s page loading time.

On-Page Optimization

Meta tags

Rewrite title tags and meta descriptions to include keywords and entice clicks (a little click-bait goes a long way)


Ensure each page has 1 H1 tag and subsequent subheadings follow a hierarchical structure.

  • H1
    • H2
      • H3
    • H2
      • H3
        • H4

Including keywords in your subheadings will improve the rankings for those keywords, if done correctly.

Keywords and LSI

Rewrite your website’s content to include your target keywords and semantically related words.


Prior to uploading images, rewrite the filename to include keywords.

After uploading an image, write an SEO-friendly alt tag that describes the image and includes keywords when possible.

Internal Linking

Include hyperlinks to other URLs on your website that you want readers to visit.

Use keywords in the anchor text when linking to other pages.

Content Marketing

Use an SEO tool to identify your competitor’s top-performing content. Write similar content to your competitor’s URLs that rank for the most keywords, and receive the most traffic.

Ignore topics that your competitors have created content around, but do not receive any traffic or rank for keywords.

Link Building

Creating social media profiles for your business will secure and protect your brand name. They will rank on Google for your brand name.

Submit your website to relevant directories that your competitors are on. Search their brand name on google to find directories that they are on.

Email blogs and media websites in your industry that accept guest posts. Pitch a topic that you can write a blog about and ask them to publish it. Make sure to include hyperlinks to your website

Local SEO

If you are a local business set up a Google Business profile. Fill out your profile to completion.

Add your name, address, and phone number (NAP) to your website.

Ask customers to leave a review on your Google Business profile.


A 12-month SEO plan includes market research, auditing, on-page optimization, content marketing, and link building.

In months 1-3, you will research keywords, analyze competitors, audit your website and begin on-page optimization.

Focus on content marketing in Months 4-6.

Months 7-9 add in link building.

Months 10-12 review the performance of your website, re-analyze your competitors for changes in their strategy and conduct another website audit.