Without a SEO plan template, It’s easy to get lost in the endless opportunities to improve your search engine optimization, and in turn your visibility in Google.
Speaking to business owners I often here get asked:
- Where do I start?
- How do I prioritize these tasks?
- What changes will have the most impact on traffic?
- Do I focus on technical SEO or a content strategy?
Why you should use a SEO strategy template
With all the opportunities to drive organic traffic through search engines, it’s important to weigh effort vs value when making decisions.
What is the smallest (or lowest effort, yet biggest impact strategy?
A SEO strategy template helps you research, organize, plan and prioritize the execution of your SEO audit and run a cost benefit analysis to find the most effective and profitable SEO plan.
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What’s included in our SEO strategy document?
- Buyer persona research: Who are they and what do they search for?
- Sales & lead generation planning: Plan your highest ROI content, and user experience
- Content marketing strategy: Target your customers with SEO-friendly articles
- Link building strategy: How and where to acquire the best backlinks
- Set SEO goals to actual business goals in Google Analytics: Track your growth
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How to use the SEO strategy template
Below is an overview of the different components of the SEO strategy template:
The foundation of every SEO strategy template starts with keyword research.
However, before diving head first into a keyword research tool it is important to brainstorm “seed keywords”.
Go through each of the categories listed below.
If the category applies to your business, jot down all of the keywords (or words used to describe it) that apply to it.
After you have filled out all of the information for the applicable categories, you can now use the keywords as seed keywords.
Be sure to use a “broad match” search to find all of the search queries that derive from your seed keyword list.
- Take inventory of your website’s content
- Identify gaps in keyword targeting where new content is needed
- Prioritize keyword targeting
After importing all keywords into the SEO strategy document, map the keywords (or more likely groups of keywords) to content on your website.
Mark all the existing URLs as “Exists”, and all content that needs to be created as “Planned”.
Our SEO strategy template will automatically sum the keyword search volume for content that is on your website, as well as content that is going to be created.
This gives you a black and white view of the total search demand of your content strategy, and your website.
Before you create content prioritize your website’s pages or blog posts:
- search intent x search volume – is the search intent “commercial” or “transactional”? What is the total opportunity?
You now have a clear view of the most important pages and articles, as well as have a starting point.
Now that you have a clear birds eye view of your SEO strategy, it is time to drill down into the individual pages and plan out important search engine ranking factors.
When planning the SEO details at a high level, focus on the 80/20 (small optimizations that will get the best results)
After using this exact method for almost 5 years, for hundreds of different businesses we have found that if you get the following 3 on-page SEO factors right, you will put yourself in the best possible position.
- Title Tag
- H1 Tag
Plan out the above for each of your URLs. Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once because of the prioritization.
The extra icing on the cake is to plan out specific content blocks for individual pages.
Although this is effective, it is not 100% necessary.
Use the long-tail keywords to influence the sections of content on your pages.
- Number of backlinks
- Anchor text
White hat link building is a resource intensive process.
Start with pages that have the biggest opportunity and work your way down.
To find out the number of links you need to build for each page use the Keyword Difficulty inside of Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer tool.
Plugging in the main keyword the page will give you a rough estimate of the number of links needed to rank in the top 10.
The last thing you will need to plan is the anchor text for the backlinks you are going to build.
Here is what your anchor text profile could look like:
- Branded, Generic, Naked – 40-60%
- LSI Keywords (synonyms & long tail keywords) – 20%-30%
- Exact Match (main keyword) – 10%-20%
Final Thoughts About Planning a SEO Strategy
The opportunities to increase your website’s visibility and organic traffic through:
- Implement technical SEO optimizations
- keyword research & content marketing
are almost endless.
Because of the vast opportunities and technical implementations, it’s important to prioritize.
Not only is it crucial to plan your SEO campaign upfront, it is even more important budget the time and resources that are necessary to achieve your goals (and deliver a ROI).
Our SEO strategy planning template will give you a step by step SEO plan to execute the most efficient and effective SEO strategy for your business.
Go and crush it!