6 Steps for Developing a Comprehensive SEO Strategy

All great businesses start with great ideas, but it’s the implementation of that idea that distinguishes them from the rest. At Cactus, we believe in your brand and we are ready to help make your ideas shine, but we understand sometimes that might sound a little bit confusing.

Wondering why some businesses come up first on Google and Bing when you type in a query, when others are lower on the page, or even on the dreaded second or third page? Some people might say “they paid for it,” and strategic paid ads certainly do contribute, but search engine optimization (SEO) is the real answer. Businesses are pushing now more than ever to creating content that is not only useful to converting leads, but keeps them ranking at the top of their desired search terms on Google, Bing, you name it.

In this blog, we’ll do some of the leg work and detail 6 key steps to curating an SEO strategy that fits your business and makes content a breeze.

1. Know your content.

This might seem like a given but it’s important to know your base brand or company values, and really decide what angle you’re going for. If you’re a motivational speaker, what do you espouse most? Do you mostly do webinars, or live events? Do you have a book, or an e-book? Are you on LinkedIn, or Facebook? Write this all down, any general idea at first, to get yourself started. Oftentimes, a brand kit or brand guide will help you if you already have one.

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2. Make your topics.

Once you’ve written down the basics, try to narrow things down as much as possible. Your industry, job title, categories, and mediums are very important. In the next few steps, you’ll be narrowing in on what you want to sell or appeal to. “Motivational email list” is much more likely to come up on a Google search as opposed to “life coach” or “life speaker” as those are broad, broad categories that likely have some heavy weights in them. Finding your niche is just as good for your brand as it is for your SEO.

3. Make your list of keys

This is what we consider the fun part! Make a list of keywords that appeal to this topic. Websites offer great resources, sometimes with free trials at first, like SEMrush, Moz or Hubspot. This often entails a lot of competitor research. While you don’t want to be the exact same, looking at what kind of content your competitors or aspirations are ranking for often gives you a good idea on how to do the same, or how to be different.

Some standard advice: try to be as narrow as you can without limiting yourself into a hole. For example, while someone might want to rank or add “SEO services” to their list, “SEO services Canada” might be a better option. Better yet, why not “marketing consulting Canada” as well?

4. Set up your web

Compile this keyword list diligently, and then section them out according to how they play into each other. For example, you could make an About section on your motivational speaking website for some terms, like “life coaching” and “motivational speaking”, and you could make a separate blog area for more concentrated terms and services like “keynote speaking” or “event hosting.”

Then, the rest is on you (or us!) to compile the content in a way that makes sense, is digestible, but can also be read and indexed by Google and other internet search engines. This step is a more precarious one, so be sure to make sure you know how to set up your website properly.

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5. Set up your blog and schedule.

A lot of businesses we work with have sometimes fallen to the wayside with these next two points. While the excitement is tangible in the first phases, it’s very important to keep on keeping on. SEO magic doesn’t just happen overnight, nor does it stay forever. The biggest companies have the biggest teams working on diligently compiling content to keep them relevant, and backlinking them on different websites to keep their website reputation active on the back end.

The best way to do this is make it a responsibility for someone. Make this a task for an employee, an intern, an outside company, but just make sure someone is doing it. Content can become outdated and stale very easily, so keeping things relevant is sometimes a full-time job.

6. Measure and track.

Last but certainly not least, make sure you can measure and track your goals. Set up a sheet to fill out monthly, weekly, quarterly, to track your goals, your rankings, your traffic, and see how these interact with each other moving forwards. If your goal is to increase traffic by 75% and you notice your convertible leads are coming from outside directories, but you’re still trying every other venue, then you’re not doing your due diligence in directing some efforts towards those other lead generation opportunities.

This is the number one thing we see with companies that say their leads are going down or that they aren’t happy with their presence online. While it takes a team to implement these strategies, it’s also important to evaluate and re-evaluate at every opportunity to keep your business and brand at the forefront of consumers’ minds (and searches).

If you’re wondering how to implement your strategies on a larger scale, or what those even might look like, contact us to see how we can create a customized plan for your brand.