Doing SEO without strategy is like going to shopping without a shopping list.
An announced disaster.
Search engine optimization always changes to time to time and therefore those who are dedicated to SEO have to adapt to each and every update and it is a must to do task.
But we are not going to get dramatic either.
What I’m saying is that it is important to define your SEO strategy and, with the end of 2020, it is worth considering improvements and modifications to the SEO that we have been doing.
Do you want to plan your SEO strategy 2021?
Well, keep reading because I have some ideas to review and work on.
What is an SEO strategy
If you are going to do search engine optimization to gain visibility on Google, you need a strategy.
➡️ The process of ordering the ideas and content of a web page to know what steps and actions you are going to take, as well as what keywords and search intentions you want to respond to with each piece of content is called as SEO Strategy.
Considering the large number of SEO ranking factors that affect positioning, this devising a strategy can become complicated.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I will try to simplify the process and show you the areas that you can focus on in your new SEO strategy for 2021.
The 4 pillars of an SEO strategy
We are going to divide the strategies or actions into sections. Specifically, we are going to focus on 4 fundamental SEO pillars:
- Technical SEO: We will focus on actions to improve the indexing and crawling of the web.
- Content: Analysing the existing content to confirm if it is responding to the search intention and generating the new content with new keywords to gain visibility.
- On-Page SEO: Optimization of existing content, interlinking, improvement of time spent on page, etc.
- Off-Page SEO: It is the set of strategies to create authority and links to your web page.
How to make an SEO strategy in 2021
Google optimizes its search results based on user intent constantly. Artificial intelligence continues to learn along its way and SERPs are constantly evolving.
We have seen it in patents such as RankBrain, BERT, EAT and in the latest updates that have knocked down web pages that until now were successful in the search engine.
Understanding these changes and thinking ahead about “where are we going” is essential at this point and any SEO should do when planning their strategy.
Based on the previous 4 pillars, here are some ideas that you can address in your next search engine optimization strategy:
Easy, don’t drown. There are many people making money without having looked at a log in their life.
However, there are certain fundamental things that you should place on your next actions to perform. They are as follows:
Google Search Console is your friend
Review the issues reported by Google Search Console. You know, the typical “New coverage problem detected” email.
Go to Search Console and click on the left menu, in the “Coverage” section.
There you will see the errors, the valid URLs with warnings, the valid ones and the excluded ones.
The latter are important because you can find:
- The pages with redirection.
- Those crawled but not currently indexed.
- Tracking anomalies.
- Those excluded by a “no-index” tag.
- 404 errors.
- And even duplicates when you have not indicated canonical version.
Forget the desktop: it’s time for mobile traffic
Well, don’t forget it all.
But you already know that now Google prioritizes the mobile version to configure its ranking, so you better have everything for users who arrive this way.
Again, you can enter Search Console and in the “mobile usability” section to check the errors.
Your strategy must be focused on this segment of users who enter from their smartphones because there is a huge scope in this. Although it depends on the theme of your website, SEO must be very focused on this part.
In fact, you already know what’s going on with AMP. Sooner or later Google will “force” us to implement it. So, it is always better to implement them now to have a user friendly experience in the future.
Ultimately, it’s about pages loading faster and easy for the user to navigate from their phone. With AMP this objective is achieved, hence its importance and not only for news media, as was said in the beginning.
If you decide to implement it, I recommend that you follow Google’s AMP guidelines and documentation.
The blissful marked schema
I don’t understand that fear of structured data. It really is not so bad.
It’s as simple as helping Google identify what your content is about or defining what type of content it is.
Even, as in the case of events, you will help Google to show the result enriched with the dates and the name of the event. It helps to improve the CTR and the visibility in the SERPS.
There are currently several types of schema markup that you can implement:
And many others.
Placing structured data on your website is very easy. If you do it through JSON-LD you just have to paste the tag in the HTML code, inside the <Head > or <body >.
This is the option recommended by Google and it makes it even easier for you with its structured data markup wizard. Just select the part of the content you want to mark and a label will be generated that you must place on your page.
Once implemented, use other testing tools to verify that it is properly installed. For example, with this Google tool that validates the code, although it will be unavailable soon, so better use their tool to test rich results.
SEO optimized content
We are not going to fool ourselves.
Value content, yes and with optimized for keywords and fulfilling search intentions.
The natural way of writing is very good, but as we are SEO and you have to think about the search engine as well.
With tools like Ahrefs or Semrush you can filter your URLs and see which ones receive more traffic and which ones have undergone position changes.
👍 Have they gone up?
Great, although surely they can be updated and improved with more multimedia content such as infographics, own images or videos.
👎 Have they gone down?
Check the search intent because perhaps your article is not responding to it.
If that URL has a high bounce rate (you can see it in Google Analytics), it is a sign that the shots may go there.
Many times we are dedicated to generating new content and we forget to review everything above. It becomes obsolete and out of date and perhaps you were well positioned on the first page, but now you have gone to the second and you do not receive a single visit.
Don’t forget the importance of FRESHNESS!
New keyword research
Keep thinking about keywords, of course. Do not neglect the ranking of keywords by search intent.
If you are a store, you should think of transactional keywords that include words such as “buy”, “price”, “store”, but also other types of keywords for which the user is in the middle of the buyer journey, such as “best headphones for a run” etc.
Do you get it?
And if you have a blog, watch out for the most informative keywords: “how to choose a running headset.” For these you already know that the user is at the beginning of the funnel, but once they are on your page, if you sell headphones, it is easy to move them to where you want.
First of all, do SEO but thinking about economic results. We are here to make money, remember?
Choose keywords that are relevant to your business. That is the key.
Use tools like Google Trends, Answer the Public or even Google Search Console; or payment tools, like Ahrefs or Semrush.
And finally, give some power to the visual part of your website.
The user does not want a “billet” of text, so try to place coloured boxes, images, videos, graphics, emojis and everything you can think of to make reading more enjoyable, especially in long content.
The paragraphs should be short and the sentences too. Use bold, quotation marks for quotes and all these kinds of differentiating elements that give your content a fresh air. This way you will be improving the ux writing of your texts.
Of course, remember that the extra elements weigh, so make sure to optimize your images so that they do not weigh more than 100 kb.
And if you are positioning for local keywords, don’t forget to geolocate your images. I shall explain them in the upcoming articles.
The important thing about all this is that you are clear about what your user wants and that you give it to them as soon as possible. There’s no more.
Subtitle structure Headings keyword stuffing
Look, they can tell you that it continues to work in some sectors such as the professional area: plumbers, electricians, etc.
Ok, yes, in local SEO and for certain businesses, it may.
But you have to evolve.
The artificial intelligence that Google abides by is much more than a handful of keywords placed throughout the text a zillion times.
Your keyword doesn’t have to be in every subtitle Heading.
Search synonyms, use semantics and SEO entities throughout the text and you will see how Google perfectly understands what your content is about.
Be careful, this does not mean that you do not use the keyword. For example, the h1 heading, the first paragraph, and a h2 subheading are good places to put it.
But that’s it!
Over-optimization is dangerous and not a good practise to implement.
Meta descriptions, SEO and CTR
Do you know that snippet that appears in Google under your page title? It is called a meta description and through plugins like Yoast SEO, it is very easy to define it.
This text is very important and is not yet given the importance it deserves. You must stand out from the rest of the results and this can not only be done with emojis and symbols, but also with words. Try to encourage click on your result to improve the CTR of your URL.
On-Page SEO Strategy
Many people launch their new web pages and start buying links left and right without even stopping to check their on page SEO.
Please, let’s get on the other side.
What does the user want?
Make life and navigation easier for your website. Pay attention to the user experience (UX) and check that everything is accessible and that everything looks correct on any device.
Take it where you want with hyperlinks and create a powerful internal link that helps you rank your content with more competition and more searches. Don’t be afraid to use the exact anchor here.
Create content clusters and do everything you can to keep the user.
Interlinking yes, but think about the semantics and the interest of the user and do it with head and logic, even when choosing the anchor to encourage the click.
Everything must be correctly spun and compatible with your SEO strategy.
Short, but descriptive URLs
Sometimes we go too concise when naming the URLs of our website.
I’m going to talk about SEO, because I put:
https: // alltop9.org/SEO
Well man, that URL says little about the content, don’t you think?
It is time to put yourself in the user’s shoes and give them some more information through the URL.
So yes, SEO optimized URLs with the keyword, but with some information about the content, please.
In the example above, a good idea would be:
Pay attention to safety
The latest changes in the Google Quality Raters guide highlight this section.
Things like the SSL certificate implemented (you would be surprised by all the web pages that do not have it yet), the absence of phishing, malware and all this kind of thing helps a lot.
If a quality rater loads your page and finds a warning of this type, you are going to lose the user, so it is better to be forewarned with a good firewall on the server (if it is dedicated, your sys-admin will manage it) and with different plugins that, for For example, avoid spam comments.
✔ If what you want is an optimized hosting, I introduce Digital Ocean, Godaddy and others. Check the reviews before you take one. You will install WordPress in one click and they take care of keeping it safe, even if there are attacks on your IP.
In addition, it is important to have the database, access, and all these issues that affect the security of your website “secure” to avoid hacks that harm your web positioning.
Strong calls to action
Let’s put the assumptions aside.
If you know what you want the user to do, save the riddles for when you are with your colleagues and make it clear here: tell them what to do.
Tell them what the next step is.
Do you want me to subscribe to your newsletter?
Tell them with a subscription box and present them the benefit of doing so.
But don’t make the mistake of driving them crazy and having multiple calls to action on the same page.
Multiple buttons on the same URL, yes; but with a single call to action.
Think about the monetization goal of each URL and remember the maxim of any SEO: we are here to generate money for our clients.
That money comes from the top positions of Google, yes. But there is more, and that “more” depends a lot on your on-page SEO strategy.
Off-Page SEO Strategy
Visibility and authority.
Links continue to be a source of authority for Google and therefore remain one of the most powerful ranking factors.
Of course, in many cases you can position without links. But authority is key today and to have authority you have to be linked.
If your content is very good, they might come naturally on their own. That’s cool. For example, infographics are a good element to encourage those natural links.
But maybe not because things are not so easy. That’s the truth.
Check your competitors’ links with tools like Ahrefs and focus on getting thematic links with appropriate semantics for the URL you are linking to. This way you will be giving more signals to Google.
And be careful with the exact anchors when it comes to external links, especially if you plan to use press media or seemingly unnatural links.
To do it well, always keep this phrase from Eric Ward in mind:
Connect what should be connected. Eric Ward
We want links from relevant sources.
And here are some of the most important points to take into account to build a powerful SEO strategy for the year 2021. Obviously, there are many more. Which one would you add as the main one to take into account this year?
If you have any queries from the above points write them in the below comments box and we will clear them for you.
Happy New Year and Happy Blogging!