SEO strategy 2024
Start with customer segments
Start your SEO strategy with clearly defined customer segments. Don’t start with keywords, backlinks etc.
Marketing is all about customers. Finding them, getting their attention, making an initial purchase and creating ongoing loyalty.
SEO is an effective way of finding new customers. If you appear at the top of page 1, it is a message in its own right.
Consumers and business buyers are more likely to trust you, just because the search engines do.
If they arrive on your website via search, they are looking for something that you can help them with, aren’t they?
Buyers frequently ‘Google it’ in order to find products, services, background information, availability and prices.
Of the 300+ ways to promote your enterprise, SEO should be an area that you focus on.
Your 2024 SEO strategy should be included within your concise SEO plan.
Your SEO plan, in turn, should form part of your wider marketing strategy and plan.
If you don’t plan your SEO, you may find yourself stumbling around in the dark, wondering where you are and where you’re heading.
There are a huge number of tasks that you must do, when it comes to SEO.
It is easy to become lost within these tasks and lose sight of the big picture.
SEO is not a one-off exercise.
You can’t simply ‘seo a website’ and leave it alone.
You need to keep working at it.
Your SEO plan should include:
* SEO objectives (where you are heading)
* The customer segments that you wish to reach
* The keyword phrases that you are focusing on
* The software resources that you are using
* SEO metrics (how the journey is progressing)
* Mobile SEO
* Website metrics
* Sales results / real world metrics that happened as a result of SEO, or were influenced by it.
The SEO copywriting challenge
Do you love to write?
If you answered ‘yes’, this will definitely help your SEO work, even if you use ChatGPT to help with the writing.
Being found for text based content requires a significant amount of copy.
Usually (but not always), the top SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) contain long body copy. Sometimes, this can be several thousand words within a single page.
Imagine producing that much copy on a regular basis, particularly if SEO is only part of your job.
This allows them to mention the target keyword phrase several times. However, the key point is that the search engines seem to like long body copy over short copy.
ChatGPT for website copy
On the subject of ChatGPT and other LLMs (Large Language Models), it is true that AI can now help you to produce lengthy copy for your website. However, it is important to understand that this is only draft copy that you must check, edit and make your own.
Having decided on your target market segments, jot down a list of keyword phrases.
I recommend that you use a spreadsheet to do this (I do this within Google Drive).
Put the phrases in alphabetical order, as this will make it easy for you to manage the list and spot gaps.
Here is an article on SEO keywords.
Google search suggestions
Start typing one of your keyword phrases into Google search.
You will see a list of suggestions appearing, in the form of a drop down.
This is called the ‘Google Suggest’ feature. (Sometimes referred to as ‘Autocomplete’).
These are popular and trending searches that come from Google itself.
Interesting, isn’t it?
Add some of these phrases to your list.
Look at Google page one
Take one of your keyword phrases and put it into Google search.
Now take a close look at the top three results on the first page.
Most people will only click on the first, second or third website.
Click through rates fall for the other websites listed on page one and fall even further for page two.
Therefore your mission is to get right to the top of the first page of Google, Bing etc.
Long tail or short tail?
Short tail keyword phrases are popular. They will have a large search volume. For example: cars
Long tail keyword phrases are less popular and they will have a relatively small search volume.
For example: car dealers in west london
You are more likely to win with long tail keyword phrases.
Each web page and blog entry that you create needs to be optimised for search.
If you are using WordPress, this is made easy for you if you are able to use a keyword phrase in the page or blog title.
For example, I have used ‘SEO strategy’ for this page’s title.
You will see ‘SEO strategy 2021’ at the top the page, however, this is the page’s headline.
Headlines should be wrapped in H1 html tags, like this: <H1>Your headline</H1>
Again, WordPress makes this an easy task.
Within WordPress, the page title appears in the URL (web page address) and Title Tag, both of which are important for SEO purposes.
Here is an explanation of Title Tags.
Creating backlinks, also known as in-bound links, to your website is still a good idea.
Here is an article on Website link building.
With regards to mobile SEO, does your website display properly within smartphones and other mobile devices?
This is important as Google has a mobile first indexing policy.
Therefore Google looks at the mobile version of your site and then ranks your website.