Once you have a good grasp of search engine optimisation ( SEO ), you are ready to optimise your website. Just follow this step-by-step process to create an SEO plan, and learn how to develop, prioritise and adjust the plan to best suit your goals.
Let’s say you want to reach new customers for your fresh-from-the-farm fruit and veg online delivery service.
Your first step should be keyword research—that means finding out what your potential customers are searching for.
Are they looking for organic produce? Weekly fresh vegetable deliveries?
By the way, if you want to learn more about keyword research, check out our lesson about choosing keywords to focus on.
Next, consider related topics. Are vegetarian diets popular? Do requests for gazpacho recipes come up?
This will help make your keywords more specific and a better match to what your customers are looking for. You should do this at least once a year as part of your SEO plan.
Once you’ve identified good keywords, take a look at how you’re doing in search results for those words.
How many of these words and phrases bring up your website on a search engine? Are there specific topics that don’t bring much traffic to your site?
This info will help you figure out what’s working for you and what’s not. If a popular phrase like “fresh farm vegetables” isn’t pointing customers to your site, you can address those missing pieces in your SEO plan.
Once you’ve discovered gaps in your SEO performance, your next step is to think about how to fix them. Maybe none of the content on your site mentions that you can arrange regular seasonal deliveries.
Is no one linking to your site? Perhaps you can invite food bloggers to check out your farm in the hopes that they’ll mention you in a future blog post. Make a list of anything you think might improve your SEO performance.
OK, so now you have quite a to-do list. Don’t worry. It’s just time to prioritise.
It’s natural to want to tackle the items that will give you the biggest bang first, but be realistic. Adding an entire section about sustainable farming methods to your site might require hiring a programmer to help, which might cost a fair bit. In the short term, you could post a quick article about the topic on your blog.
The next step? Give yourself a deadline for each task so you’re working through your SEO plan steadily throughout the year.
OK, once you’ve set this plan in motion, don’t just forget about it.
Your SEO plan will change over time. But how do you know when it needs updating? One easy way is to check in when you’re making other changes in your business, like introducing a new product or redesigning your website.
Also remember that search engines release new features and improve their algorithms. For example, many have made adjustments because so many people now search on mobiles.
Finally, adjust your plan when something isn’t working. Is there a web page that’s not getting much organic traffic? It may need a refresher.
Are you attracting visitors to your site but not making sales? Perhaps you need stronger calls to action.
Review your results regularly and shift focus to the areas that need help.
And that’s how you build an SEO plan.
Let’s recap. Start with keyword research to understand what your customers are looking for, then use that info to assess your successes and failures.
Brainstorm solutions to improve your weak spots, and prioritise them.
And never be afraid to redo your SEO plan based on changes in your world and the world of search engines.
Be sure to check out our lesson explaining the SEO process. That has more helpful information to get your plan in motion.
- adjust the plan to best suit your goals.