Why Do You Need an SEO Strategy Template?
An SEO strategy template offers a simple and convenient way of planning your SEO efforts and focusing them on the right things.
Here are some reasons why you should download our free SEO strategy template:
- It provides an easy frame of reference, for every time you need to build an SEO strategy for a client or yourself.
- It helps save a lot of time and effort as you don’t need to do research and start everything from scratch.
- Having a comprehensive framework ensures that you don’t overlook any of the important aspects of SEO.
- It’s free and makes your job much easier and more convenient, so it’s a good idea to make use of it.
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How to Formulate a Comprehensive SEO Strategy
While our free SEO template is a good starting point, you should also have a detailed guide on how to form an SEO strategy and things to include.
Here is the step-by-step process you can follow to create a winning SEO strategy for optimizing a website.
1. Analyze the Current State of the Website
Whether you’re planning to optimize your website or a client’s website, the first step is to analyze its current performance using good SEO audit tools.
This step is especially important if you’re making an SEO strategy for a client, as this analysis will be the basis of setting your campaign goals. But even if you’re doing it for your own website, it’s important to understand your current performance to set realistic SEO goals.
Conduct a thorough site audit and collect data on the following:
- Monthly website traffic and analysis of traffic sources
- Backlink profile, including number and quality of backlinks
- Other website performance metrics like bounce rate
- Content optimization and quality
- Site navigation and ease of use
- Crawlability and indexability of pages
- Current keyword and page rankings
You can use free web analytics tools like Google Analytics or go for paid SEO analytics and reporting tools like Semrush to do your site audit.
2. Set Realistic Campaign Objectives
At the end of the first step, you’ll have a clear idea of the current website performance and areas of improvement.
Based on where you need to focus your efforts, you can make a tailored SEO strategy. Note that if you’re using our SEO strategy template, you simply need to choose the areas where you want to focus and ignore the rest to customize your strategy.
Set your campaign goals using the SMART framework.
This allows you to set realistic, specific, and measurable goals that you can achieve within a set time frame.
For example, instead of setting a vague goal like “I want to increase web traffic to my site”, you should set targets like “Increase organic traffic by X% within 3 months”.
You also need to select the right KPIs to measure your performance on these goals. For example, bounce rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate are popular metrics to measure a website’s performance.
An improvement in these metrics can signal the success of your SEO campaign.
3. Understand and Define the Target Audience
Before your make plans for content and include various tactics in your SEO strategy, you need to understand your target audience.
Who is the website catering to? What kind of content does the intended audience expect or find useful?
If you check user demographics for your website, during the initial research, you will find some insights into your target audience. To find more comprehensive information on a website’s target audience, you can do a competitor analysis.
Specifically, find out the demographics of the audience of similar websites. Also, find out what kind of content they engage with the most.
By visiting these websites, what audience needs are being met?
Answer these questions to build a better understanding of your audience and then start creating your SEO strategy. Our SEO strategy template will provide tips, tools, and resources to help you define your target audience.
4. Research and Identify Target Keywords and Topics
The three steps till now were building blocks of formulating an SEO strategy. Based on the insights you gathered till now, you can start your topic and keyword research.
First, make a list of topics that are relevant to your website and useful for your target audience. You can use an SEO tool like BuzzSumo to find trending topics in your industry that are making the rounds on social media.
Once you have a list of topics, you can drill down further and find specific keywords to target for each topic. You can create topic clusters by targeting multiple keywords under the same broad topic and creating various pieces of interrelated content.
But where can you start with keyword research?
Luckily for you, SEO tools like Ahrefs and Semrush make this quite straightforward. You can use their keyword research tools to enter a broad topic and get a range of related keywords.
Here’s a screenshot from Semrush. See how you can get related keywords, keyword variations, and question-type keywords for a broad keyword or topic.
Image Credit: Semrush
Once you get a broad list of keywords, you can check the search volume, keyword difficulty, and search intent behind each to shortlist the most relevant ones.
Here’s the kind of data you can get for each keyword using Semrush.
Image Credit: Semrush
After careful analysis, make a list of target keywords, preferably categorized under different topics. This will help you create your content plan, which is the next section of this guide to making an SEO strategy.
5. Make a Detailed Content Strategy
Now that you have a list of target keywords, topics you’d like to cover, and an understanding of your audience, you can plan your content.
This involves two steps—creating new content and optimizing existing content.
Creating New Content
For each keyword, you need to create a separate piece of content, which is better than existing content on the topic or covers it from a unique perspective.
Ideally, you should use a varied content mix including various types of long-form and short-form content. Some examples of content you can share on your website include:
- How-to guides
- Review posts
- Industry news articles
- Checklists and templates
- Case studies
- Inspiring stories
- Video blogs
- Comparison posts
- Landing pages
- Service pages
The list is endless. There’re a lot of options for you to choose from.
Now, create a content calendar that should include the following:
- Primary keyword
- Secondary or LSI keywords
- Content title
- Type of content
- Content description
- Expected date of publication
You can plan the dates and timelines two weeks in advance and create a comprehensive list of keywords and content for the scope of the entire project.
Our SEO strategy template will help you organize this data and prepare a detailed content calendar.
Optimizing Existing Content
Apart from creating new content, you will also need to update existing content.
For that, you’ll need to perform a content audit and find old and outdated content that needs to be updated. For each such content piece, you need to decide whether you can update it to become relevant or if you should just remove it.
In case you decide to update it, here are things you need to do:
- Remove all old statistics and examples, and replace them with recent ones.
- Conduct a SERP analysis to see if you can add any additional sections to make it more valuable.
- Optimize it for the right keywords to ensure that it ranks for relevant search queries.
- Improve readability and writing quality, if required.
You will also find pages that are missing meta titles and descriptions. Make a list of such pages so you can add the metadata to all such pages.
At the strategy formulation stage, you’ll just need to identify all the issues and list all the pages that need to be updated in any form. Again, our SEO strategy template ensures that you don’t miss anything important and can organize your data well.
6. Create a Plan for Building Backlinks
Every good SEO strategy must have a solid plan for building backlinks. This involves setting a goal and choosing a mix of link-building strategies that you will use to achieve that goal.
Here are some popular white hat link-building strategies you can use:
- Guest Posting: Share high-quality content on authoritative websites in your niche and add backlinks to relevant resources on your site.
- Broken Link-Building: Find broken links on other sites and offer relevant links from your site as a replacement.
- Claiming Unlinked Mentions: Asking publishers who have mentioned you or your brand to add a link to that mention.
- HARO Link Building: Joining the Help a Reporter Out (HARO) platform as a source and answering questions about your areas of expertise.
- Social Media Link Building: Drive traffic from social media to your website by sharing links in posts, stories, bio, etc.
- Creating Linkable Assets: Create valuable resources like infographics and original research studies that organically attract backlinks.
Our SEO strategy template will help you make a plan for your link-building efforts and organize everything efficiently.
7. List the Technical SEO Issues
Now that you’ve covered both off-page and on-page optimization aspects, all that remains is technical SEO.
When preparing your SEO strategy, you’ll need to identify all the technical issues you need to address to improve the performance of a website.
Our SEO strategy template will provide you with a list of technical SEO issues that you need to check for, when doing your initial SEO audit.
Some common technical SEO issues include:
- Slow loading images and pages
- Non-responsive website or web pages
- Long and redundant site code
- Broken links and 301 redirection errors
- Complex site navigation and hierarchy
- No XML sitemaps
- Incorrect use of canonical tags
- Multiple versions of the website
These are just some of the many technical issues that could be causing your website to perform poorly. When you plan your SEO strategy, you need to do a technical SEO audit to identify such issues for the website you’re optimizing.
8. Set Clear Timelines and Deliverables
Whether you’re creating a strategy for your own website or for a client, you need clear timelines to execute your strategy.
Without an end date in mind, it will just become a vague plan that may or may not be executed in time to get the desired results.
So, create a timeline to execute the various parts of your SEO strategy. You can add an estimated time for completion for each step of your plan and then add it all to get a broad timeline for the entire project.
If you’re creating a strategy for a client, you will need to be more precise and provide realistic and achievable timelines.
You will also need to mention exactly what you’re going to deliver at the end of the period. This could be a specific result, such as X% increase in website traffic or X number of high-quality backlinks.
You would also need to provide regular performance reports, weekly, monthly, or quarterly, based on the scope and duration of the project.
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What’s Included in Our SEO Strategy Template?
Here’s what you can expect from this SEO strategy template.
- A step-by-step process and framework for creating an SEO strategy.
- Useful ways to organize your data and make plans for various aspects of SEO.
- Links to tools and resources that can help you make a winning strategy.
Download this free SEO strategy template to make your job easier and ensure that you don’t miss any critical aspect of SEO.
How to Use This SEO Strategy Template
Follow these steps to use this free SEO strategy template to your advantage:
- Download this free template using one of the download buttons on this page.
- Make a copy of this template every time you need to create a strategy for a client.
- Start customizing each section by filling out relevant data in the format given in the template.
- Follow each step of the template to ensure that you cover everything important.
- At the time of execution, simply follow the things you’ve planned using this free SEO strategy template.
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Q1. Why do you need an SEO strategy?
A. Search engine optimization (SEO) involves a lot of moving parts that make the machine work. You miss anything important and you may not get the desired results, despite all the efforts you made.
Having a well-designed and documented SEO strategy gives you a clear direction and understanding of what you need to do. This ensures that you stay on track to achieve your desired goals.
Q2. What is an SEO strategy template?
A. An SEO strategy is a detailed plan that includes everything you need to do to improve a website’s search visibility and rankings. An SEO strategy template helps you make this strategy and plan things before you start your SEO campaign.
It is a sort of framework that you can customize and fill with relevant data to make a strategic SEO plan.
Q3. Why should I use an SEO strategy template?
A. Using our free SEO strategy template, you can save time and effort in creating a plan from scratch. It is especially useful if you provide SEO services to clients and need to regularly create a unique SEO strategy for different clients.
Q4. What are the three pillars of SEO?
Here are the five most important SEO strategies that every marketer must use.
- On-Page SEO: This involves changes you made on your web pages to improve your website’s rankings on search engines results pages. This includes updating old content, optimizing content for the right keywords, adding internal links, etc.
- Off-Page SEO: This refers to the things you do outside your website, which affect your domain authority and search rankings. This primarily deals with building high-quality backlinks and maintaining a good link profile. Social media marketing and digital PR efforts also fall under this category.
- Technical SEO: This involves fixing the technical aspects that form the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) of a website. It involves optimizing site code, mobile responsiveness, page speed, etc. Other technical SEO aspects include site navigation, indexability, and crawlability.
Q5. How do I create an SEO strategy?
Here’s a step-by-step SEO process for creating a strategy:
- Analyze the current state of the website
- Set realistic campaign objectives
- Understand and define the target audience
- Research and identify target keywords and topics
- Make a detailed content strategy
- Create a plan for building backlinks
- List the technical SEO issues to fix
- Set clear timelines and deliverables
Use our free SEO strategy template to quickly create a strategy for optimizing your or your client’s website, so that search engines rank it for relevant search queries.
Drive Success for Your Clients Using a Killer SEO Strategy
Why waste time building an SEO strategy from scratch when our free template can give you a headstart? Down this free SEO strategy template and save time and effort while creating a customized SEO strategy.