10 Practical Tips to Plan Your SEO Strategy for 2021
Almost all enterprise-level organizations prepare an effective SEO strategy before the fiscal year begins. It’s a system of planning, outlining, and implementing steps to boost their website’s ranking on search engines.
It is essential to have an SEO strategy that communicates to key stakeholders or clients and works as a reference source to increase performance graphs, KPIs, team efficiency, and generate sales. A great SEO strategy should reflect all the latest trends, as Google continually updates its search results depending on the user’s consent.
The year 2020 has experienced an endless array of unprecedented situations that have changed the way businesses operate. We are in the midst of this global crisis, so it’s crucial to be on the pulse of which trends are rising. The next year will be all about Google’s new Page Experience Update, webmaster best practices updates, and trending searches for better growth opportunities.
Without further ado, let’s dive deeper into 10 high-performing yet straightforward tips to keep in mind while preparing your SEO strategy 2021. Or get help from a digital marketing agency for small businesses!
SEO is the best process to get your business information to searching users. As people turn to Google for search queries, businesses must provide information that fulfils the search engine’s requirements. Let’s get an insight into this process:
1. Conduct a local keyword search
What are the two foundations of SEO practices?
Keywords and phrases. To rank high on Google, every online marketer should know what people are searching for online and offer exactly that in order to achieve the first result spot.
The most common keyword finding tool is Google Analytics, where you can get an idea of how people are searching for your website. Your aim should be to get on the first page of results with Google or other search engines and optimize your site for other related inquiries. Google prefers a more local-oriented approach and favors businesses with local directory listings.
2. Keep a hawklike eye on your user intent and not search engines
There was a time when you had to use your keywords multiple times on a page to get your website ranked. Today, Google has become smarter and ranks your site only after also checking your content quality and address user intent.
User intent refers to what people find when they type a word or phrase on the search engine bar. Type your keywords into the search box and take a look sections like “People also ask” and “Searches related to.” You can also click on a website and press your browser’s back button to find the “People also search for” box. You can also use various other tools to find questions people see on the Internet. Every SEO consulting firm will tell you this!
Check how your competitors have answered the user’s intent by examining their posts, resources, usefulness, and more.
I even managed to answer the reader’s questions and got a coveted spot on Google’s featured snippet section. That’s the best way to attract your audience who click on your link to get the full story, making it a win-win situation for both.
3. Select the right URL structure
Choosing the right URL structure is something that every marketer should take a close look at. You need to follow some rules and build your site for future success. Consider the following:
- Keywords are a must in your URLs
- Prepare a sound structure for the future
- Refrain from using unwanted words and characters
- Reduce dynamic URL strings
- Plan an XML sitemap
- Combine different versions of your website
- Use correct canonical tags
- Implement topical authority
Your URL should be static, consistent, easy-to-read, comprehensive, supported by data, and submitted to all search engines. Find yourself a reputed digital marketing agency to give you more insight into these features.
4. Create SEO-friendly headlines
Your headline should be innovative enough to get your audience to click on your blog. More reads, likes, and shares mean Google will reward high click-through rates and increase your search rankings. Your headline should speak for itself about how it will benefit your audience.
Try not to make exaggerated claims, as you may lose your customer’s trust if your content doesn’t live up to them. “Clickbait” titles can cause higher bounce rates and lead to lower site rankings.
In a nutshell: Make your title irresistible to click on with a mixture of proven formulas and powerful words. Use headline-analyzing tools and create winning titles with scores above 70. Also, you need to use your target keyword phrase in your headline. Your headline should clearly show how beneficial the blog will be for your users.
5. Try using the “Hreflang” attribute in your code
“Hreflang” is an HTML attribute for people concerned with international websites.
It specifically tells Google which language you are using so that the search engine can provide results in the desired language. It won’t help you improve your website traffic, but will provide your users the right content. It also allows you to swap your page’s correct version into SERP based on preferred language and location.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to add a self-referencing “Hreflang” tag to the page to identify other pages.
6. Use the right heading tags
Your text structure and heading tags can negatively impact your SEO. In my opinion, headlines are like signposts that guide readers through the article. Even Google scans them to know the highlights of your content.
Headline 1: Reserved for your title
Headline 2: Point to the big ideas of your post
Headline 3: Subtitles or smaller ideas of your blog
Headlines 4-6: Help with formatting and styling your page.
You might have heard it before: Your target keywords should be used within the first 100 words of your blog post.
7. Check the page speed improvements
Page speed aids in boosting your conversion rates and Google ranking, making it the most important SEO strategy for 2020. Even one second of delay in page load time can impact your ability to engage visitors and sales. There are multiple ways to increase your page speed and reduce bounce rates.
I would advise you to improve your server response time by fixing slow database queries, lack of adequate memory, and slow routing. Make sure you optimize images and use the right file format.
8. Craft an engaging meta description
Meta descriptions appear after your headlines in your SERPs, and Google helps the user connect with your website. There’s no rocket science needed here. Create a 50-160 character long description that clearly highlights the benefit for the reader. Don’t forget to use one or two keywords seamlessly.
You should do this consistently, as it will significantly help with growing your traffic. You can also use advanced SEO services to scale best practices and unlock creative SEO opportunities.
9. Did you optimize your images?
Every SEO consulting service provider should know that search engines view your images by your image file’s description, including both title and image alt text. It helps them understand and categorize their images. All images uploaded on WordPress should be renamed with a short, keyword-rich, and descriptive name.
Make sure all your proprietary images have keywords in the alt text and 100-character description. It will help if you keep your page load times short by considering proper scaling and file size. Don’t make your users wait for more than three seconds, or 40% of consumers will abandon your website, according to Kissmetrics analytics.
10. Content promotion is mandatory
If you’re amateur blogging, you need to know that you should spend 20% of your time writing and the other 80% promoting your content. Promote your blogs to achieve maximum blog SEO results.
Let me give you a few takeaways:
- Guest posts are an excellent way to get backlinks and improve your search rankings.
- Collaborate with influencers or bloggers, host a podcast, or write a Q&A style article to widen your network.
- Produce fresh and relevant content on social media.
- Repurpose your older posts with a different touch to get more social media attention.
- Hook your audience with exciting newsletters, welcome-series emails, and make the most of email marketing.
- Pinning blogposts on Pinterest is a fantastic supplement to Google, as Pinterest’s algorithm isn’t as sophisticated as Google’s.
I hope you’ve found yourself a professional SEO agency to give you more such takeaways.
Maggie Simmons writes insanely helpful marketing insights. She works as a marketing manager at Max Effect Marketing, a leading digital marketing agency in Denver, Colorado.