While the benefit of SEO is certainly to be found on search engines and get more visitors to a website, SEO goals are set before planning a business strategy for a SEO plan. We cannot optimize a website for all possible keyword so we need to decide which strategy to use to bring as many contextual users to our website and decide what we want these users to do in our websites.
We need to decide what is the website priority, the keyword choice might be leading to
- Increase conversions: sales, visitors, newsletter subscription
- Increase engagement: content visited, comments to a blog post, social media likes
The first step to take is the keyword research: if our website is already online this is needed to understand where do we stand and for which keywords we are actually listed in the search engines. If our website is new this keyword research will help also in the creation of the new content, makign sure the right words and phrases are at the right place.
Keyword research will tell us which keywords works in term of numbers and how to improve our content.
A SEO Plan is defined in 4 stages:
1) Define your goal
2) Collect data
3) Interpret data and trends
SEO is not a one time thing, it needs to be doen constantly, content needs to be updated to make sure we cover new areas of the topic in order to be always up-to-date and give our users the best information possible.
Once we know what's the goal we want to achieve it's time to research some keywords. Google helps all webmasters with a tool called Google Keyword Planner, very easy to use, free and powerful.
We can use this tool to discover new keywords related to our topic and get the search hystorical volume and forecast in a specific language and country. A research can be run based on a website, we can in fact analyze the keywords used by our competitors as well as understand how our website is perceived by Google.
As example, using the keyword research for "HTML tutorials" we get a list of keyword ideas and their monthly search. Of course you can see how "HTML tutorial" get the most of the hits (10k-100k per month) but also how adding "html5 tutorial" will give us an additional 10k-100k searches per month.
In addition we can use long tail keywords like "html tutorial for beginners" that will position our website to a potential 1k-10k searches per month. The longer the keyword the smaller the competition and easier our job.
It's a good practice to collect the keywords we want to be in and start developing our website accordingly: content, pictures, topics, structure, everything needs to be in line with these keywords but still as natural as possible.
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