How to develop an SEO strategy that's actually effective

Write better content. Improve UX. How many times have you read this generic, unhelpful SEO advice? Get the real tips on how to develop SEO strategy.

How to develop an SEO strategy that's actually effective
Written by Danielle Easton
SEO, Inbound marketing  |   3 minute read

Wading through never-ending articles that bombard you with hundreds of sweeping and unspecific SEO tips and tricks isn't the way forward. If you're wondering how to develop an SEO strategy that actually works and prove ROI, check out my five top tactics below.

Audit content annually

The world is more connected and fast-paced than ever. Information can go out of date almost as quickly as it can be shared. This is one of the many reasons why you need to perform an annual content audit. 

Trawl through your website to check your content is relevant and delivers value to your audience. Be tough and thin out any content that doesn’t make the cut. For any content that has the potential to still provide value and showcase your business' status as an industry expert, you need to put in some elbow grease and bring it up to scratch. 

Ensure the tone of voice, images and overall advice align with current conventions and your business' brand. Also, check there are no broken links, add external and internal links where there are chances. Your meta description, tags and metadata are also a key thing to look over to boost your SEO too at this stage. 

Consider including additional supporting content such as infographics, podcast audio or video. Adding video increases the SEO potential of blogs new and old. They increase the average time a user spends on your website by two minutes and video results are 50 times more likely to organically rank in search engines than text-based results. 

Check out the dates in your title and blog, too. If you've referenced a particular year, nobody will want to read outdated information. Update it and try to make it more evergreen.

Watch and learn: embed videos

If content is king, then video is its crown jewel. Video has been having its moment for the past few years now and it shows zero signs of stopping.  

Although, not enough businesses are taking advantage of the power of video. Search engines will prioritise a page that features video because users respond so positively to it. Adding video to a piece of written content can improve its SEO and bounce rate massively. 

For the search term ‘What is inbound marketing?’, we saw page views increase by 146% and earned a rich snippet position by adding a video to one of our pillar pages

If you’re struggling for ideas regarding what kind of video you can create to embed, why not turn content from a well-performing blog into a video?

Repurpose blogs 

So, videos are a great way to improve your SEO, but where do you start? 

During your audit, look out for blogs that have been performing really well. These blogs are now candidates for being repurposed. Take the blog's content and develop it into a video to use on the blog page, on pillar pages and to share to your social media. 

On average, viewers retain 95% of a message when they consume it through video, compared to 10% when simply reading the message.

This isn’t to say that written content such as blogs and pillar pages are ineffective for your audience. But, with this in mind, it's easy to see why audiences and search engines love video and reward sites that have plenty of video with a higher ranking. 

Avoid backlink betrayal

For every stat, fact or direct quote you include, you should cite the source. Using backlinks is the best way to do this as they’re a great way to build your website’s SEO through link building.

In link building, your SEO is strengthened when you link to good quality websites and good quality websites link to you. This is essentially search engines deciding ‘real recognises real’. 

During an audit, you need to ensure there are no broken backlinks in your content, remove those linking to low-quality websites and compare competing backlinks. If you’re not ranking at the top for your keyword, it could be your backlinks letting you down. Here’s how to find out and fix the issue: 

  • Identify competitors for the keyword
  • Check if your competitors are benefiting from better quality backlinks using a SERP checker 
  • The case may be they're linking to better websites than you. This is an easy fix on your part
  • Your competitors could also have better-quality websites linking back to them. This will require you to find out why they're being linked to more. Is their content better? Do they have a smoother UX or faster load time? Find out and fix your site accordingly to attract more backlinks to your site
  • If your comparable content is better than your competitors, consider reaching out to the pages linking back to them and explaining why your site may be a better option to link to.

Be a helping hand 

While working on getting other websites to link to your site, also earn your backlink by offering your industry expertise to content writers. With services like HARO (help a reporter out) you can receive alerts from reporters working on content and need input and expertise. 

By offering your help, you'll usually earn a credit and backlink. This builds your reputation as a site worth backlinking to, strengthens your link building and gives your brand more exposure. 

Asking for and finding the right help for whatever project you’re undertaking is important, so being available to help reporters creates a win-win SEO scenario. The same is true for your marketing plans. 

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