SEO Strategy: Definition & Components

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

What's your SEO strategy? If you just gulped, you need this lesson! In this study, we'll focus on what SEO strategy is and the importance of critical components such as strong content, social sharing and back-end technicalities.

Strategizing

Businesses strategize. Candidates strategize. Even football teams strategize. But, did you know you can strategize with your website?

Send your SEO soaring with a few critical components.
search engine optimization, seo

The concept of search engine optimization, frequently abbreviated SEO, requires a bit of strategy to maximize its effectiveness. Let's use this lesson to analyze what SEO strategy entails and the essential elements required to make it work.

What is SEO?

By now, you're probably familiar with the idea of SEO, the act of increasing visibility of your website in search engine results. That means if someone does a search for dog grooming and you own a dog grooming business, you want to show up near the top of that potential customer's search results.

SEO strategy, on the other hand, is the work you do behind the scenes to increase the likelihood you'll appear in those top search results. That means implementing a variety of tactics designed to increase your website traffic, get more relevant visitors and earn that organic (natural, non-paid placement) high in search engine results.

So, Why Do I Need a Strategy?

Without a strategy in place, you're going to be like a quarterback who forgot to read the playbook. You won't have a good idea which direction you need to go or how to get back on track if something goes wrong, in order to win the SEO game. And, your competitors will blow past you on their way across the goal line.

Google, Bing and Yahoo (among other search engines) send bots out to gather information about your website, scoring it in their own system of algorithms, applying a score and ranking you accordingly in their search results. It may sound like it's out of your control, but that's where the strategy comes in: there are things you can do to enhance your favor in the sight of the search engines.

SEO Essentials

If you're going to improve your odds (and hopefully your score), there are some critical SEO components that you need to consider. Think of these like the weapons in your SEO strategy arsenal.

Technical

The technical components of SEO include those things that might be considered ''hidden'' in your website, the stuff that goes on behind the scenes that improves your website's performance. This includes the speed of your website (how long does it take for your page to load?); how mobile-friendly your site is for users on mobile devices; and important details like sitemaps, a list of all your page URLs, that search engines like to read to rank you.

The technical work of your website is everything not related to the content you're writing (we'll discuss that next), including things like fixing website errors and being consistent in naming URLs, such as using lower case characters and hyphens (instead of underscores).

Content/Creative

Have you ever heard the phrase, ''Content is king?'' In SEO strategy, content is probably the most important of the components to getting you noticed by search engine bots. Content should be informative, relevant and engaging. Be sure to throw in some images, videos and graphics, with appropriate file names, to help you to be found on the web.

You may be asking, ''How does a search engine know if my content is relevant or useful to my audience?'' It'll know based on the amount of traffic that is actually clicking on your website links and reading what you have to say because it answered their questions. It will also see how often your pages are being shared or linked to other sites: all a function of relevancy.

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