Identify the components of your business which may include Rich Media experience to interact with Videos, Social Media, Community Forum, Blog, Mobile Website/APP and a cool Website. Try to figure out how these components are connected which may defines your visitor journey to conversion(s). Now we shall go through the steps of building Search Engine Optimization strategy.
1) Searcher Persona Workflow: Typically, a visitor journey will follow the steps shown in the below diagram. Firstly, visitors enters a search term to perform a Search in a search engine. Secondly, visitors will look for relevant results in SERP to click and enter a website which may offer the intended information, products or services.
Figure 1.1 - Searcher Persona Workflow
Third, visitors may go through the content of your page(s) if the visitor selects your result in search page and then goes to the last step of conversion provided if the visitor(s) satisfy with your products/services that you are offering and hence not all the visitors will convert as it's very difficult to impress each and every customer.
Figure 1.2 - Behavior Flow.
Google Webmaster tool measures and helps you to understand the first 2 steps in the and half of the third step to dig deep into insights of your website from the search engine perspective. Google analytics helps to understand rest of the steps and the behavior of the customers within your website starting from which keywords visitors used to enter your website and their journey through your website before conversion and return visitors. It also helps you to understand the abandonment rate to help you experiment with new techniques to improve your conversions and reduce the bounce rate.
As a company or individual you may need to play all the roles or specific roles and matching them with searcher persona workflow:
Marketing & Business development - Search
SEO - Rank/Display
UX/Writers - Page Content.
UX - Conversions.
The best approach to deal with these steps are to work with coordination and complement each other to execute several tasks which may give you success to attain more conversions, which is your company's common goal.
2) Determine company and website goals: Once searcher persona workflow is set up and responsibilities are shared among the teams the next step is to determine company and website goals:
1) What are Business Goals?
2) What makes our product or service unique?
3) How does success appear?
4) What components are involved?
5) Understand the competitor and define opportunities?
Once you identify the objectives, priorities and goals of your website define the micro and macro conversions of your website and also create goals to measure them in Google Analytics.
3) Audit your site for best reach of audience: Once you are ready with your SEO setup and goals you need to understand
Who are your target audience?
Where are they located?
What devices are they using?
What are their objectives?
Does any of their needs can be fulfilled by the products/services that my website offer(s)?
Do the search terms match any of my page content?
To understand more deeply about the search terms used by your customers can be available in webmaster tools. Try to include those terms into the page content naturally so that it improves the search presence for various terms that your visitors are using.
4) Execute and make improvements: Monitor and optimize the website for crawling, indexing and search results. Although, we focus more on ranking we may disregard the several opportunities to improve website to provide better user-experience. So, It's wise to increase the search volumes by better marketing, that could lead to more traffic/visitors and eventually conversions. Also, Better content by your content team about your products and services can drive more micro or macro conversions. If your development and design team made your website a cool destination to hangout that could bring more referrals and repeat customers which would increase your website loyalty.
Obstacles in executing the SEO Strategy:
I belong to a different department and no longer responsible for SEO.
I want to know the keywords that my competitors are using.
What sites are linking to my competitors before whom to I should target.
What is my competitors social media presence and penetration?
I'm unable to keep up with the search engine changes?
Realistically, you are not alone if you are encountering the above problems. You may get familiar with all the terms and concepts as you keep working on them while understanding the concepts explained in the help center to update yourself and get familiar with advancements on how to implement.
In a nutshell, your website strategy to accomplish the goals are:
1) Get familiar and use searcher persona workflow to develop integrated strategy using all components.
2) Define Goals to set up micro and macro conversions/outcomes.
3) Optimize the crawl, index and search results flow to increase the traffic.
4) Audit and update your site constantly/periodically to reach your audience.
5) Coordinate with your entire team to improve your online business.