To me, one of the most interesting things about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is that it covers many fields – there are technical aspects, relational aspects and psychological factors to consider. When a company brings me on, I look at how SEO can impact what they’re doing from each of these angles. In this post, I want to share how I approach building an organic acquisition strategy, and the four key things I do for every one of my clients.
1) Perform a Technical SEO Audit
Building a strategy for SEO is like building a house – you need to have a solid foundation. The foundation of your SEO strategy is Technical SEO, where we consider how to optimize a website for the most efficient communication with search engines.
With every new client, I start by performing an audit of their Technical SEO. There over 100+ common factors that contribute to what I call the "Technical SEO Health," but the most common issue I find with clients is page speed. Page speed is simply how we measure the speed at which a page loads.
Just like building a house, if you start with a strong foundation of Technical SEO you will be better equipped to build more, later. If you start with a good foundation you can then later scale bigger without having to worry about having to go back to the foundation and upgrade it, or do it over.
The go-to tool that I use for a Technical SEO Audit is with the Ahrefs Site Audit Tool, and I recommend every one of my clients has their own subscription so they own and can easily access their SEO data.
2) Automate & Streamline Reporting Dashboard
Reporting is very important to SEO, because it can show a business what the real results are of their strategy. But it’s also one of the most time-consuming tasks for organizations, since it typically needs to happen on a weekly or monthly basis.
I see a lot of companies using a mix of spreadsheets and dashboards to track the data, but that doesn’t mean the information is being effectively tracked or stored. When I come in, the first thing I do is move all reporting to a Google Data Studio dashboard. This program is great because it can connect to literally any data source – Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SQL, BigQuery, etc. Having everything in a single view for the entire organization makes it much easier for executives to actually use the data. When reporting is succinct and easy to read, the organization can view results and make decisions as need, instead of having to wait for monthly reporting.
I selected this dashboard because it is very flexible, users can select different date rages and see updates in real time.
I’m always happy to work with my clients if they have a specific program that they prefer. For example, I typically pull data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console, but I can also work with companies that have other types of data sources.
3) Market Research & Content Marketing Strategy
Now comes one of the most important pieces to driving long-term SEO strategy: taking a close look at what’s currently going on in the market. Is the existing product or content satisfying the market? How can I help my clients position themselves to meet a need that isn’t being met?
I start this process by looking at the competition and what they're doing. I’ll look for gaps in the market, and then work out a content strategy to fill the gap and "one up" every competitor out there. But having the best content is not enough; companies also need a good distribution strategy. (After all, what's the use of good content if nobody can find it?)
When creating content to boost SEO, it’s important to remember that different channels and platforms will reach different aspects of search intent. I will create a distribution strategy for each company to make sure that the content gets the right attention. When working with clients, I help them fine-tune content marketing strategy to streamline article creation, and automate publishing on social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. This lets my clients focus on what really matters – their business and customers.
4) Focus on Partnerships
Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.
I’ve always like this quote from the writer and activist Helen Keller, and it is surprisingly applicable to SEO!
Partnerships come in many different forms, so it’s important to remember that a good or bad partnership can make or break a company (or a specific project or campaign). In terms of boosting organic traffic, the best partnership is one that provides link acquisition. Some people focus on link building, but I’m not interested in building links. Acquiring relevant and well-deserved links is the goal. Link acquisition – the process of fostering genuine, organic links to your domain from other sources – is actually far better for your organic search results.
I help my clients identify and arrange high-quality partnerships that will deliver effective link acquisition and boost their standings. One of the most effective ways of identifying potential partnerships is by looking at what the competitor is doing. Identify their existing partnership and see if there is a gap.
If we genuinely can deliver a better value, we can then propose that they should partner with us instead! Other methods include looking at the competitor's history of backlinks. If they've lost a backlink from a previous partner, we could approach that partner and see if there's anything better that we can provide for a win-win relationship.
What are you waiting for?
Now you have an overview of how I work with my clients, and the approach I take when building an SEO strategy. Each company I work with is different, and I really enjoy getting to know different people, different organizations and helping them to solve problems and build a better strategy.
If you’d like to level up your SEO strategy, or learn more about how I work, drop me a line at https://asadzulfahri.com/contact/