• By Diana Tavares

The 4-Step SEO Strategy For 2020

Person arranging four wood blocks with strategy icons

Want to generate organic, qualified leads to your website but have no idea how to start? Put these 4 steps into action and define your SEO strategy. By understanding your business, target audience, competitors and keywords you’ll be able to plan properly and kick-off your SEO. 


1. First Things First! Analysis 


The first step of an SEO project is to define the overall strategy. Take some time to analyse your business, product, clients and competitors. Your SEO strategy should be aligned with your overall digital marketing strategy and business goals. 


2. Define Your Buyer Personas


The definition of your buyer personas is of great importance for an SEO project. Knowing the interests and needs of potential consumers will help you identify the correct keywords and generate relevant content to attract potential customers and obtain the desired results.

There’s a great article from Neil Patel on How to Create and Reinforce Your Buyer Personas.


3. Study Your Market and Competitors


For SEO purposes your competitors may not be necessarily the ones perceived as such traditionally by the business, but those who are competing for the same keywords as you are, these are your organic competitors. You should analyse their SEO strategy, their strengths and their SEO practices. This will allow you to plan your strategy and the necessary resources to overcome them in the first positions.


A great tool to perform this analysis is SEMrush, although this is a paid tool you can still perform limited analysis for free. 


Let’s check ASOS’s competitors as an example.


SEMrush Domain Overview
SEMrush Domain Overview

Scroll down and you’ll find ASOS main organic competitors:


SEMrush Main Organic Competitors
SEMrush Main Organic Competitors

Click “view full report”, here you’ll find the top 10 organic competitors:

SEMrush Organic Competitors List
SEMrush Organic Competitors

Once you have identified your main competitors it’s time to define the keywords that are relevant for your business. For that, these are the steps to follow:

  • Identify the keywords you share with your main competitors. Use the domain vs domain section to perform this analysis. 

  • Keyword filtering: this step will depend on the number of keywords you share with your competitors. If it’s a large number, filter your results based on average position and search volume, so you can focus on keywords with large search volumes.

  • Export your keyword list so you’ll have a spreadsheet to work on. Keep it clean, you’ll just need 4 columns: keyword, yourdomain.com average position, yourcompetitor.com average position and search volume. 

  • Selection of relevant keywords. From your current keyword list, there will be keywords that you should optimise, while others you should “protect”. To define that, simply apply an IF function and apply it to your list: =if(‘yourAveragePosition’<’yourCompetitorPosition’; “Protect”;"Optimise”).

  • Group your keywords into groups. Now that you know all the keywords you should optimise, check if they are relevant to your business and organise them into groups. So you can create relevant content around these keywords. 

  • Monitoring or tracking of the average position: Once you launch your SEO campaign don’t forget to track the average position of your keywords, to see the impact of your optimisation efforts. To do so, create a project on SEMrush per keyword group. 


4. Keyword Research


Besides identifying the keywords you share with your main competitors and select the ones you want to focus on, it is also recommendable that you take a look at your keywords as well. How many keywords have an average position below 20? These are the ones that show up on the first page of Google. This will help you identify important keywords for your business that you’ll need to optimise. 


You may use tools such as SEMrush as we saw before, Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Google Trends.  


Brainstorm! Don’t rely only on tools, if you think some keywords may be relevant to your business consider it as well.


Conclusion


For the implementation of a successful SEO strategy, analyse your business, target audience, competitors and identify the right keywords for your business.


You may use tools such as SEMrush, Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Google Trends and follow these steps:


  • Brainstorm relevant keywords for the business.

  • Analyse the relevance of these keywords and those related.

  • Analyse and benchmark the keywords used by your competitors.

  • Select the keywords that are relevant to the business and define groups of keywords.


Ready to start your SEO project in 2020? Once your strategic plan is complete move on to an SEO Audit of your website, check our post on How to Perform an On-Page SEO Audit.