Effective SEO Strategy Must-Haves: Why Partner With Search Influence

February 20th, 2024 by Paula Keller French

seo best practices

Key Insights

  • Not all SEO strategies are created equal. Effective SEO strategies demand a customized approach that takes into account the unique goals and challenges of a business.
  • Search Influence uses three pillars to drive SEO strategy: boosting search rankings, empowering local SEO, and enhancing technical SEO.
  • Partnering with a skilled SEO agency can make all the difference in your online advertising success.

Search Influence isn’t just part of the SEO industry — we helped shape it.

Since bursting onto the SEO scene in 2006, we have helped clients across countless industries climb search engine results pages and reach their goals. We maintain a firm hold as thought leaders in the digital advertising industry by speaking at conferences, writing guest blog posts, and sharing insights on podcasts.

Our team fuels growth by constantly seeking inspiration from the many other prolific thinkers in the digital marketing and SEO world.

After reading What Does “Strategy” Actually Mean to CMOs?, our thoughts returned to our recent SEO research study with UPCEA, where we learned that 51% of universities don’t have an established SEO plan.

In this blog post, we’ll share the benefits of a true, customized search engine optimization strategy and pull the curtain back on our process.

Search Influence’s SEO Best Practices

At Search Influence, we value increasing your website’s traffic and search volume. However, we know that the bottom line for your business is a strategy that converts those visitors into inquiries and revenue.

Through a medley of strategies, we help you gain more organic traffic.

Our four pillars of a successful SEO strategy:

  1. Boosting topical relevance: Our team conducts thorough keyword research to identify the most relevant keywords for your business. We then optimize your web pages with these targeted, conversion-friendly key topics, ensuring that your website appears prominently in search results when potential customers seek your products or services.
  2. Empowering local relevance: We strengthen your online presence by focusing on local SEO strategies. By optimizing your website to reinforce your physical location, we ensure your business remains competitive in local search results. This approach makes it easier for nearby customers to discover and connect with your company.
  3. Driving authority: We bolster your website’s credibility and influence through strategic link building. By linking to reputable websites within your industry and adding internal links from across your own website, we signal to search engines that your content is valuable and authoritative. This practice helps to satisfy Google’s E-E-A-T requirements.
  4. Enhancing discoverability through technical SEO: We pay close attention to the technical aspects of your website to improve its overall performance. This includes many technical settings that help Google better access your site, as well as optimizing your website for mobile users, because a positive user experience is crucial for encouraging conversions. A user-friendly interface ensures that visitors can effortlessly navigate your site, increasing the likelihood that they will take a desired action.

Effective SEO Strategy Step 1: Needs Analysis

The first step in Search Influence’s process is getting to know you, your website, and your competition.

In house, we call this a needs analysis.

In this crucial step, we delve into understanding your unique requirements and challenges, ensuring that our SEO efforts align seamlessly with your goals and objectives.

Our needs analysis process forms the bedrock upon which we build our SEO strategy, providing valuable data and context for optimizing your online presence.

Our needs analysis process:

  • Learning your goals and objectives: By aligning our efforts with your goals, we ensure our actions contribute directly to your success. We collaborate with you to define what you want to achieve with your SEO endeavors. This may include enhancing online visibility, driving more targeted traffic, or increasing conversion rates.
  • Competitor analysis: We conduct a comprehensive competitor analysis to outperform your competition in the digital landscape. By identifying areas where your competitors excel and areas where they fall short, we can employ strategies and tactics that will help to set your website apart.
  • Technical audit: Our team conducts a meticulous technical audit of your website. By uncovering any technical issues or areas of improvement, we pave the way for a smoother user experience and improved search engine rankings. This audit thoroughly examines your website’s internal links, on-page optimization, and overall technical SEO health.
  • Content assessment: We assess your existing website content for its quality, relevance, and keyword optimization. Ensuring that your content aligns with your target audience’s interests and is optimized for relevant target keywords is crucial for attracting organic traffic and retaining user engagement.
  • Link profile analysis: Our team dives deep into your link profile, evaluating the quality and quantity of your inbound links. A strong and reputable backlink profile enhances your online authority and search engine rankings. We identify opportunities for acquiring high-quality backlinks and eliminating toxic links that may harm your SEO efforts.

This process enables us to tailor our SEO strategy to your specific needs and maximize the impact of our efforts, ultimately catapulting your website content to new heights of online visibility.

Effective SEO Strategy Step 2: Keyword Research

Conducting keyword research is pivotal to understanding how users search for products or services related to your business.

Our steps:

  • Brainstorm seed keywords: We create a list of core or seed keywords directly relevant to your products or services. These keywords are the foundation upon which we will build your keyword strategy. We discover these initial keywords through discussions with you about your industry and products to learn the words you use and the words your audience uses.
  • Utilize keyword research tools: Keyword research allows us to cast a wider net and capture a broader audience for your business. We leverage tools that uncover an array of related keywords and keyword phrases that users commonly enter into search engines.
  • Analyze search volume: During this step, we closely examine each keyword’s search volume to understand its popularity and potential impact. This data helps us prioritize the keywords more likely to drive significant traffic to your website.
  • Assess keyword relevance: We assess keyword relevance to ensure that the chosen keywords align with your audience’s search intent. This alignment verifies that visitors arriving at your site are genuinely interested in your products or services — leading to conversions, not just clicks.
  • Select targeted keywords by topic: We organize your selected keywords by topic, making it easier to create content that resonates with users’ interests. This strategy improves your website’s ranking on search engines and enhances the overall user experience by providing cohesive and informative content.
  • Balance keyword volume and competition: Our goal is to identify keywords that offer a favorable balance for your specific objectives. Highly competitive keywords may require more time and effort to rank for, while low-competition keywords may not drive enough traffic.

Effective SEO Strategy Step 3: Creation of the Strategy

Every client is unique, and your SEO strategy must reflect your distinct goals and challenges.

Search Influence understands this diversity and crafts individualized strategies that align with your requirements.

While the specifics may vary, here are some examples of tactics that we might include in your strategy:

Keyword and on-page SEO optimization

At Search Influence, we optimize your on-page SEO by ensuring that relevant keywords are seamlessly integrated into your website content, meta tags, and headers.

Additionally, we create high-quality, keyword-rich content that directly addresses user intent, improving your website’s visibility on search engines.

By including keywords and structuring your content for skimmers, swimmers, and divers, we improve your website’s readability and search engine ranking.

Technical SEO

We fine-tune technical settings that make it easier for Google to access your site, like implementing proper HTML markup and sitemaps, and configuring robots.txt files. We improve your website speed and mobile-friendliness to enhance the overall user experience of your website.

Link building

Our team builds high-quality, relevant backlinks from authoritative websites to boost your domain authority. Links are like votes for your website, and you must have more to win!

We also avoid low-quality or spammy backlinks that could harm your site’s reputation.

Content marketing

Our content marketing strategy revolves around creating informative, engaging, and shareable content. We also employ social media and email marketing to increase content visibility and reach.

Local SEO

Local SEO is especially important for businesses with physical locations.

For businesses targeting a local audience, we optimize your Google Business Profile listing and local citations. Encouraging customer reviews and ratings helps enhance your local reputation.

User experience (UX)

We focus on enhancing website usability and navigation to reduce bounce rates and improve user satisfaction. Additionally, optimizing for mobile devices caters to a mobile-first audience and ensures adherence to mobile SEO best practices.

Schema markup

Implementing schema markup provides search engines with structured data about your content, enhancing the appearance of rich snippets in search results.

Search Influence employs all the tools at our disposal, including Google Analytics and other industry-leading SEO tools, to craft these individualized SEO strategies. We align each strategy with your specific goals, target audience, and unique challenges.

Whether it’s optimizing page titles, improving page speed, or fixing broken links, we harness our expertise to ensure your website ranks higher for Google searches and provides an exceptional user experience.

Search Influence’s Effective SEO Strategies for Higher Education

As discussed earlier in this blog post, a majority of higher education institutions across the country lack a proper SEO strategy.

Search Influence and our higher education marketing partners at UPCEA believe improving SEO must be a top priority for universities.

Our team of experts has years of experience helping universities boost their SEO rankings.

Tulane SoPA + Search Influence = SEO Strategy Success

When Tulane SoPA came to us looking for ways to boost organic traffic for their recently launched human resources program, we dove straight into our process to identify the strategy.

We implemented five common tactics to increase their SEO rankings:

#1: We optimized the degree page content

optimized content per page

Search Influence always prioritizes including the primary keyword and related keywords in headlines because they are an SEO ranking factor. This small attention to detail, amongst others, can help you get to the first page of the SERPs.

In the example above, you can see where we included the keyword “online bachelor’s degree in human resources” and similar variations throughout the content. All the keywords are closely aligned to the program name, as they often will be.

We incorporated keywords into the headings, the on-page content, and other related linked pages.

#2: We optimized metadata with targeted keywords

optimized title tags and meta descriptionsTitle tags and meta descriptions are closely related to content but are not shown directly to a user on the web page. A searcher will see them when your webpage appears in a Google search.

Google search sees your title tag as the page title and uses it to learn what your page is about.

Therefore, it’s the most important tag to optimize with keywords while avoiding keyword stuffing.

Meta descriptions influence CLICKS to your site, but they do not influence RANKING.

A well-optimized meta description will include the brand name, keyword, geo, if necessary, and relevant information about the program.

Let’s go into more detail by reviewing the title tag examples for different Tulane SoPA programs above.

Sample 1: This is for an online course, where the degree name closely matches how prospects search, and the wording is specifically tuned to variations of the particular keyword “human resources degree” — pretty straightforward.

Sample 2: This page is about general legal studies, but there’s also info about Tulane SoPA’s paralegal certificate since the degree helps you get your paralegal certificate. It’s crucial here to optimize this title tag for both topics.

Sample 3: Let’s say your degree name doesn’t match how prospects search. In that case, you can naturally work in the keyword, like in the example here.

#3: We built links directly to deep pages across Tulane SoPA’s website

build links

The above example is a news article in a local business publication. This was published as the result of a press release. You’ll see a link to the school’s homepage and specific degree pages.

Another place you can build deep links is through profiles on sites like niche.com. The above example shows links to the overall degree/program page and directly to key the degree pages.

#4: We used accessiBe to improve Tulane SoPA’s website accessibility

accessiBe widgetMaking your site accessible to all is of the utmost importance.

To do this for Tulane SoPA, we utilized accessiBe to make their website fully compliant and accessible to those with disabilities.

#5: We fixed technical errors on Tulane SoPA’s website

fix technical errors

Technical errors can include a wide variety of things, such as 404s/broken links, crawlability issues, HTTPS, speed, and schema errors.

We used Semrush and Google Search Console to identify and fix these issues for Tulane SoPA.

Learn More About Effective SEO Strategies With Search Influence

In digital marketing, the distinction between an SEO strategy and an effective SEO strategy can be the difference between existence and success.

Partnering with an experienced SEO agency helps you build the powerful online presence your business needs.

At Search Influence, we understand that crafting a genuinely effective strategy requires expertise, dedication, and a deep understanding of the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Contact us today to learn more about our digital marketing services.


Image sources:

Image 1: https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1523875194681-bedd468c58bf?q=80&w=2942&auto=format&fit=crop&ixlib=rb-4.0.3&ixid=M3wxMjA3fDB8MHxwaG90by1wYWdlfHx8fGVufDB8fHx8fA%3D%3D