Solidifying your SEO strategy: Lessons gleaned from industry experts

Put simply, search engine optimization (SEO) is any process of improving the quality or quantity of traffic to a website or page via a search engine. 

What used to be a little-known strategic niche is now the topic du jour, as digital agencies and marketing experts the world over battle over the top Search Engine Result Page (SERP) spots for high-value keywords within their industries.

While SEO can be difficult due to its many moving parts, there are plenty of tools and recommendations you can use to inform your strategy, many of which have been discussed in blog posts, articles, and resources across the web. Although plenty of literature exists on this topic, marketers and developers are often left to wonder which pieces of advice are truly pertinent to their overall strategy.

To help site managers and creators make more informed decisions regarding their SEO strategies, WP Engine gathered a host of SEO experts to share their advice for improving your strategy and climbing through the search engine rankings.

We’ve compiled all that advice—including research recommendations, content creation tools, considerations for special scenarios, and technical tips—within the pages of this ebook. Download the full version now, or read on for a quick overview of each section and what it will cover.

Getting started

The opening chapter provides a comprehensive overview of search engine optimization (SEO) for beginners, emphasizing the importance of understanding current rankings and defining a strategy. It explains the significance of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and factors influencing both organic and paid rankings.

Organic SEO involves backlinks, content relevance, social signals, and user experience, while pay-per-click (PPC) offers immediate visibility but can be costly and less sustainable in the long term.

Defining an SEO strategy involves initial assessment, goal setting, on-page optimization, content strategy, technical SEO, local/international SEO, and link-building, with ongoing monitoring and analysis for continuous improvement. Collaboration between marketers and developers is crucial for a successful SEO strategy.

Content creation

This section highlights the significance of content creation in search engine rankings, offering insights into using keyword research and tips for outsourcing content creation, creating content in-house, and using AI tools to facilitate content creation. It emphasizes creating informative and high-quality content while considering keyword competitiveness and competitor analysis.

The section also covers considerations for SEO content creation, both for outsourcing to third-party professionals and for utilizing in-house resources with AI assistance, stressing the importance of using clear, specific prompts for AI tools and the need for human editing to ensure accuracy, readability, and alignment with brand tone and messaging.

Specialized SEO considerations

This chapter delves into specialized considerations for SEO strategies tailored to different types of websites and target audiences.

It discusses optimizing local SEO by focusing on geographic-specific keywords, creating localized content, and utilizing Google My Business listings and schema markup. For international SEO, it advises treating each region as a unique local audience, optimizing hreflang and canonical tags, and enlisting local help for authenticity.

Regarding eCommerce SEO, the section focuses on the importance of conversion rate optimization and product feed optimization. Finally, it addresses multisite SEO challenges and solutions, including optimizing multisite structure, using multisite-specific SEO tools, and managing XML sitemaps.

Getting technical

This section focuses on the technical aspects of SEO, outlining seven key elements crucial for optimizing a website’s performance and interaction with search engine crawlers:

  1. Core Web Vitals/Google PageSpeed Insights: Measures user experience metrics like loading time, interactivity, and visual stability.
  2. Image Compression: Reduces image file sizes to enhance site speed without compromising quality.
  3. On-page Optimization: Involves adjusting internal links, title tags, meta descriptions, and alt text to include relevant keywords.
  4. Off-page Optimization: Utilizes backlink strategies to improve authority and credibility.
  5. Robots.txt Files & noindex Rules: Directs search engine crawlers on which pages to crawl or avoid, using robots.txt for guidance and noindex rules for blocking specific pages.
  6. Schema Markup: Enhances search engine understanding of page context through structured data, leading to rich snippets in search results.
  7. Sitemaps: Lists all pages on the site to help search engines comprehend site hierarchy during indexing.

Practical applications for your SEO strategy

The final chapter explores the implementation phase of SEO strategies, suggesting various tools and resources for tracking results and continued learning. It highlights the importance of adapting strategies based on team size, offering tips for both small and large teams.

For small teams or individuals, setting priorities and remaining flexible are key to success. Small teams should focus on simple tasks first and stay consistent with long-term strategies. Patience is crucial as organic growth takes time.

For larger teams, effective communication and role allocation are vital. Specific roles on a larger SEO team may include SEO Manager, Content Creator, Technical SEO Specialist, or others. Defining clear roles helps to ensure that all aspects of the strategy are covered and aligned with the team’s larger goals.

Want to learn more? Download the full ebook to explore all the insights from our panel of SEO experts!

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