Search engine optimization (SEO) ensures that every aspect of your website is accessible, authoritative, trustworthy, and demonstrates expertise to your target audience and search engines. Modern search engine algorithms serve results to the consumer that enhance user experience. It is crucial to understand there is a strong correlation between SEO strategy for search engines and user experience. Search engines, like Google, optimize for user experience. Therefore, SEO also optimizes for user experience by the transitive property. Simple in theory, SEO must account for more than 300 variables that comprise Google’s algorithm. Proper prioritization and strategic efforts come into play in this vast collection of different levers.
What is an SEO Strategy?
SEO strategy is the sum of layered on-page, off-page, and technical SEO tactics designed to increase ranking for primary and secondary keywords, pages, and your website. It can be daunting to get started with so many elements at play. However, prioritization will dictate the order in which to accomplish tasks. Remember, SEO is one part of a healthy digital marketing strategy, and you should never silo SEO.
On-Page SEO Tactics
On-page SEO refers to target audience-facing items coupled with backend coding that allow search engines to understand your page’s intent and topic. Title tags, meta descriptions, and alt image text all play a role in helping Google crawl for information. Header tags, bolding, and body text are elements that serve your consumer an easily digestible and logically structured piece of content. Regardless of the type of content, it is vital to focus on the primary keyword and peripheral terms that support it. All high-quality content has one thing in common – purpose. Each page you create, whether it is for an eCommerce site, blog post, or other, needs to provide evident value to the target audience and build upon the overall purpose of the website. At the same time, be mindful of overlapping keyword targeting. No two pages should be ranking for the same keyword, or you will run into cannibalization.
Off-Page SEO Tactics
Off-page SEO refers to media outreach and external linking-building campaigns to demonstrate trustworthiness to your target audience and search engines. An area where many websites fall short or resort to blackhat tactics, off-page SEO is key to developing domain authority and broader brand awareness. Procuring high-quality links from credible websites is difficult, especially for new companies or sites. One of the most efficient ways to develop a sound off-page SEO strategy is to create content based on original thought and research. Becoming an authority on the site’s primary topic should lead to other high-quality websites citing the information in their content. Media outreach seeks to stimulate and expedite this exchange of external linking opportunities.
Technical SEO Tactics
Technical SEO refers to your website’s structure, coding, and other technological considerations. The technical aspects of SEO seek to simplify and quicken the pace at which your target audience can access and interact with your website. Remember, SEO’s primary function is to improve user experience. By decreasing load time, creating a logical site map, eliminating broken links, and establishing proper breadcrumbs, your target audience will have a more enjoyable experience on your website. Google accounts for these items and considers them important. In fact, Core Web Vitals is an element to the Google algorithm that primarily targets three essential elements in user experience: performance, responsiveness, and visual stability.
Part of the Larger Digital Marketing Strategy
Developing a sound SEO strategy based on your target audience is a significant step towards achieving digital marketing success. Formulating a diverse digital marketing mix is essential in today’s virtual landscape. Remaining competitive in paid search, programmatic, CTV, and social media marketing will bolster SEO and overall marketing efforts. Finding and partnering with a digital marketing agency that offers a full range of channels and partnerships will strengthen this endeavor.
How to Define SEO Strategy Target Audience
You have already taken steps towards defining your target audience to sell your services or products to the right group of people. It is time to apply the target audience insights and analytics to your SEO strategy. There are several key areas to focus on when combining target audience information with SEO strategy: demographics, reading level, accessibility, and pain points.
Identify Your Target Audience’s Primary Demographic
Defining your target audience’s demographic has many benefits. It will give you unique insights into your consumer base’s vernacular, values, and motivations. These are all vitally important when constructing an effective search engine optimization strategy. Search queries vary from region to region and from one age group to another. For instance, how people in the United States refer to the general category of carbonated beverage changes depending on location. People refer to it as pop, soda, soda pop, Coke, etc. When you take a broad approach and optimize without locale-specific insights, it may significantly lower organic traffic. Location can also change your target audience’s sentence structure when searching on Google. Optimizing copy that reflects how your target audience asks questions, particularly in the headers, increases Google’s odds of seeing your page as relevant.
Discover Your Target Audience’s Reading Level
Another important aspect of creating content is writing at the same level as your target audience. Ensuring readability, it will serve to strengthen the relationship between your consumers and your business. While Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller has stated reading level is not a ranking factor, many in the SEO community still believe it has a value from a user experience perspective. Additionally, if you use advanced language with low search volume, it is less likely to surface in the SERPs.
Find Where Your Target Audience is Accessible
Producing content in a void is akin to playing air guitar at a rock concert. It just does not make much sense. Blog posts need amplification through various channels, especially social media. Your target audience is on social media; it is just a matter of which platform. We’ve gone in-depth on Social Media Marketing to a Different Target Audience in a separate blog post. Determining where and when your target audience is consuming content and willing to engage with your brand will allow you to integrate into their social feeds and develop a relationship. When the relationship reaches a critical point, your target audience will become more receptive to converting on what you’re selling.
Determine Your Target Audience’s Pain Points
A consumer’s pain point is your opportunity to provide a solution. Demonstrating your recognition and empathy for your target demographic’s pain points is also a valuable tool, providing insights into the buyer funnel, entry point, and any leaks your website might have.
The SEO Strategy Buyer’s Funnel
Also known as the marketing funnel, the buyer’s funnel is the journey consumers take throughout the life cycle of their relationship with your business. From our agency partner, Sprout Social:
- Awareness: Branded content strategies appeal to audiences and make them receptive to future interactions.
- Consideration: Brand advocates and social proof assist customers when comparing you against competitors.
- Conversion: A simple purchasing process reduces the risk of not buying.
- Loyalty: A loyalty program with regular discounts, email interactions, and social media maintains customers.
- Advocacy: Receptive individuals in your loyalty program support your future marketing funnels.
Strategizing for Organic Entry Point
Identifying the correct pain points will attract your target audience at each buyer funnel’s awareness, consideration, and conversion stages. Creating specific buyer personas on each entry point takes time and a willingness to trust the analytics. It’s important to set up the right tracking parameters and filter your website’s first-party data through the correct metrics to gain the proper insights.
In addition to attracting your target audience at each stage of their journey, it is equally important to provide a holistic journey on your website. Analytics will again inform where users exit your website, which are potential holes requiring a patch.
Using Target Audience Insights to Form Your SEO Strategy
Integrating target audience data into SEO strategy is a complex project involving many moving pieces. Equipped with the correct information, the following are suggestions from Lever Interactive’s SEO team:
Optimize SEO Strategy for Long-Tail Keywords
By targeting long-tail keywords, you can match content with user intent. There are generally considered four types of intent: transactional, informational, navigational, and local.
Qualify Search Volume
Is it fun to play the what-if game with high-search volume keywords? Absolutely. Is it realistic? Not necessarily. As search volume around a keyword grows, it becomes more challenging to rank for it. A .001% share of a 50,000-volume keyword is far less valuable than a 3% share of a 5,000-volume keyword.
Account for Conversion Rates
Dissect the conversion analytics for your entire website. What pages lead to conversions and which ones do not? Those that do are optimized for specific keywords, painting a picture of which terms are the most valuable.
Partner with a Digital Marketing Agency Experienced in SEO Strategy
For over 15 years as a digital marketing agency, we’ve helped numerous B2B and B2C clients develop comprehensive SEO strategies and target audience analytics. Reach out to us today to discover how we can help grow your digital marketing with the latest advancements in technology.