How to create an SEO Strategy Step-by-Step

SEO, Simple SEO Podcast, SEO Keywords, SEO for Beginners




Search Engine Optimization.


Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Google, Keywords, Oh my! 

What do I do first for SEO? Let me break it down for you really quickly and easily. SEO is Search Engine Optimization. It means you making it easier for the Search Engine, Google, to read the content on your website.


Why does it matter if your website is easy for Google to read? Well, if it’s easy to read and understand, you have a better chance of ranking higher, and when you rank higher, you normally get more traffic to your site.


There are a few core things you should do for every page. You can do a few technical things once you've mastered the initial steps in this plan. I'll explain more at the end. 


We’re going to keep this simple. We’ll call this the Easy Step-by-Step SEO Strategy Plan


create an seo strategy step-by-step

What to do first to create your SEO Strategy Step-by-Step


Step One - Choose an SEO keyword for the page you're going to optimize.


Use different keywords on each page. Choose one main SEO keyword for the page you're going to do SEO on. Don’t use the same keyword everywhere, or you’ll hurt your ranking chances. Google will only show two results for the same website in the search results. If you use the same word on 10 pages, all 10 won’t show up in the results; only two will, and now eight other pages won’t rank.


Step Two - Use that one SEO keyword in your Title Tag, Meta Description, Image File Name, and body copy.


Include that keyword in the first paragraph of the copy. If you know how to create header tags (the bigger font lines on this post), use that keyword in your header tags, too.


Step Three - Follow SEO best practices for your title tags and meta descriptions.

Current best practices are a maximum of 60 characters for your title tag and a maximum of 160 characters for your meta description. You’ll want to include your most important keyword in your Title Tag and Meta Description.


If you can include an action verb in your Title Tag, you might see an increased click-through rate, which is believed to help your rankings. Examples include: learn about, find out, shop, visit, and more.


Step Four - Include your SEO Keyword in your Image File Name.

Use dashes between words because Google can understand dashes (-) and reads them as spaces.


If you want your images to show up when someone searches for your brand in Google’s search results, include your brand name in the image file name. For example, what-to-do-for-seo-etched-marketing.jpg could work for this post if what to do for SEO was my most important keyword.


Create a separate page for every product, service, or offering on your website. When you have one page optimized for one word, it’s easier to rank. When you have everything on the same page, Google gets confused, and you’re less likely to rank high.


Free SEO Class


Step Five - Create SEO-Friendly Content

Make sure you create content that’s helpful to your Ideal Customer. It needs to answer their questions, provide value, and answer the question of what’s in it for the customer.


Don’t write for the search engine. Write for the customer. Always. Focus on your customers and what they need to know.


You can create different types of content – website pages and blog posts like we’re discussing in this post. Still, you can also create video content, audio, infographics, social media, and more. Google values high-quality, relevant content that is detailed and provides value to the reader.


Step Six - Review your Technical SEO

You can do a lot for SEO, but the basics in The Easy SEO Strategy Step-by-Step Plan will get you started. If you’re curious about the technical side of SEO, you can set up a free Google Search Console account and find out if Google can crawl your website or is having issues.


Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. People search the web via mobile phones more than desktops today, and Google knows this. You must ensure your website looks good and is easy to interact with on mobile. It matters to Google.


They have gone as far as to have "mobile-first" indexing. This means they check the mobile version of your website before ranking you. 


So, if your website doesn't look great on mobile or is hard to maneuver, it's likely to rank lower than a similar website that does.


Step Seven - Make Sure Your Website Loads Fast

Another important thing to do is to make sure your website is fast. A slow-loading website can hurt your SEO and drive away potential customers. You can do a few things to speed up your website, such as optimizing images (reducing the file size by using a tool like jpeg mini or a smoosh plug-in on WordPress) and minimizing the number of plugins you use. Make sure you need all of the plug-ins you have on your site. Remove any you’re not using. It can help speed things up. Google likes a speedy site. Learn more here.


Using Google Analytics to track your website's performance is also important. This will give you valuable insights into how people use your website, where they're coming from, and what pages are most popular.


You can then use your analytics data to change your content or SEO strategy and see what’s working. If you’re unsure what to track in Google Analytics to find out how things are going, this post will walk you through how to run an SEO report.


Step Eight - Build Links to your Website

Finally, it's important to build backlinks to your website. Backlinks are links from other websites to yours. When other websites link to your website, it tells Google that your website is valuable and should be seen as an authority on the subject it covers.  


The best way to build links is to create high-quality content that other websites will likely link to. Don’t buy links. You will get into trouble with Google if you do that. There are penalties associated with outdated link-building tactics, and you don’t want to risk being penalized. It will hurt your website, and a penalty is hard to overcome.


Final Thoughts on Creating an Easy SEO Strategy Step-by-Step


When starting out with SEO, you can focus on the basics in the easy SEO plan.


  • Create a unique page for each product or service.


  • Choose one keyword to focus on for each page.


  • Using that keyword in your Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Image File Names, Body Copy, and Header Tags will give you a good start on your website’s SEO.


As you get more familiar with SEO, start looking at the other areas that impact your website’s SEO performance and keyword ranking abilities.


Build links, but be careful how you do this and follow the rules. Cheaters (and buyers) don’t win in this particular area.


Make sure your website is speedy. Google likes a fast site. Minifying your photos is probably the #1 thing you can do to help speed your site up. Most websites' speed issues are tied to image size.


Work to ensure your website is mobile-friendly. How does it look on a mobile phone, and can you easily interact with it.


These are a few more advanced SEO strategies you can start working on once you’ve got the foundation in place. Plus, understanding your GA data will tell you whether your SEO plan is working.


If you want to learn more about this and have me walk you through it step-by-step, I teach how to do this in SimpleSEO Content, my signature SEO Content Marketing program. You can learn more here. I’d love to have you join me in class.


Full Quick and Easy SEO Plan Podcast Episode Transcript


Well, hello and welcome to this week's episode of the Simple SEO Content podcast. I am your host, Rachel Lindteigen. And in this episode, we are going to talk all about the quickest and easiest way to get started with SEO today. So join me, listen, grab a pen and paper, take some notes because by the end of this episode, you are going to be ready to start using SEO search engine optimization. On your website or blog so that you can get more traffic.

What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization? 

So let's get started with what SEO is so that you understand why we want to do it. So SEO stands for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is a process that we go through on our website to make it easier for Google to understand what it's about. When we use search engine optimization, we choose a key word and we use it in specific elements that Google is going to look for to understand what the content on that page or the website is about. So that's what I want you to understand. We need to do SEO in order for Google to better understand our content and be more likely to show our website or blog to people who are searching for what we have to offer.


SEO and your Like, Know, and Trust Factors

So SEO is the know in your like know and trust factor. SEO search engine optimization drives targeted relevant traffic directly to your website. Sometimes you'll hear people talk about organic or inbound marketing. It's all kind of the same thing. It's people who are looking for a solution to their problem, and you have that solution on your website.


Why your Website or Blog Need SEO

So that's why we want to do SEO because a website without search engine optimization on it is less likely to show up high in Google search results, which means you don't get found by the people who are looking for you and you don't get as much traffic. So you want to do SEO so that you rank higher and you get found by the people who are looking for a solution to their problem, or they're looking for something related to your business. So that's going to help you just from the beginning. And there are some things that we're going to do for SEO. We're going to talk about a few of them in this episode, but I'm going to give you just a couple of words that I want you to understand before we dig in.


What are SEO Keywords? 

SEO keywords, this is the keyword. This is the most important part of SEO. We're going to talk about how we choose them and where we use them in a minute. But a keyword is the core concept that your page or blog post is about. It is the word that someone is ideally going to search for in Google and have your website show up or your blog show up. A keyword is the word the consumer is going to use. And it's the same word that you're going to optimize for.


What are SEO Backlinks?

And then we're going to talk a little bit about backlinks. Back links are links from another website to your website and they help boost your website's Domain Authority. Here's another word for you - Domain Authority is a score of one to 100 and it is an estimation of how authoritative Google thinks your website is. Your website's Domain Authority is going to impact your ability to rank for any given key word, the higher your domain authority, the more competitive keywords you're going to be able to rank for. So we all want to work on boosting our Domain Authority and the main way that we boost that is through earning back links now super important caveat. Never buy backlinks. You're going to get emails, people are going to offer you backlinks. They're going to say you can get this DA website and this amount of money. Don't do it. Okay. Google wants you to earn them. Not buy them. You will get yourself in trouble if you buy backlinks. So don't do it. All right.


SEO for Beginners - Getting Started

So when we're starting with SEO, there were a couple of ways you can go about this. If you've never done it before, and we're going to assume you've never done it before. I want you to start by choosing one key word for each page that you want to optimize and choose a different keyword for each page. 


Step 1 - SEO for Beginners Step-by-Step- Choose an SEO Keyword for your Homepage

So let's start with your website, choose a keyword that is related to your core product or service for your homepage. You're going to want to do some research, so use whatever SEO, keyword research tool you're comfortable with. It doesn't matter to me. You should get similar information from all of them. So you pick the one your are the most comfortable with. And choose a keyword that ideally has some search volume. But most importantly, your website can rank for.


Step 2- SEO for Beginners - Find out if your Website can Rank for this SEO Keyword

So how the heck do you figure out if your website can rank for any given keyword? What I want you to do is take the keyword that you're considering using and look in Google. So go to Google, open an incognito browser window. That means you're going to need to right click on Chrome and you're going to need to open an incognito window. This means that the customized search results that you get from Google when you're signed in are not impacting what you see. This is what another browser ideally your customer would see. So use an incognito window. Put the keyword that you're contemplating using in there and see who shows up on page one, ideally positions one, two, and three, but look all the way, one through 10. How similar are they to you? Are they competitors that you're familiar with? Are they websites that are similar to yours? Are they businesses that are a lot like you or are they big brands? Are they companies that have locations at the mall? Are they huge brands? Because if they're big brands, if it's Zillow or realtor or Etsy or Amazon, or Nordstrom or Zappos or someone like that, you're on the wrong track with your keyword. And unfortunately, if you don't adjust your keyword that you're using, you will not get results, even if you do everything else, right because you will not be able to rank for that keyword. So if you see really big websites, go back, go back to your keyword research tool and try looking for something else because this keyword is not going to work. Okay. I just want you to know that. So the very first thing. As to figure out what keyword you're going to use for your homepage. 

If you need help understanding SEO keyword research or learning how to choose SEO keywords your website can rank for take my SEO keyword research mini class. It will walk you through exactly how to do this.


Step 3 - Create a Title Tag that uses your SEO Keyword

Then you're going to write a title tag and a meta description, and you're going to follow Google's best practices for this. And if you don't know what those best practices are, that's okay. I'm going to go through them real quick, but to make your life even easier, make sure you use the link in the show notes to get my SEO content quick start guide, because it has all of this right in there for you. I made it easier for you. Get the SEO Content Quick Start Guide here -


So your title tag is going to include your keyword. It's going to be a maximum of 60 characters, that includes spaces. So it's really important that you verify the length or the, the length. Yeah. The length of your title tag, because if you write one that's more than 60 characters, Google will truncate it. They're only going to show 60 and truncating it means you no longer have control over the message.

 Step 4 - Write a Meta Description that uses your SEO Keyword

Then you're going to write a meta description. Your meta description is a maximum of 160 characters also, including spaces. Same deal. If you write it more than 160 characters, Google will truncate it, meaning they will add those ellipses in the middle. You may or may not get the message across the way that you want. So if you want control over the message that your potential customer sees when they're looking in the search results. You need to follow the rules, title tag under 60 characters, including spaces. Meta-description under 160 including spaces. Now with that title tag, if you can include a call to action term shop, find out, discover, learn, you can see an increase in the click through rate of up to 30%, according to the different research studies that we've seen. So this can make a huge difference. If you can fit it and not have it truncate. The other thing I want you to know is to make sure that you're using the same keyword in both your title tag and your meta description. So that's your first thing.

 Step 5 - Use your SEO Keyword in your Copy

And then I want you to make sure that you have your keyword in your copy on your page. Now we're not going to talk about how many times we use the keyword, because Google does not want you to write to a specific keyword density or anything like that. Google wants you to think about your ideal customer and provide them the value that they need. You are naturally going to use your keyword because your page, your business is about your key word. Okay. So don't worry about how many times you use it, just write and provide value for your ideal customer. Okay.


Step 6 - Add Header Tags and use your SEO Keyword in them too 

Then you're going to want, if you have headers, meaning subsections on your page, you're going to want to use your keyword in those headers.


You also are going to want to use your keyword in your image file names. So no more uploading your pictures to your website is image 678 or anything like that. Use your keyword in your image file names, use a space between the keywords or between the words Google reads the space, the one that looks like the minus sign, as a space. So that's going to help you because Google better understands what your page is about. Now, if you want a bonus, you can use your business name in your image file name as well. Then when someone searches not only the keyword, but now, if they search your business name, all of your pictures that are named with your image name in the file name will show up as well.


So that's part of what you do to help Google understand what that page is about. You make sure that you're using the same key word in each of those SEO elements that they're going to look for.

SEO Keyword Rules for Google 

Now you want to choose a unique keyword for each page. That means the one that you chose for your homepage. You're not going to use on all the other pages. You're going to look for other keywords and you're going to follow the exact same process for the other pages. This is going to get you started and get you moving in the right track so that people can find your website.


So remember, The most important thing is to choose a keyword that your website can rank for. That is number one, because if you choose a keyword that you cannot rank for and you do everything else the right way, you're still not going to get results. You're not going to get traffic. You're not going to rank. Because your website cannot rank for that particular keyword. So save yourself time. By taking extra steps to verify that you can rank for that keyword before you start working on your optimization. Then, create all of your optimization elements, following Google's best practices for SEO. Get the SEO content quick start guide from the link in the notes so that you know what those best practices are. Download it here -


So you make sure that you do it and follow it. There is an SEO checklist. In that guide that is going to also help you because it will show you everything that you need to do before you hit publish on that page or that new blog post.


Only use one key word, one core, most important keyword on each page. Focus on that in your element, just for now, it's going to make it the easiest way to get started and use that same keyword on a maximum of two pages on your website. Two pages maximum. Okay. Because Google is only going to be willing to show you a maximum of two times, for any given search query. So if you use the same keyword on 10 pages, you're limiting your potential reach. You're limiting the number of customers that you can get to because Google's only going to show you twice for that search term. So it's better to target different keywords with your content than to continually target the same word. Once you do this. This will help you to start to rank a little bit higher, as long as you've chosen a keyword that you can rank for.


How to Build your Website's Authority

Then if you want to work on building your websites, Domain Authority, you work on building links and the way that you build links, the safe way is by leveraging your partnerships. If you belong to the chamber or business organizations, they may link to you. Those are great links.

How Blogging Helps your SEO

As is creating content that other people are likely to link to. So creating great content on a regular basis is going to help you. Blogging actually does increase the number of links that we get to our websites exponentially. Sites that do blog on a regular basis, get more links than those who do not. The more links you get from the more authoritative websites. The higher your own Domain Authority will become and the easier it will be for you to rank for additional keywords.


Linkbuilding Tips for SEO

Don't buy links. Don't try to cheat the system.  Google has gotten really smart. You will not win if you try to cheat the system, just follow the directions. In this episode, this is a super quick and easy starter plan for you.


Final Thoughts on Building Your SEO Strategy Step-by-Step

Get the SEO content quick start guide - and take my free class because it's going to walk you through even more to help you get started with SEO and content marketing. You want to make sure you're doing both. If you are currently creating content for your website and you're not optimizing it, you're not doing SEO. You're leaving money on the table. You're leaving revenue and you're leaving potential traffic because Google doesn't understand your website as well as they would if you would do the optimization.


So make sure if you're creating content, you're optimizing it. You're choosing keywords that you can rank for and you're using them where you're supposed to. And if you're doing SEO, make sure that you're not cheating with crummy content. Make sure you're creating great content, that's helpful, that's going to provide a value for your reader because you're not going to win with crummy low quality content. You have to do both the search engine optimization and create great content in order to win the way things work with Google's algorithm today.


If you have any questions, DM me on Instagram @etchedmarketingacademy I would love to chat with you. Happy to answer any questions that you may have. I want to thank you so much for tuning into today's episode of the Simple SEO Content Podcast and I hope that you have learned a lot and you are ready to take this information and start to implement it.


Now, if you'd like to take the super easy route, I do teach this entire course Simple SEO Content. It is a paid course. It's 11 modules. It walks you through how to do all of this step-by-step and it provides the implementation and accountability that you need to help you get through the process. With the handholding, the live Q and A's the question sessions, all of that. If you're interested DM me and I'll get you information, we have the student group, we meet  and we go through the questions. Everybody is doing fantastic. I'd love to have you join us in there as well. Thank you.