Where to Start?
Firstly you need to be completely sure about what you are trying to accomplish with your SEO strategy and where. For example, a website selling flower arrangements in Austin TX is not the same as having a statewide eCommerce operation focusing on smartphone accessories. Also, what is your ultimate marketing goal here, is it funneling traffic to your website or your storefront? All these need to be taken into account and well thought out.
Once you figure out what is it that you need it is time to get working on the SEO strategy itself for example we will try to develop a strategy for an imaginary florist with a storefront in Austin Texas and our goal is going to be twofold, we will be funneling traffic to the website and promoting the storefront itself.
The first step in any SEO strategy development is keyword research, so go into the keyword planner, select the city/location and start researching, since we are going local don’t forget to throw those into the mix, I would strongly suggest you do a search check for each of your finds to figure out the competition and the difficulty you might have in ranking.
While you are checking that, make sure to check out the local SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) you can do that by going to Google.com and just typing in “Florists Austin TX” (that will tell Google to retrieve local results for Austin, Texas regardless of your actual location) or you can go up a level and use a VPN that has a server in your location for 100% precise results, or best of all just be in the location that you are looking at.
If you have the budget there’s also a Keyword Explorer tool in Ahref’s which can be a real lifesaver for finding easy keyword opportunities giving you an estimate of the competition and providing you with a link count to reach a specific SERP (although I wouldn’t base my entire strategy around it)
OK so by this point you should have a nice bit of information and a set of keywords you wish to shoot for.
Making it Work
Whatever those keywords might be you have a number of options, but the one I would always recommend to clients would be one that uses and capitalizes on your strengths. So as a florist you are bound to have lots of images of flowers, these can be very well leveraged on social media (and social signals are an ever-growing ranking signal for Google). As a brick-and-mortar business, you have scores of local directories you can get a backlink from, the list goes on and on, but always remember every business has it’s strengths the trick is to capitalize on them.
Whatever you do, think first, I can’t tell you how many times I have seen businesses trying to build off of their weaknesses instead, small town florists going for nationwide press releases, large B2B clients trying to fight for “retail only” keywords out of prestige or even eCommerce websites trying to get links by offering bribes to bloggers (that’s a big Google no-no) en-masse.
The point is that a successful SEO strategy is always exactly that a strategy, a strategy that needs to make sense or else your efforts will be hurting you much more than they would be helping you.
Maybe this step checklist might be of some service in developing your own SEO strategy
- Figure out what you want to do (online leads, calls, direct sales, etc…)
- Find what you want to rank for (keeping in mind what you’re trying to accomplish)
- Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses and choose your approach accordingly
It’s as simple as that!