8 Proven Techniques for Developing a Winning SEO Strategy in 2023

Most of you have probably heard the phrase SEO used in connection with digital marketing, online businesses, or internet circles in general. Regardless, you’d be shocked how many people know those three letters yet have no idea what they mean.

If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered, and if this is your first encounter with the phrase, you’re in luck. This essay will teach you all you need to know to implement an efficient SEO (search engine optimization) plan. We’ll go over the following topics:

  • What is SEO and why is it more crucial than ever?
  • The fundamentals of an SEO approach (keywords, meta data, and link-building, technical components).
  • Based on 2021 SEO trends, there are eight precise methods that will set you up for SEO success.

The importance of SEO in 2021

According to Safari Digital, nearly 61% of marketers believe that SEO is the key to online success, which is why modern businesses devote an average of 41% of their marketing budget to it. In short, taking the effort to develop a strong SEO plan can revolutionize not only your web traffic but also your entire organization.

Given the state of the world today, internet usage is at an all-time high. COVID-19 has us doing more online shopping, watching more movies and television than normal, and attending more Zoom meetings than we can count. SEO has been critical for many firms throughout 2020, and we expect the same in 2021. So, as we approach the New Year, how can you develop an SEO plan that is up to date? Let’s start with the fundamentals.

The basics of an effective SEO strategy

SEO is essentially the practice of improving your internet traffic and ranks on SERPs by employing certain qualitative content guidelines and technical upgrades (search engine results pages).

Quantity is also important. Writing more content, employing more links, and using a wider variety of keywords is a wonderful strategy to rank higher over time—this is referred to as scaling,’ and it is exactly what it sounds like.

So there are a couple of things we’ve thrown in. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, here are the essential tools you’ll need to begin developing your 2021 SEO strategy:

1. Keywords

Keywords are keywords that are often searched for on Google, Bing, and other search engines, and they are an important factor in deciding your website’s ranks. Use the proper amount of keywords in the right places, and your sites will rise to the top of the search results.

Keyword strategy has evolved significantly over the years; it used to be as simple as stuffing as many as possible into the material, but this resulted in a lot of content that became spammy, and sites were eventually penalized by Google’s algorithms. Nowadays, you must conduct research, employ a wider range of keywords, and incorporate them naturally. Because Google is becoming smarter by the day, they will make you work for it.

2. Metadata

Building on the foundation set by keyword research, metadata is not only equally vital, but it is also perhaps the most direct way to get someone to visit your website, as it is one of the first things both Google and potential visitors will notice. Google utilizes crawlers (picture little robot spiders) to examine websites and collect information that matches search requests, resulting in rankings: most relevant at the top.

When crawling webpages, metadata is one of the first things on their checklist after indexing the URL. This includes meta titles and meta descriptions, which are the page title and short preview line that appear when you search for something on Google, as well as alt-tags for things like photos (almost like a secondary name should Google have trouble reading the first one). Metadata can be thought of as a storefront.

3. Link-building

Moving on to the more technical side of things, obtaining backlinks is another critical aspect of SEO effectiveness. When another website links to yours in an article or blog post, this is referred to as a backlink. This not only helps you establish domain authority but also increases the likelihood of visitors clicking through to your website if it appears on other trustworthy domains.

Simply generating compelling content can earn you organic links: the better your work and the more closely you match a person’s search intent, the more likely people in your field will mention your site. This overall process is known as link-building, and while you can simply contact other sites to trade links (quid pro quo), there are a variety of different actions that can help speed up this process:

  • Blogging as a guest.
  • Testimonials.
  • Answering questions on websites such as Quora.
  • Making shareable material like videos and infographics.
  • Making use of industry contacts and sharing on social media (e.g. LinkedIn).

4. Wider technical SEO

Following that, there are a number of other technical concerns at the back end of your site that, once fixed, can make a significant difference in your overall SEO results. At the end of the day, if your website’s UX isn’t fluid and easy to use, it will be difficult for any visitor to do anything meaningful on your site. For background, mobile accounts for more than half of all online traffic, so when it comes to things like UX, the technical stuff matters.

Whether it’s making sure your site loads quickly, deleting ‘poison’ backlinks (links to websites that are judged irrelevant or untrustworthy, for example), or developing a clear XML sitemap with a clean URL structure, all of these technical SEO strategies can help you secure higher ranks. You don’t want anything to obstruct SEO from doing its job, which is to allow people to locate your website organically.

Why are SEO & organic search important?

Organic search techniques powered by SEO are unrivaled in terms of long-term viability and cost-effectiveness in digital marketing. SEO is not only less expensive than paid advertising, but its effects linger longer as well. While PPC campaigns must be renewed and bidding costs change, SEO tracking tools use organic data to construct keyword lists and continue to generate fresh content ideas as you delve deeper.

To be sure, SEO might be a slow burn at first. Nonetheless, after a few months, you may expect to notice significant increases in your total traffic and rankings. Furthermore, the longer you stick with it, the more backlinks and site authority you will gain, allowing you to target increasingly larger and better keywords, and so on.

Starting at the opposite end of the spectrum—targeting long-tail keywords and more precise variants—especially when it comes to content and specialized sub-topics—is a good approach for SMBs to show results quickly and develop a platform for momentum. Moreover, a third of all Google search inquiries contain four or more words (i.e. long-tail keywords). Not only are these keywords less competitive and thus easier to rank for, but they can also drive a significant amount of organic traffic.

8 tips to apply to your 2021 SEO strategy

It is not always necessary to target the most popular search terms and expect to compete with the big fish right away. It is all about knowing your audience and providing the material, information, and overall service that they want/need. With that in mind, here are eight SEO tactics that are still as powerful in 2021 as they were in the past.

1.Write for humans first and search engines second

As previously said, the Google algorithm improves with each passing day and, with continual human input, continues to better line with our thinking. However, there is no smart loophole or secret method for outwitting a search engine, so don’t bother trying. Write for humans first, and then for search engines.

Finally, your objective should always be to supply your audience with what they are seeking, which can only be achieved by writing compelling and genuinely naturalistic material. Anyone can recognize a keyword that has been shoehorned in, and stuffing is even more obvious, so use them where they make sense and let driving keywords improve your already interesting and quality content.

2. Use targeted keywords in all the right places

While the incentive should always be humans first, followed by search engines, the core of this entire process is keywords. Not only do they get to the heart of what visitors and Google are looking for by isolating frequent search phrases, but SEO also delivers 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media, which already accounts for more than half of all web traffic. As a result, if keywords are at the heart of SEO, they should also be at the heart of everything you do.

However, as previously stated, it is not as simple as throwing them in left, right, and center. The process begins with keyword research. To find broad search intent and your “seed” keywords, use SEO tools such as Google Ads, Ahrefs, and even simple on-site search bars. Then, go deeper to locate more long-tail variants, research rivals to identify keyword gaps, and don’t forget to include them in your metadata and anchor text for your links. Finally, avoid keyword stuffing. Fit them in naturally to avoid interfering with the readability of your material.

3. Focus on user experience (UX)

Nothing is more frustrating than having to navigate a website that you can hardly utilize. In reality, most individuals give up after a few seconds of annoyance, and Google will struggle to make the most of it as well. Dead links, error pages, and disorganized site structures will all have an impact on what people take away from your website.

Not only do visitors value a pleasant user experience and easy navigation, but this consistency also aids Google’s crawlers in scanning your material and determining your SERP ranks. Make use of headings and short, easy-to-read paragraphs, organize your subfolders, and optimize for mobile. All of these things will help to minimize your bounce rate, enhance your rankings, and increase total conversion.

In terms of user experience, are you prepared for Google’s Page Experience Update?

4. Focus on building relevant links

As previously stated, link-building is an important part of establishing domain reputation/site authority. We’ve already discussed why outbound/external links are important: they not only improve the content you provide, but also allow you to obtain reciprocal connections through outreach, etc.

Furthermore, links are a significant ranking component. Bots and crawlers find content by following links to subsequent sites and determining how relevant they are to a search query. This also applies to internal linking, so don’t be hesitant to connect to other useful pages on your site where appropriate and natural. After one to three months of employing a link-building strategy, 51% of marketers perceive an impact.

5. Format content for Featured Snippets.

These days, featured snippets pretty much control the SERPs. Even if you haven’t heard the word before, you’re probably familiar with them. They are the highlighted answer boxes that show at the top of most search results pages. You’re doing something right if you can get a featured snippet.

To increase your chances of landing a featured snippet, use bullet points, numbered lists, infographics, and directly answering question-based searches, to name a few formatting and style choices. While research suggests that snippets do not always result in direct clicks, because the search query is answered in the Google preview itself, snippets have shown in over 19 percent of SERPs and counting. They are excellent for increasing brand awareness and spreading your name. As a result, the clicks will continue to arrive.

6. Remove anything that slows down your site

Once again, it cannot be stressed how simple it is to get the technical aspects of your website and specific content perfect. Whether you’re writing informative articles, offering a product/service, or simply directing people in the correct path, your website must be quick, accessible, and simple to use. People nowadays expect instant information and results. They will simply go if your site takes too long to load.

There are several ways to increase site speed and overall UX smoothness: delete old/defunct plugins, clean up your code, optimize and compress your images, ensure your sub-folders flow and make sense, and use tools like Google Page Speed Insights or GTmetrix to continue monitoring in the future.

7. Pay attention to Google algorithm updates

We’ve already touched on this briefly, but Google is becoming smarter and more intuitive by the day. The algorithm’s basic adjustments and tweaks are frequent and often unexpected, with sites benefiting or being penalized based on how closely they comply with the most recent update.

A multitude of elements influences rankings and penalties, including accessibility, speed, excessive advertising or spammy material, and so on. While it is not always possible to avoid it, there are a few simple actions you can take to keep within touching distance. To begin, subscribe to industry websites and forums to stay up to know on recent/upcoming updates. Google’s Search Console Community is a fantastic place to start – and remember to regularly follow your traffic using services like Google Analytics and SEMrush to identify where updates may have occurred, so you can modify accordingly.

8. Improve existing content & add missing subtopics

Finally, keep in mind that there is no definitive endpoint for your SEO approach. Constant updates and competition imply that there is always work to be done, not to mention that you can always improve on what you’ve already done. If you haven’t previously been using SEO effectively, going back and upgrading material with keywords, backlinks, and improved readability is an excellent place to start. You may even ensure that pages that have been performing well maintain or improve on their performance by periodically updating them.

Returning to your keyword research, this is an excellent time to leverage these keywords and competitor analysis as the foundation for a long-term content strategy. Each term should lead to a slew of others, generating even more content ideas. Rather than producing a single piece about a certain issue, make it a “cornerstone” article from which a lot of more specific ones sprout. A comprehensive content audit can be performed with tools such as SEMrush and Yoast; adding and upgrading old content can quadruple your traffic — just make it as evergreen as possible and employ the internal and external linking we discussed.

Lock in SEO success for 2021

This article merely touches the surface of what SEO entails. It is a discipline that is becoming more difficult and nuanced by the day, but by providing you with some tried and tested strategies that have survived the test of time in this subject, you should be well prepared to tackle whatever 2021 has in store for us.

We have a multitude of resources available to you to obtain additional information and examples of SEO for beginners, intermediates, and experts. Because the SEO landscape is always changing, don’t wait any longer to play catch-up!

Need help with getting your business found online? Stridec is a top SEO agency in Singapore that can help you achieve your objectives with a structured and effective SEO programme that will get your more customers and sales. Contact us for a discussion now.