A guide to creating an effective SEO strategy 2024

SEO (or search engine optimisation) involves optimising your website (both onsite and offsite) to gain greater visibility in the search results. Creating an effective SEO strategy requires keeping up to date with the all too frequent Google algorithm updates and a changing online landscape.

We’ve put together a guide on how to create an effective SEO strategy for 2024 to help grow your business online.

Importance of an effective SEO strategy

An effective SEO strategy is vital to help businesses improve their online presence and visibility. By implementing a successful strategy, your website will gain higher organic search rankings. And the higher your rankings, the greater your online visibility and presence.

As a result, your website will gain more organic traffic. In turn, there is a greater opportunity to generate revenue from increased prospects and leads. Successfully converting these leads through SEO often costs less than those gained through PPC (paid advertising).

Other benefits you can experience from an effective SEO strategy include:

  • Greater return on investment.
  • Gain a competitive advantage.
  • Grow your online reach.
  • Build stronger trust and credibility.
  • Stronger user experience.
  • Boost your local presence through local SEO.

Steps for creating an effective SEO strategy in 2024

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of an effective SEO strategy let’s examine the steps you can take to create one in 2024.

Analyse existing performance

Audit and analysing your performance is the first step in any SEO strategy. By exploring your current SEO performance, you can determine how well you are performing, what’s working, and what’s not working.

To analyse your existing SEO performance, you should consider keyword rankings, organic traffic, and backlinks. By assessing your SEO performance based on these three key considerations, you will gain a good insight into your website’s performance.

Tools such as Google Analytics can provide insights into your organic traffic performance. They will provide reports on monthly and daily traffic to your site and from which sources. Keyword rankings and backlinks can be easier to monitor with tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, or Moz.

When looking at your backlink profile, you want to analyse links based on their quality. To do this, factor in the authority score of the linking domain, the number of referring domains, the backlinks to your site, and its authority score.

Once you have a clear picture of your current SEO, it’s time to set clear, achievable goals for what you want to accomplish with your SEO strategy. This step helps you stay focused and determined on the path to success.

Look at your competitors

Looking at your direct competition and their performance can indicate what is working well and how you can improve your SEO strategy.

Typically, you want to identify the main 3 or 4 direct competitors most relevant to your business online. Once you’ve identified your main competitors, you can begin to identify high-potential keywords you are not targeting, potential backlink opportunities, and more.

You can also examine their websites to see what kind of content they create and how well they perform in organic search rankings. That’s not to say you should copy your competitors, but seizing opportunities and identifying weaknesses can help your SEO strategy.

Keyword research

Keywords are the foundation of any SEO strategy. Effective keyword research will identify valuable keywords to target and rank for in your particular industry, niche, or product offering. Such keywords are essential for creating and optimising content that will drive users to your site.

Before embarking on any SEO tactics, you should carry out keyword research. Fortunately, there are easily available tools that can help you find valuable keywords. The first of these is using Google. Begin entering a term in the search bar, and some related suggestions will appear.

The keywords that appear here are usually high-quality, as they are the search terms people enter into Google. Long-tail keywords, in particular, are of interest as they are more likely to convert as users will be further along the buyer’s journey. These keywords also tend to be less competitive.

There are also further suggestions from Google at the bottom of a search results page. Once you’ve got a list, it’s time to dig further. Using the keywords you already found, consider using a tool like Ubersuggest for further keyword ideas.

Such keyword tools will also provide insights into the competition, search volume, and cost per click (for PPC). If you’re struggling with content ideas, Ubersuggest also offers some content ideas to consider.

Here’s an example using the key phrase “web design Coventry”:

Set your goals

Once you’ve audited your existing SEO and your competitors, it’s time to set clear goals and KPIs for what you want your SEO strategy to achieve. Your goals will be based on your audit findings and will provide a clear focus for your SEO strategy.

When setting goals, it’s important to make sure they are SMART. This means they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Goals set using the SMART framework are much more attainable and easier to determine success.

Boost your online authority

Gone are the days when you could create new content optimised for a keyword and rank highly. Nowadays, Google has greatly emphasised online authority in its algorithms. As a result, you’ll need a strong online authority to achieve a good ranking position.

The Search Quality Rater Guidelines outline the E-E-A-T framework for how Google determines your online authority. E-E-A-T is not a direct ranking factor, but improving your online authority against this framework can help showcase you as an authority in your relevant field.

In case you are unaware of what E-E-A-T stands for, here is a short breakdown:

  • E – Experience and whether you have real-world experience on a particular topic.
  • E – Expertise and your knowledge of a topic, including qualifications and credentials.
  • A – Authority and your overall reputation within your niche. This includes the content creator, the content, and the website.
  • T – Trust and how trustworthy your website or content is. Trustworthiness is the most important factor in E-E-A-T.

Being clear, open, and transparent with your content is the best way to ensure you adhere to Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines. Ensure your content is helpful, meaningful, and relevant to users. Regularly posting updates, site authority and whether an expert wrote the content are also factors to consider.

Create high-quality, valuable content

Content marketing and SEO work together to boost organic rankings. Creating high-quality content that satisfies users’ needs while adhering to Google Search Quality Rater Guidelines is not easy. Unless you understand your customers, you’ll struggle to create valuable content.

Tactics such as content scraping, duplicate content, thin content, or writing for search engines and not humans are examples of bad content marketing. These tactics will not do your SEO strategy any favours.

Instead, create content that addresses your users’ pain points, answers their questions, and provides them with value. Content readability and language are also crucial to ensuring they speak on the same level as customers and can be easily understood.

Creating content that engages users and provides value is challenging. However, better understanding your customers through buyer personas can help develop a content marketing strategy focusing on high-quality, valuable content that’s sure to be a winner.

Discover how using Sinek’s Golden Circle can help create valuable content

Build a strong backlink profile

Links are still one of Google’s key factors for determining rankings. There is a strong correlation between higher rankings and a strong backlink profile.

But how can you develop your backlink profile? Building your backlink profile involves growing the number of sites that link to yours. Creating high-quality content or link-building are the two most effective methods.

To gain the most benefit, the backlinks you obtain should be from a trustworthy, high-quality domain and be ‘do-follow’. While no-follow links can still be beneficial, do-follow links help pass on link equity to the referring site, helping boost your domain authority.

While domain authority is not a ranking factor, it is a very good indicator to determine the strength of your backlink profile. Typically, the higher the domain authority, the more high-quality backlinks your site has. Sites with many low-quality or spam links can weigh down a backlink profile.

Existing content

Improving or repurposing your existing content is another way to create an effective SEO strategy in 2024. Updating or revisiting your existing content is a highly effective method of boosting your SEO strategy in 2024 by ensuring yours remains relevant and valuable.

When it comes to your existing content, there are several methods you can use to benefit your SEO strategy:

  • Repurposing content involves taking an existing piece of content and repurposing it for a different content type, for example, turning a blog post into a video tutorial.
  • Updating content by adding new information, data, and statistics ensures it remains up-to-date and relevant to users and search engines.
  • Optimising for SEO through keyword usage, metadata, and internal linking can improve your content’s visibility and ranking potential.
  • Content freshness by regularly updating existing content and creating new content to showcase your credibility and expertise in a field.

Topic clusters

The last strategy we’ll cover to create an effective SEO strategy in 2024 is topic clusters. Creating pillar pages on topics relevant to your niche and then building out topic clusters around that topic is a relevant method to creating an effective SEO strategy in 2024.

These topic clusters are interlinked with the corresponding pillar page to strengthen the site architecture, internal linking, and content organisation. That way, you can showcase to search engines that you are an authority on a particular niche.

Typically, pillar pages focus on a broad topic, such as web design. This page briefly covers everything relevant to that topic in a hierarchical structure. Then, you create shorter topic clusters for each subtopic that go into more depth.

For example, a topic cluster for the web design pillar page would focus on visual elements in web design, user experience, principles of good design, and front-end development. Each topic cluster would be linked to the pillar page and vice versa.

By following our guide, you should be able to create an effective SEO strategy in 2024 that helps your business grow online. You can benefit from greater online visibility, traffic, and increased conversions by implementing an effective SEO strategy. With so much to gain, why wouldn’t you give it a shot?