Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the pillars of digital marketing. Not only will it expose your brand to a huge stream of traffic, but it will also help establish your authority in your niche.
As a blogger, ranking highly in search results is a big step towards thought leadership. But it sure won’t be an easy road. In fact, even if you reach the top spot, you still need extensive SEO campaigns to maintain your position.
You don’t sleep on the job. Otherwise, your competitors will catch up to you real soon.
That’s why it’s important to think ahead and start preparing for your SEO game plan this coming 2017. However, your strategy should not only cover the basics such as on-page optimization. You need a thorough approach that encompasses other areas as well – from blog post design to aggressive keyword research.
Below are five blogs that can guide you in planning your 2017 SEO strategy:
1. Ahrefs.com – Keyword Research
For an SEO campaign or any digital marketing strategy for that matter, success boils down to a solid keyword strategy.
Take note that keywords set the groundwork that affects the direction of link-building and content optimization. And to keep your keyword strategy updated, one of the best resources to use would be this post from Ahrefs Blog.
Every experienced online marketer knows that Ahrefs is a powerful SEO backlink and competitor research platform. However, it also provides insightful blog posts that can help you grow.
In Ahref’s “19-Step Keyword Research Process”, you will learn the exact steps on how to discover keyword opportunities that will generate a ton of traffic. The best thing about it is that you’re mostly going to use free tools that you probably already have – such as a spreadsheet software and an internet browser.
2. Moz.com – Content Creation
No matter what stage you are in SEO, content is the bread and butter that will mobilize your strategy.
Whether you’re writing guest posts, creating posts for your blog, or sending out newsletters, you need quality content to win the trust of your audience. Great content is also the key to impressing Google. If you can provide content that’s relevant and valuable to your audience, then your blog will be seen worthy of high rankings.
This “Whiteboard Friday” post from Moz unveils the essential steps for creating killer content. It provides a point-by-point breakdown of the essential factors that determine SEO-friendliness – from anchor text optimization to click-through rate optimization.
3. ContentMarketer.io – Content Promotions
When it comes to SEO and online marketing, there’s no such thing as “build it and they will come.”
Just because you have the best content in the world, doesn’t mean you can just sit back and watch people flood to your website. You need active effort in promoting your content on various digital touchpoints.
By now, everyone knows the popular channels for content distribution. This includes social media, mailing lists, and paid influencers. To take content promotions to a whole new level, you can refer to this guide by ContentMarketer.io for 100+ ideas for promoting your content.
4. HubSpot.com – SEO-Friendly Blog Design
Apart from the actual content, there are other elements in a blog that contribute to rank-worthiness.
For example, headers are important SEO elements that help not only search engine crawlers but your readers as well. Everything must also be optimized for mobile viewing since more than half of search engine users are now coming from mobile devices.
You can refer to this post from HubSpot to learn the latest blog design trends that affect SEO. You may already be aware of a few of them, but you should always listen to the experts and follow their examples
5. Gotch SEO – Case Studies
Speaking of listening to experts, reading about them isn’t enough. You have to see them in action to know exactly how each strategy works.
For this purpose, you need data-driven case studies with actual results and screenshots – and that’s exactly what you’ll get from this post from Gotch SEO.
One of the best things about case studies is that they also show how to execute specific steps firsthand. The important thing is that you can integrate the information you learn into your SEO strategy.
If you’re serious about blogging, then you should be up for the challenges of online marketing – including how to rank for search engines. Using the resources above, you can equip yourself with the knowledge needed to stay competitive for another year.