Cultivating a solid SEO strategy is a lot like having a garden. Results aren’t always immediate and your SEO timeline may be unique, but after some caretaking, the hard work pays off.

The flourishing results that an SEO strategy provides are worth the wait. However, before you invest in an SEO strategy for your business, it’s important to have a good understanding of what a prosperous strategy looks like. We’ve put together the following SEO guide to give you an idea of what goes into a growing and thriving SEO program.

Website Audit: Clear the Ground

Before we jump into SEO, it’s crucial that your website has the ability to make a great first impression. Keep in mind that a successful SEO strategy will get your website found. You wouldn’t lead folks to your garden if nothing was planted, right? Before you begin your SEO journey, it’s important that your website is aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and on-brand.

A great way to ensure your website is ready for visitors is through a website audit. A website audit is the time to take a deep dive into the technical and not-so-technical areas of your website to assess strengths, weaknesses, and uncover areas of opportunity.

Technical SEO: Improve Your Soil

Once your website audit is complete, it’s time to begin the rewarding process of your SEO strategy. Within the first couple months, it’s important to make technical SEO fixes; these fixes will allow all relevant pages of your site to be easily found, crawled, and indexed by search engines. It’s a lot like preparing your soil for healthy plant growth.

A few key factors in having a good first impression with both humans and web crawlers include:

  • Navigation
  • Mobile friendliness
  • Site architecture
  • Structured data
  • Website speed

These technical modifications may produce small and temporary spikes in traffic. However, if the website is brand new or in the early stages of SEO, it’s unlikely that rankings or return on investment (ROI) will change much during this time.

On-Page SEO: Plant Your Seeds

Due to something called “semantic search,” on-page optimization is a bit more complex than it used to be. Semantic search describes a search engine’s attempt to generate the most accurate results.

Semantic search has shifted the way marketers approach on-page optimization by making it more important to optimize for user intent rather than individual keywords. This is why it’s helpful to use the website audit as a reference and keyword research to assess which pages are in need of optimization.

After planting your newly optimized pages, impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and overall visibility in search engines may start to grow. This commonly occurs around 3-6 months into your SEO timeline.

Off-page SEO: Get enough sunlight

Off-page SEO is pretty much what it sounds like—it refers to external factors that impact a website’s ability to rank—like sun and water to a garden. The goal is to build a sustainable backlink structure of trusted referral links on other credible websites.

The key to developing a good backlink structure is creating content that people find interesting enough to share. The more credible backlinks your website receives the more authority it will get from search engines.

Search engines typically start taking notice around months 6-9 as ongoing content promotion helps establish your brand as a proven thought leader across the web. The quality and consistency of organic search traffic will start picking up momentum as popular content published early on continues getting shared, promoted and indexed across the web.

Analyze and Improve: Continue Caring for Your Plants

Growing and improving your digital garden needs to be an ongoing practice. From analyzing historical data to fine-tuning everything you’ve been working on, it is crucial to keep an eye on your website and make sure it continues to thrive.

Monthly SEO maintenance takes the form of content creation, technical upkeep, and aesthetic changes to help improve user experience and boost lead generation.

Search engines love movement—the key is to never let your strategy become complacent. If executed correctly, the compounding power of SEO will yield quicker results and long-term ROI.

Seeing Results: Enjoy Your Thriving Garden

Even with a good strategy in place, it can still take months of dedicated work for websites to earn credibility with search engines and grow organically. But boy, does it feel good once the results start rolling in!

With SEO, it is all about the bigger picture. An SEO strategy, much like a garden, is a long-term investment. There will be ups and downs, but at the end of the day, the results are extremely rewarding and impressive.

Not sure how to get started on building your own SEO strategy? At Gemini: Advanced Marketing Solutions, we’ll work closely with you to establish your goals, set expectations, and create a holistic program and timeline for your website. If you’re ready to start planting your digital garden, get in touch with Gemini today!