5 Critical Steps in 2020 to Create a Long-Term SEO Strategy for Better Search Ranking

Every business owner in 2020 understands the importance of a virtual presence for the success of a business. They also realize that for the success of the virtual presence, search engine optimization is probably as indispensable as the presence itself. But what they often fail to fathom is the necessity of an effective SEO strategy before they begin the process of optimization. Without strategic planning, the SEOs will not achieve the desired result for the business. Or worse, deliver results that do not align with the company goals.


The following steps are crucial to help every business owner to design and execute an ideal SEO strategy that will ensure better search ranking. They will also make sure that the website reaches the target audience. 

SWOT Analysis

Almost every business owner is aware of the necessity of a SWOT analysis. But an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is essential before you start planning your SEO strategy. A SWOT analysis of your current business website will help you to identify the areas that you need to concentrate on to improve the SEO. The strengths and weaknesses can be used to understand the internal factors of the website. On the other hand, opportunities and threats can help in foreseeing the external factors that can affect the business. These are some of the specific aspects that must get addressed for each element of a SWOT analysis.


  • Performing keywords

  • Present digital assets (fast website, high-quality content)

  • SEO advantages over competitors

  • Trending pages/content that drive the most traffic


  • Slow and heavy website

  • Irregularity of content

  • Low traffic contents and pages

  • Failed SEO activities


  • Better anchor texts and backlinks

  • Improving the UX

  • Optimizing rich snippets

  • Offers to increase conversions


  • Search engine algorithm updates

  • Better online presence of competitors

  • Fluctuations in the economy

  • Changes in social media outreach


Since your SEO efforts are a continuous and repetitive process, you should start each one with a SWOT analysis of your online presence.

Identify Goals 

Once you have completed your SWOT analysis, you should concentrate on identifying your SEO goals. Most businesses have two objectives they want to achieve through their SEOs.


  • Brand presence: Your first goal must be to get your brand in front of as many people as possible. For that, you will need to track the click-through rate (CTR), the number of pages visited per session and the bounce rate.

  • Conversion rate: The conversion rate can get measured by the sales generated through your website. It also includes the number of additions to your customer database through newsletter sign-ups or app downloads.

Determine Your Target Audience

Your next step should be to determine the target audience you want to reach through your SEOs. An effective way to know that is by creating buyer or marketing personas on analytical tools. Buyer personas virtually represent your consumers and help you to understand the market segments that are likely to purchase your products or services. You can use the inverted pyramid structure of obtaining data by looking at a broad overview first and then inspecting each demographic. You can get further information by conducting marketing surveys and customer interviews on your website.

Keyword Research

Most business owners undermine the stages of proper keyword research. Your keyword research should be directed towards achieving the two goals that we spoke about earlier. Most people use search engines to either find information or to complete an action. You must judge the position of your buyer personas in the conversion funnel accordingly. Your SEO strategy should be directed towards categorizing your keywords according to the personas and their intent. 


The first step should be to get the organic keywords that can increase the traffic and conversion rate of your website. You can use the analytics tool again to find the impressions created by the keywords and CTR generated by them. Once you have selected the appropriate keywords, use a SERP analyzer tool to understand the approximate traffic they can generate, and what ranking they can achieve. You can check the data to gather an estimate of the increase in traffic volume. 

Build Your Website for SEO

Including the keywords in the content will not be enough to generate traffic and rank your website higher. Use them strategically in different spots to maximize SEO effects. You must include them at specific places of every landing page to achieve the desired results.


  • URL: Introduce the keywords at the beginning of the URL for a page. They will tell your users as well as the web crawlers about the content of the page. If you want to include more than one keyword, use hyphens to separate them. Don't use underscores, since web crawlers don't recognize them.

  • Title tag: Title tags are the most essential attribute that web crawlers rely on to understand the content of the page. Therefore keywords must be added to the beginning of title tags for every page and content. Titles that are too long might get cut off on searches, so try to limit them to 60 characters at the maximum.

  • Headings: Web crawlers also use headings and subheadings to understand what the page or content is about, especially the <h1> tag. They would always relate the <h1> tags with the title and the content of the page. A well-structured page or content also fairs well for SEOs, so use the <h2> to <h6> tags at appropriate places. 

  • Meta description: Although web crawlers and search engines do not use meta descriptions to rank a webpage, they are useful for featured snippets. If your website appears on the first search result page, featured snippets can help you outrank the number one position on the page. Irrelevant meta descriptions can increase the bounce rate of your website. 


SEOs do not have a set and forget option, so they must be constantly tracked and periodically adjusted. While the SWOT analysis can help you to understand how to begin your SEO strategy, each step is essential to plan the implementation. You should monitor the performance regularly and make adjustments to the strategy as and when required.

About the Author


Usman Raza is the co-founder of Christian Marketing Experts and marketing strategist working with various brands online. Usman is the content marketing manager at PSD to WordPress, 2SecondPrayer, and The Dressing Table. He is devoted to helping small businesses bridge success gaps by providing in-depth, actionable advice on digital marketing, SEO, and small business growth. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.

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