Online marketing plan for business by SE Ranking


Step 1. Semantic core and keyword research


  • Analyze competitor keywords

Competitor research is one of the primary stages of the keyword collection process. The logic is simple: if a competitor’s website is ranked among the top search results, it contains keywords that already performed well on search engines, meaning that these keywords may work well for your website too.

Additional info:Keyword Planner

  •  Collect core keywords

A semantic core of a website is a collection of keywords that a) describe a business (product or service) and b) help promote the site and achieve better SERPs results.

Additional info:SE Ranking Keyword Suggestion Tool, Can long tail keywords double your traffic? Irrelevant keywords

  • Group the keywords from the final list

Keyword grouping refers to the process of breaking a list of keywords down into semantic clusters that allows you to distribute keywords between your site’s pages. Doing so helps avoid keyword cannibalization (when several pages of a single website compete for the same keyword or phrase in search).

Additional info:Top 3 Benefits of Using Keyword Grouping

Step 2. On-site optimization


  •  Install a web analytics tool and set up your goals

Web analytics tools monitor how much traffic your website is acquiring and how your visitors are interacting with your website. In order to measure performance, you need to set goals. A goal in the context of web analysis refers to a particular user action (a registration, a transaction, etc.) that the site’s owner defines as the targeted action. Setting up goals helps define your marketing strategy and make adjustments on the go.

Additional info:How to Set up and Edit Goals in Google Analytics, About Goals in Google Analytics, Google Analytics Features

  •  Add your website to Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool from Google that tracks website rankings. It serves as a mediator between the search engine and the webmaster that helps understand how the search engine ranks the website. In addition, it helps reveal website errors and identifies pages that are indexed and blocked. Generally, GSC data shows what needs to be fixed in order to enhance the site’s performance in search.

Additional info:Webmaster Tools Help Center, How to Add a Website to Webmaster Tools, How Google Search Works, Bing Webmaster Tools.

  •  Register a local business on Google Maps

For local queries like “pizza near me”, “best bar chicago”, or “dentist seattle”, Google displays a map with relevant businesses within the user’s vicinity. To get a business to appear on the map, the registration process should be completed. This will increase the overall search visibility of the site and will allow users of a particular region to find your local product or service.

Additional info:Local businesses, 16 Google SERP features you should monitor for better SEO.

  •  Create a logical site structure

The structure of the website is the way different elements of the site (sections, subsections, pages) are correlated and linked with each other. The structure should be transparent and logical so that search engine bots can easily scan the site and find all of its pages.

Additional info:How to Create a Site Structure

  •  Secure the website by migrating it to HTTPS

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) developed for safe communication. It is needed to maintain site’s security so that no information such as visitor actions or their contact details is retrievable. The presence of the HTTPS protocol has been an influential ranking signal since 2014.

Additional info:HTTPS as a ranking signal

  • Define the preferred domain (www or non-www)

From the point of view of search engines, and are two different pages, so defining the prefered domain will help avoid page duplication.

Additional info:Keeping or skipping www in your domain name

  •  Create a robots.txt file

The robots.txt file, also known as the robots exclusion protocol or standard, is a text file that tells search engine robots which pages on your site should and shouldn’t be crawled. For example, pages with sensitive data such as personal profiles, internal database information, files intended for internal use, etc. shouldn’t be crawled.

Additional info:Block or remove pages using a robots.txt file

  •  Create an XML sitemap

The sitemap.xml file is a document in the Extensible Markup Language (XML) format where all of the URLs of your website that you want to get indexed are listed (URLs, the date of their last update, update priority and frequency, and more). Sitemaps help search engine robots find and index your website’s pages faster.

Additional info:The Importance of XML Sitemap: Do you need to generate and submit it?, Submit a Sitemap to Google Search Console

  •  Set a language with .hreflang attribute

The .hreflang attribute is used to define a website’s language or a regional URL in case a website is translated into multiple languages. This attribute shows Google what URL to display in search results for a specific region.

Additional info:Use hreflang for language and regional URLs

  •  Create SEO-friendly URLs

An SEO-friendly URL means that it is easily readable and includes proper keywords: /-create-good-url instead of /xn--80ajgxi.xn--80aqcc%31bjd0be.xn--p1ai/. An optimized URL lets both users and search engine robots understand the content of the page right away. This has a positive effect on the page’s ranking.

Additional info:Keep a simple URL structure

  •  Use breadcrumb navigation

Breadcrumbs are graphic elements used to help users navigate your website. They show users how they moved between the site’s pages so that they don’t get lost and are easily able to go back. Breadcrumbs help search engines understand the hierarchy of the website’s pages. Search engines can parse breadcrumb data and display it in snippets that provide users with a short and attractive description of the page.

Additional info:Using breadcrumbs to add structured data

  •  Improve your SEO with user-friendly interlinking

Internal links are links that go from one page of a website to a different page of the same website. They are useful because they help users navigate the website, establish information hierarchy, and help spread link weight across the website. Plus, they enhance the site’s overall authority in search.

Additional info:Link architecture, Links report in Google Search Console

  •  Check HTTP status codes

An HTTP status code is the server’s response to a browser request that comes in the form of a three-digit code, where the first digit indicates one of the standard response classes. A regular review of status codes lets you know whether all pages of the website work like they’re supposed to. Search engines may lower the rankings of a website with a lot of pages that contain wrong response codes.

Additional info:301, 404, 503 and other scary numbers: how to treat them and why

  •  Use Canonical URLs

A lot of of websites have pages that contain the same information. Search engines may consider them to be duplicated content. The rel=”canonical” attribute shows search engine robots which duplicate page you want to get indexed.

Additional info:Specify your canonical, Consolidate duplicate URLs

  •  Check the markup validity of web documents in HTML

Markup validity means how the code conforms to open standards. If a website’s HTML code contains a lot of errors, it may negatively impact the website’s SERP rankings.

Additional info:Validation, Verification: HTML file

  •  Fix broken links

Broken links can harm the user experience, and as a result, negatively affect your website’s behavioral signals. Non-working links discourage users from further exploring the site. From the point of view of search engines, broken links mean an error. If a site has a great number of such errors, search engine robots will mark it as a low-quality website and decrease its overall search engine rankings.

Additional info:URL Removals Tool

  •  Mind the number of outbound links

If a website has a lot of non-relevant outbound links, search engines can consider its activity as a smap. For this reason, the website’s search engine rankings may drop dramatically.

Additional info:Linking out: Often it’s just applying common sense

  •  Improve the page load speed

Page load speed refers to the amount of time that’s required to load the page content. It is one of the most influential Google ranking factors.

Additional info:About Site Speed, Using site speed in web search ranking

  •  Create a 404 error page

The 404 status code is a response to a non-existing page that may occur if a page was redirected, deleted, renamed, if a user misspelled the URL, etc. All non-found pages should be redirected to a 404 error page that will inform users what happened and what they need to do.

Additional info:Soft 404 errors

Step 3. Mobile optimization


  •  Create a mobile version of your website

The share of users who prefer browsing websites on mobile devices over desktop keeps increasing. So mobile versions of websites should be tailored for the smaller screen to accommodate the user experience. As of April 2015, website’s mobile optimization has become a factor of Google search rankings. For more details, read about Accelerated Mobile Pages.

Additional info:Mobile-Friendly Test, Create an effective mobile site

  • Set up a redirect for mobile users

When users find a website in mobile search results, it’s important to redirect them to the mobile version of the website: from to Such redirects positively affect the website SERP rankings and usability.

Additional info:Google Starter Guide

  •  Use AMP to boost mobile loading speed

The page loading speed has a significant impact on the user experience, plus it’s an important ranking factor. Google’s project called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) was developed to improve the performance of mobile websites.

Additional info:About AMP

Step 4. Content strategy


  • Write a unique title for each page

The title tag is a part of the HTML code that helps search engines understand the content of the page. For this reason, title optimization is crucial for a page’s SERP ranking.

Additional info:Create good titles and snippets in Search Results

  •  Write a unique meta description for each page

The meta description is a tag in HTML that users see in the SERPs as a snippet, which is a preview of the page’s content that shows whether the page answers their search query and intent.

Additional info:Meta tags that Google understands, Create good titles and snippets in Search Results, How to set up rich snippets to boost your SEO results

  • Optimize H-tags (heading tags)

Heading tags are parts of the HTML code that indicate a title (a heading) and subheadings on a page. There are six levels of heading tags: from H1 (the most influential) to H6 (the least influential). A proper distribution of keywords between H-tags shows the search robots which keywords are more important than others.

Additional info:On-Site Optimization, The complete SEO anatomy of HTML h1 to h6 header tags

  •  Use alt tags in every image

The alt attribute or alt tag is an HTML attribute for a text that describes an image in detail. It must be placed directly in the image tag. Alt tags help search engines quickly get a better understanding of what’s illustrated on an image. Alt tags also help users. If by any reason an image is not displayed, users will see its description. Plus, it is used by screen readers.

Additional info:Image publishing guidelines, About Images

  •  Optimize content both for robots and humans

Search engine robots are on the user’s side because they appreciate unique and useful content. It’s crucial to include keywords in your content, but they need to make sense and look naturally in the text.

Additional info:Steps to a Google-friendly site, 10 SEO content factors you need to focus on

  •  Create fresh and trendy content

Website content should meet user intent and demand, be eye-catching and relevant.

Additional info:Google Trends Support Center

  •  Develop a content plan

The content plan is a list of content pieces with defined due dates. Regular content updates on a site play a significant role in the website’s SERP standings. The content plan helps keep track of the upcoming pieces of content, streamlining the content creation and publication processes.

  • Add a blog to your website

A blog is a powerful marketing tool that should be used to attract, engage, and ultimately, convert users. Blogs can also help significantly improve your website’s SERP standings.

Additional info:Create a blog, How to make your content go viral without cats and babie

Step 5. Off-site optimization


  • Mind both a quantity and quality of a site’s backlinks

Backlinks – the links that lead from different web sources to our website – play significant role in a search ranking of the site. It’s important to mind the balance between a quantity and a quality of backlinks since both of them impact the backlink profile.

Additional info:How to use backlinks?, 13 metrics to identify quality backlinks

  •  Analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles

Competitor research is a key stage of the link-building strategy. Analyzing the backlinks of competitors that rank among the top of the search results helps you understand what a successful backlink profile should look like.

Additional info:Building links like you never thought is possible

  •  Create a link-building strategy

The link-building strategy refers to your website’s priorities for getting backlinks. It depends on the current status of your backlink profile and backlinks of your top-ranking competitors.

Additional info:Effective low budget link building, The True Value of DoFollow and NoFollow Links for SEO

  •  Cooperate with websites by sharing relevant content within the niche

One of the crucial factors of a quality backlink is the relevance of the host website. Backlinks from websites that are thematically related are more valuable than a link from an authoritative but unrelated site. For this reason, you should exchange and guest blog on resources that are popular in your targeted niche.

Additional info:How to Make a Perfect Guest Post

  •  Participate in niche forum discussions and answer the questions

Users potentially interested in some product or service often browse relevant forums searching for fresh information and reviews. Active participation in forums or blogs discussions can contribute to the website’s ranking and stimulate traffic growth. Besides, Q&A platforms (Yahoo Answers, Google Answers, Answerbag, Quora, Reddit, etc.) can be used not only for getting interesting opinions on different subjects but also for growing brand awareness and attracting targeted users to the website.

Additional info:Building links like you never thought is possible, SEO for Quora: Tips on How to Attract New Customers

  • Encourage users to write reviews about your product or service

There are review aggregators where users share their opinion about services/products and make a decision whether to try the service/product. Search engines evaluate mentions and reviews of a website, so the reviews impact the ranking, especially in local SEO.

Additional info:Tips for Writing Great Reviews, Building links like you never thought is possible

  •  Use images, videos, and documents for website promotion

Infographics, videos, webinars, podcasts, PDF documents, and images are types of shareable content that can increase website search visibility in video, image, and document search results. The key to an efficient use of multimedia files lies in their proper optimization.

Additional info:Video optimization tips, Tips for optimizing your video campaign, Image optimization, How and why you should optimize your images

Step 6: Social media strategy


  •  Learn the social signals model of your industry

Social media shares increase the visibility of the page and its user engagement metrics which lead to an increase in the page’s SERP ranking. Before starting a social media campaign, define the type of content that will strike a chord for a particular business segment

Additional info:Your guide to social signals for SEO

  • Strive to create viral content

Active and influential accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other major social platforms will help drive additional traffic and attention to your brand. They can also be very contributive to the website’s search engine rankings.

Additional info:Your guide to social signals for SEO, How to make your content go viral without cats and babies

  • Add social media buttons to your website

Social media buttons are icons (on a page’s header, sidebar or footer) that allow users to share the page’s content via social media in a single click. This helps spread the word quickly.

Additional info:Add social media buttons

  •  Use the Open Graph protocol for social media posts

Open Graph is a protocol that allows you to control the way your social media posts look when sharing articles from your website. It’s a set of meta tags that structure the information in the post (headline, description, preview) so that it attracts more clicks and shares

Additional info:Open Graph Protocol


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