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Search engine optimization is a never-ending game. With new updates, new search algorithms and new patterns of user behavior, it’s essential to stay up to date in order to maximize your site’s visibility in the search engines. To do this, you need to draw up an SEO plan to anticipate and see the big picture. In most cases, the game starts with keyword discovery – the words or phrases that describe your content specifically enough to appear in search results.

Once you know what you’re looking for, the next step is to determine how to write content that responds exactly to what Internet users type into search engines when they put your keyword in quotation marks. To do this, you’ll need an SEO plan. Whatever type of website or business you own or operate, it’s essential to have an effective SEO strategy for your domain in order to be found by users and crawlers.

A good search engine optimization strategy includes all the details, from on-page optimization techniques to off-site marketing tactics. An effective SEO plan organizes these details in a logical way so that anyone who encounters them understands what needs to be done and why it should be done in this way.

What is an SEO plan?

In simple terms, an SEO plan is a roadmap for how you will use keywords, off-site links, and other search engine optimization elements to get your content found by users and search engine crawlers. It’s a guide to all the actions you will take to drive traffic and gain authority in search results – all with the goal of driving traffic to your site to gain more clicks, sell items, and encourage customers to return.

An SEO plan is not a set of instructions for your team or people you interact with daily. It’s not a set of rules to blindly follow. Rather, it’s a strategic guide to all the ways you will use search engine optimization to grow your business and profit online.

An effective SEO plan includes:

  • Keyword research – Where to start?
  • On-page optimization and optimization techniques – What will you do on your site?
  • Off-site optimization – How will you get links from other websites?
  • Search engine algorithms and updates – Which search engines do you want to be visible on (Tier 1 or 2, geographic area, etc.)? How do updates affect SEO? What are the major trends on different search engines?
  • Penalties – What is going on in your relationship with search engines? Is your site facing penalties?

Checklist of Items to Include in Your SEO Plan

After reviewing the various elements comprising an SEO plan, it’s vital to delve deeper into the composition of each part. A comprehensive list of necessary items is essential, whether you aim to develop it internally or obtain it from an agency. This list serves as a yardstick for assessing the quality of the SEO strategy.

  • Keyword Research – The first step to finding the right keywords for your content is knowing what you’re trying to achieve. What are your SEO goals? What do you want your website to do? What are you trying to sell?
  • On-page Optimization – Keyword research is the first step, but it’s only part of an overall content strategy that involves on-page optimization like site architecture and any technical optimizations.
  • Off-site Optimization – Once you know what you’re trying to achieve with your SEO efforts, you can start thinking about how you’ll get links pointing to your different pages. What are the best methods for getting links to your site and generating traffic from other sites?
  • Search Engine Algorithms – Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving. They can change again at any time, and are constantly being improved. So it is necessary to monitor them regularly.
  • Penalties – What is going on with search engines? Risks for your site? Anticipate!

Building a Roadmap for Research

Keyword research is the most important part of your SEO strategy. You can write the most optimized pages in the world, but if your keywords have nothing to do with your content, modern search engines will completely ignore them.

Before starting keyword research, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to get out of your SEO efforts. What are your SEO goals? What are you trying to achieve? What are your business objectives? What results do you expect from SEO?

Once you’ve determined that, you can start researching keywords for your target keywords. To do this, you can start narrowing your keyword research down to a more specific set of keywords and factors. You need to know what your competitors are doing, what your customers are searching for, and what is trending in your niche to find the best keywords for your content. You can also use keyword research tools to help you find keywords for your content.

Keyword research is the first step in the process of finding the right keywords for your content. It’s a crucial part of your SEO strategy, but it’s only the beginning. Next, you want to look at keywords and factors that will help your content rank better in the SERPs.

On-page Optimization and Optimization Techniques – What will you do on your site?

Once you have your keywords, you need to make sure they are used properly. The most common mistake new keyword researchers make is using the wrong words or phrases in their content.

In addition, it is necessary to have a clean medium. The tagging of your pages is important, as is loading time and UX, for example. You need to have a site that complies with the usage of the different search engines you are targeting, but also the habits of your prospects!

So this document should note the optimization techniques you are going to develop (AMP, geographic tags, use of structured data, etc.).

Off-site Optimization – How will you get links from other websites?

Once you have your keywords, you need to think about how to get them to rank better on the first page of Google. In addition, you will need to focus on getting links from other websites. The plan should then define your link building strategy. Are you going to be borderline by creating PBNs (contrary to Google’s guidelines and which we strongly discourage)? Doing linkbait? Paying for sponsored content (also contrary to guidelines unless the link is clearly indicated as sponsored or nofollow)? Contacting sites directly to place a link there? Etc…

Google Updates – How do they affect SEO?

Search engine algorithms evolve in several ways that impact SEO. New algorithms. The new changes to page speed, link building, and anchor text have completely changed how search engines rank pages over the years.

The most important is Google’s update on how they use positive and negative signals to determine which pages to include in their search results. How keyword placement and domain authority used to work has been completely altered.

Here are some changes that can affect search engines:

  • Changes in how keyphrases are recognized.
  • Processing of mobile content
  • Processing of local pages;
  • Image processing;
  • Video processing;
  • Anchor text processing;
  • Language processing;
  • Duplicate processing;
  • No-follow link processing;
  • User Experience processing;
  • Modification of loading factors.

There are a number of updates that affect SEO overall. Among the most important for Google are the switch to mobile-first, the introduction of Accelerated Mobile Pages, and changes to Google Hummingbird, and the latest Core Update. Recently, on Bing, the user agent was changed. So we see, all engines evolve.

This section summarizes the various updates that have affected search engines. This point gives team members a clear idea of possible things to do and things that are not recommended.

Penalties – The Art of Anticipation

A number of changes affect how Google perceives websites and can impact your SEO strategy. New algorithms. New ways pages are recognized. New penalties. It is necessary to see if your overall plan poses any (even minimal) risk of receiving a penalty. You must be particularly attentive to this part when going into the Russian market, and especially Yandex. Indeed, it is known for its severity.


These are the essential categories, it is possible to add other parts to this plan, such as by implementing a special strategy for mobile. Indeed, if you couple your site with an app, you will have to implement an ASO strategy.

The same will have to be done if you are an e-commerce seller looking to sell on both your own site and platforms (like Amazon). In these conditions, you will have to add a “product search engine optimization” section.

In addition, this plan must be alive. It needs to be adapted to the evolution of your site, but also of search engines.

If you need help with creating or consulting on your SEO plan, our SEO agency is at your disposal.

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