SEO Strategy: Research to do BEFORE the Optimisation Process
Understand Your Audience
The first of these preparatory steps is to understand your audience. Who are they and what do they want or need?
The next step, once you have identified your audience, is to perform an SEO audit. This process helps to triage the site you’re trying to drive traffic toward. Does the site have technical issues that are making it difficult for search engines to crawl? Is the content structured in a way that is confusing, not only to the user but to search engines as well? Is the site mobile friendly?
Up next is the content audit. Your content is what will help expose your site to your target audience at the right moment in their journey, and it’s worth it to get it right. The other step that should be part of your content audit is to review content themes. Do similar pieces of content truly need to be separate, or are they more powerful as one piece of content? For content and keyword themes, the focus needs to be on the intent behind the query: what the searcher is looking for.
Finally, a thorough competitive analysis will help to develop how you should set your expectations. How hard are your competitors hitting the marketing channels? Are your competitors keeping current with what is important for their customers, or still telling their customers what is important? Are you in a position to put your content in head-to-head competition and be the expert? How do you rank when it comes to authoritative and trustworthy content that your audience needs?