Creating an Effective Search Engine Optimization Strategy (SEO) In 2021

step-by-step SEO strategy guide
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SEO 2021: The Ultimate Definitive Guide Every SEO Expert Should Have

I intend to keep this post simple so that everyone can easily understand it. In the post, I will look at how both the new and the seasoned SEO expert can create, develop, and implement an effective SEO strategy in 2021.

I will use a simple, straight, and effective step-by-step guide to give you exactly that. This is an approach that I have used before and which has helped my website to garner over 150,000 organic web visitors monthly.

That’s why if you are looking for the best Google Rankings in 2021, you should seriously consider following this strategy.

Let’s dig in.

SEO Strategy: What Is It?

An SEO strategy (Search Engine Optimization Strategy) is also called an SEO approach. It is the smart process of planning, developing, outlining, and applying, special steps that are designed to boost your rankings in the Search Engine Optimization platform.

In simple terms, Search Engine Optimization Strategy is the process that a SEO expert can follow to generate or attain more traffic to their website. In this case organic traffic.

With that said, here are the smartest step-by-step SEO strategy guide that has helped me to get the best rankings, and which you can also use to boost your organic traffic in 2021.

Table of Contents

Now let’s take a deeper look in each and every step that I have laid down here in order to get a better understanding on how they will impact your SEO strategy.

Step I: Create the List of Best Keywords

There is no doubt that everything you are going to do to impact your SEO will depend on your choice of Keywords.

That’s why, having a deep keyword research is often recommended by the expert as the first step on a legitimate SEO strategy.

One of the best ways to get the KWs that’ll target the searches that your customers make online is by using Google Suggest.

It is also the simplest ways to get the best KWs.

How does Google Suggest Work?

Simple. You just need to start typing a keyword in Google Search Tab and Google will automatically populate several other KWs for you.

This is the best way to determine the most relevant KWs since the suggestion list that you will end up with comes straight from Google itself.

In that regard, you will get a true suggestion that people are actually searching for these KWs that Google had suggested for you.

In addition to that, the suggestions that Google often make for you here are the “long tail keywords” which are usually less competitive compared to the “short tail” keywords.

When going for long tail keywords, you will realize that they have lower search volumes. However, you shouldn’t worry as much since they are the easiest to rank for.

So once you get the keyword root that you intend to use, you can type it on the “Google Search Tab” on a new search window to get a list of other high ranking keywords that you can use.

In case you want to search for the search volumes of the keywords that you have rounded up, you can always choose to go with the following:

  • Keyword Tool
  • SEMrush
  • Ubersuggest

And if you intend to delve deeper into the art of keyword search, you can follow this link for a comprehensive video analysis. Remember, with at least 10 keywords, you can always cross to the next step.

Target High Commercial Intent Keywords

Now you have found a couple of best ranking keywords for your use. What next?

The most sensible thing to do right now is to determine what is already working for the keywords that you have chosen.

To get the clearest picture, I always type one of the keywords that I have jotted down into the Google search bar.

Once I have done that, I will then scan the top 10 results that Google ranks for the same key word that I typed in.

What Does Scanning the Pages Mean?

It means looking through the SERPs to determine some unique patterns that you might notice on the pages that have been ranked.

For example, if your search keyword was “SEO Tips” you will realize that the top ten “SERPs” are filled with a list of SEO Tips.

The titles will have something like this:

  • The top 10 SEO tips…
  • 5 SEO tips…
  • The best SEO tips…
  • Awesome SEO tips…

As such, if your intention was to cover this topic for your website, you’d want to keep in mind that the first page of the results that you get are made of a lists.

So to get into contention for the same first page ranking, the sensible thing to do would be to publish a list too.

That’s just about it. Now onto the next step.

Step III: Create Something Unique or Better

Anyone who has been in SEO understands the need for a unique touch to everything that you create. Originality is key if you want to rank and there is no shortcut to that.

So to get noticed by the search engines, there is no better way to do that than to create some high-quality content.

The content must be original and unique. So how can you achieve that? Simple. You either create something:

  • Different
  • Better

This is the secret of creating the best SEO content at any given time. So take a look at how every one of them applies.

Something Different

Before you create your content you must go through the competitor websites and contents. This allows you to determine what they have and in so doing realize what you can do differently.

This means that instead of focusing on doing something better, you will be opting for something unique and pretty much unattached.

This is because doing this helps your content to simply stand out.

A good example is this: Let’s say that you wanted to write about the “SEO Tips” and you notice that everyone out there was concentrating more on the:

Top ten SEO tips, New SEO tips, and Simple SEO tips, then you can make the change and create something different such as “the definitive guide to SEO strategy no one tells you about.”

In so doing, you would have created something totally different. That’s the way to go if you need an original content.

When you do this with your content, you will get more shares, more comments, and eventually better ranking. But most of all, you will get the best backlinks which is what every SEO expert is looking for if they want to rank.

Something Better

Sometime, you will notice when you go through specific keyword-based contents that they are shallow or that they just don’t click.

Once you notice that, you can always fill up the space by focusing on what was either left out or the catch that was missing.

This how you create something better. However, it is very important to ensure that what you have created is actually many-X better than the original content.

For instance, I have seen people publishing “Google’s ranking tricks” with posts of about 10 to 40 ranking tricks.

To create something better, I decided to come up with Google’s 200 Plus Ranking Tricks: The Complete Guide for 2021.

Now you can see what I mean by something better. It requires putting in a lot of work to get closer to victory.

So if someone thought it would a walk in the park, then you are mistaken. I’ve got news for you. You must work to rank – always focus on being better than the competition.

Step IV: Add the Punch Line

Another thing that you must understand if your intentions is to rank in 2021 or thereafter is this. You will always require the backlinks.

In fact from one of the latest studies (MOZ BLOG) that I have come across, there is still an unbreakable bond between link creation and Google page ranking.

Which means that link creation is still a very important factors when it comes to getting the best position on the SERPs.

But how do you ensure that you don’t miss out on that? Well you’d have to determine why some content in your niche has better links than others and it all boils down to the “punch line” and nothing else.

While some people refer to it as the hook, I call it the punch line.

Here is an example that you can work with. In the previous years (around two years back) I noticed a growing trend on posts that talked more on visual search.

But again, I also noticed something peculiar. I noticed that whenever they talked about visual search, they linked more on the content that featured some data or stats.

So instead of advising new writers to concentrate on visual search based content, I encouraged them to do online-based research on visual search and write on their findings.

This strategy helped one of my readers to get over 800+ backlinks in no time. And when I looked at the analysis of the website, I noticed that close to 90% of the backlinks cited the stats on the post.

So what was the punchline in this post? The Data of course. That’s the hooker. As it stands, data and stats are some of the best punch-lines that you can use.

The other glues that will seal the deal, which I have noticed lately are the following:

  • Ultimate guides
  • Newbies posts
  • Step by step guides

When you use the guide, you realize that it helps other writers who intend to mention a topic to link to your website and provide their readers with a comprehensive outlook on the same.

Step V: Optimize for On-Page SEO

After having your punchline down, your next big task will be to optimize your website for On-Page-SEO.

However, this is a topic that I can go about for hours. So it will be very difficult to comprehensively tackle it in such a limited time frame.

Nonetheless, you are free to check out the comprehensive guide on On-Page-SEO from one of my posts.

With that said, let me give you the top three On-Page-SEO strategies that will work for you anytime and more importantly in 2021.

Short Keyword-Based Urls

After analyzing about 1 million search results from Google, we found out something that came as a huge surprise to many.

When it comes to SEO, the short keyword-based Urls trounced the long keyword-based urls. This was rather new contrary to what we have always thought.

Since then, I have concentrated more on making keyword-based urls or simply adding a single word into my keyword-based url.

Beyond that, I don’t dare to go. Thankfully, both ways have worked marvelously for me and today I have some of the best ranks for most of my SEO based write-ups.

Internal Linking

What’s better than linking onto your pages internally? It is a trick that enables the reader to spend more time on your website and to learn more from your content.

Even so, it is very important that the content that you create is original unique, and better. Nonetheless, it is also important that you do your internal linking in the right way.

One simple tip that will help you is to link from pages with higher authority to the pages that require the same authority.

Another tip is to use keyword-rich anchor texts for your internal linking. In case you have a new post that you want to link internally, find a high ranking page in your website and backlink from that post. Simple!

Sematic SEO

Sematic SEO is one of the simplest tricks that many SEO experts have specialized in. How does Sematic SEO work?

It is simple. You will find words that are pretty much related to your main keyword then use those word in your new content.

You can always rely on “Google Suggest” to get a list of phrases that’ll work for you at any time.

When you have typed the word on Google’s search bar, you can then scroll to the bottom of the page to get other “Searches related to … (your keyword).

You can then use these suggestions on your content so that you get better ranking. It is simple but effective, as years of experience has suggested the same.

Step VI: Optimize for the Search Intent

Sometimes you will create a content and fail to squeeze through to the first page of the Google search results page.

One of the reasons for this might be that the content didn’t satisfy the “search intent” of the keyword that you used.

Let me explain…

You might want to create a content on “SEO tips” and in doing so, give your reader a “hidden” touch to the content.

For instance you might choose such a title: Better Ranks: Use these 10 SEO Tips.

However, upon scouting the SERPs you realize that the pages that rank are focused on “straight up listing” such as:

  • 50 SEO tips for the year 2021
  • 27 SEO tips to rank high
  • 15 Easy SEO Tips to rank in 2021

Then this should be a red flag. Your content doesn’t match the search intent of the search engines. As such, you will be safe if you change the content to provide the exact experience that user want.

Changing your title to: 10 Best SEO tips for better ranks will work a miracle. In other words you will have changed your post into a “list” instead of a broad based suggestion.

If you find that the SERPs rank pages that offer non-technical steps, going with the same will provide better page ranking boost.

This is a great way to keep visitors glued to your website. It offers low or zero bounce back rates and will eventually rank you among the best pages.

Step VII: Make Awesome Content

I don’t intend to sugar coat this.

Here is the real deal. You can have the best content.

But if the design is whack, nobody will want to look through it.

That’s why, design, though one of the most underrated part of SEO, still plays a key role on how the visitors react to your content.

For instance, I know that you have seen some of my “definitive guides” pages, right? I take my time to ensure that the design is unique and coded from scratch 100% – no templates.

That’s expensive if you ask me. However, it is worth every dollar that I put in there. So if you didn’t know it, good content will force you to break the bank.

In case you are looking for some could visual content that you can easily pull off, you can always start here.

Screenshots and Pictures

If you have noticed that I use so many screenshots in most of my posts then this is the reason why.

I don’t use the screenshots just for the sake of it. Actually, I use them when they are helpful in the implementation of a specific step.

If they lead you through a step in the simplest way, I will use them. With that said, here is what you should know about screenshots.

They are sensible when you are describing a technical step

However, if you are working on a niche that is non-technical, making use of pictures will have an equivalent impact.

Someone who is in the fitness niche can easily use pictures to demonstrate how specific workouts are done.

Graphics and Visualizations

Another important tip that you can resort to is the use of graphics and visualizations. These will come in form of charts.

However, instead of visualizing stats, they will work to help readers to visualize concepts instead.

And just so you know, these types of graphics and visualizations don’t have to be in any ways fancy.

For instance if you intend to show a reader how different versions of their websites should redirect readers to the same “main” website, you can use graphics and visualizations.

Take a look at how that works.

Blog Posts Banners

While screenshots and graphics will serve a practical purpose, the same cannot be said about banners.

Depending on the posts that you intend to make, banners will simple have a cool effect on your overall web design.

That’s still important especially if your main goal is to draw more readers to your website and keep them glued in.

Banners are easy to play around with and you can either set them on the right side of the post or at the top of the post so long as you achieve the cool effect.

Graphs and Charts

I know that you must be very conversant with the use of graphs and charts. But did you know that they kind of have a great impact on the content that you create? Well, they do.

That’s why if you look closely you’ll realize that I always try to use at least a graph in my contents.

The reason for this is simple.

The use of graphs will make hard to comprehend data easy to read and understand.

This will include stats and data from research and studies.

Graphs and charts will also highlight huge numbers in the simplest ways possible.

So you won’t have to picture how 1billion searches will look – instead you just have to look at the graph.

Again, the use of charts can give you some cool backlinks when people site your stats.

Step VIII: Build Links to the Page

The next integral step and possible the biggest challenge that most site owners have is building links to their websites pages.

As such, I am going to start by looking at top three link building strategies that have taken the SEO world by storm right now.

Broken Link Building

The trick to broken link building is to find a broken link on a website that works on the same niche as you and then offer your link as a viable replacement.

It will take you so much research to be able to find such links. But when you do, it won’t hurt to offer your link.

Remember, you can get to the website owner through an email. In the email, you shouldn’t request to link, that way, you will seem like someone who’s offering substandard goodies.

That’s why you should create great content. With such a content you will have enough confidence to offer your link.

Evangelist Technique

This is a technique that’s less on links but more on getting the content that you’ve created to the right people (people who run same niche blogs).

One trick that I learnt with this method is to create content case study. When you have finally found the data or stats, you can then determine the people who have created content in line with the same study.

You can use a tool like BuzzSumo. Then finally when you have these contents you can email the creators and offer your research.

You don’t have to ask for a “share” instead, I let the people who find it vital for their website to share my findings.

Competitor Analysis

This is an old school strategy.

However, you can still make use of it (remember, old is gold).

To use this strategy, here is what you need to do.

First find a website that ranks for the same keyword that you also want to rank for.

Then look through the top results and determine their backlinks.

Once you determine the domains that the page is linked from.

You can go ahead and try and get some of the links that they have.

To make this work, I will go through their backlinks (one-by-one), find where my link adds value.

That’s just about it!

Step IX: Improve and Update the Content

The final SEO strategy that most websites are using to rank right now is improving and updating their content.

A content that’s improved or updated will have a fresh touch to it. Google loves this fresh touch and will rank old but improved content above new content.

I guess the assumption is that, old contents that are regularly updated are rich in facts and research.

They are, therefore, much more comprehensive and progressive compared to the newly created contents.

Even so, there are tricks to this.

First you don’t want to just post the same old content and call it new – this won’t work.

Secondly, it makes sense to replace old screenshots with new screenshots or even graphs.

Thirdly, you should add new points that you didn’t include in the previous type of content.

Next you can eliminate or delete the tricks, tips, strategies, or methods that no longer work.

The result will be a massive organic boost.

Updating and improving your content requires you to research a lot. You should be ready for this if you want the best ranking on SERPs.

Tell Me What You Think

Do you have anything to add?

Has these strategies worked for you too?

Let’s share to develop each other.

You can leave a comment, reach me through mail, or go through our contact box.

There is never enough information when it comes to developing the best SEO strategies.

The year is 2020 and technology is as dynamic as it comes. So feel free to help us develop by giving us an additional tip.


Are you working on ranking highest on SERPs? Get the best SEO strategies today. We have the tricks that work!

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