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The search engine optimization strategy that works (SEO strategy)

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A successful Internet project includes technical tasks and Internet marketing.

INTERVALG has in the staff and good web developers, and experienced marketers. We have repeatedly written about web integration – planning and solving problems for the integrated development of the site. Marketing poses challenges for technical support, which implements new opportunities for promotion.

For successful development of the site you need a comprehensive marketing strategy. The strategy can be framed as you like – in the table, in the Gantt chart, in the todo list. The main thing is that it should be understandable and bring the result. We give an example of part of the strategy of integrated marketing – SEO strategy.

In the process of working on the promotion of online stores and corporate sites, we have identified task blocks. This is the foundation of the SEO strategy. These are mandatory tasks that are suitable for any project. The difference is only in scale and labor intensity, as a consequence. In the article we give the first 6 stages of the strategy. They guarantee the result.

The goal of the SEO strategy is to increase the search traffic for targeted requests in the shortest possible time.

If you want to get SEO-instruction for self-promotion of the site for all occasions, I will disappoint you. This is a complex, responsible, time-consuming work. In order not to go astray, the strategy of website promotion is mandatory.

Step One – The Semantic Core

The general algorithm of work on the promotion of any site:

Customers who have changed more than one promotion contractor will understand me – they all do the same thing, only they are called by different names and report differently. For example, we measure search traffic, positions, development of our specialists in hours. Content is the backbone of any website. The semantic core is the foundation for content.

Work with website promotion begins with the development of a semantic kernel .

In short, this is a table with key phrases that users who want to use the services or buy your products enter the search system. Key phrases in the table are categorized. For example, “leather sofas”, “sofas made of cloth.”

The process of splitting phrases into categories is called grouping. In the future, for these categories of requests, we customize the pages of the site.

An example of a table with key phrases of an online store of designer furniture.

The average task of compiling the semantic core of the online store takes ~ 20 hours of work of an adult specialist.

We believe that the semantic core should be updated once in six months. Therefore, there are 2 important points in the SEO strategy:

  1. If the semantic core has not been updated for a long time, it needs to be updated.
  2. You should not collect the most complete and detailed kernel of millions of phrases. Prepare as much as you can “digest” for six months. Then prepare the next part.

How to understand what phrases to take in the work for the next six months? Together with the customer we determine the priority directions of services and categories of the product catalog. The choice depends on the season, profitability of certain business lines.

To make a good semantic core, we have developed regulations. Regulation allows using the right questions and actions to get the desired result.

As a result of working on the semantic core, you will have commercial requests with high conversion, resistant to seasonal factors. With these requests we will work further.

Pay attention, not always in the kernel should be only commercial conversion requests. If you develop an information site or a city portal, you will not have any “commerce” at all.

Summary of the first step:

  • We collected a semantic core;
  • Have grouped the key phrases into categories.
  • We do not make any changes to the site. The semantic core for SEO is like a TK for a site. You can not do it, but the result is unpredictable;).

Step Two – Evaluating Queries and Ranking the Kernel

Begin the advancement with certain groups of words. The kernel ranking stage answers the question – in which order to work out the key phrases. We prepared the kernel for six months of work, now we define the groups of requests for each month.

We apply Excel and its magic formulas to solve the issues:

  1. What are the key phrases that are economically beneficial for the site, and which ones are not.
  2. Which phrases will bring the traffic faster.
  3. What phrases easily move to the top, which – no.
  4. For which requests you will need to purchase links.

For ranking we use a semantic core and additional data obtained from search engines and other services – frequency, seasonality, average click price in contextual advertising, average cost of links on exchanges.

We have a special file-blank with a “control panel”. We collect data, set up the workpiece. For projects under Google and Yandex, the settings are different. Seasonality factors also influence. Start the Solution search.

The result is a list of query groups ranked by the task. The further work proceeds in the order received by means of Excel. An example of the control panel settings for calculating the order of work with building subject queries.

Evaluation and ranking of inquiries for an online store of ~ 12 thousand items takes 2 full working days, 16 hours.

The third step – Drawing up the structure of the site

This stage is controversial. Historically, there are 2 approaches to website development: the SEO approach and the User approach. Their differences are precisely when the site structure should appear.

Supporters of the SEO-approach (oddly enough, 100% seo-shniki) argue that starting the development of the site without having on hand a detailed map of sections of the site is a deadly sin.

The user approach says that the site should be done for people. If your customers are primarily interested in seals, put the button “Cat” on the first screen and the first place in the menu.

Practice shows that if you try and do well, both approaches give the same result;)

Since we are talking about SEO strategies, we will use the SEO approach to website development. If the site is already working, it’s okay, the structure can always be adjusted, and search traffic should be redirected to new partitions. The story of how to correctly configure the 301-th redirect , is described in our blog.

Why does the site have the correct structure:

  1. Be above competitors in the search. Sites with convenient navigation show good results.
  2. The site is indexed faster. The search engine does not waste time on non-priority categories.
  3. The “internal weight” of the pages is distributed competently. Most of the internal links get important categories of the site.
  4. Users find information faster, experience less inconvenience. Improved user factors of the site.

To develop the structure of the site, we use the semantic core and the results of the kernel ranking, made at the previous stages. Use FreeMind or XMind for visualization.

The result is approximately the following picture. The structure must be agreed with the customer. Next, we customize the catalogs on the site in accordance with the structure.

The first three stages of work on SEO-strategy do not affect the search traffic directly. They provide the basis for all subsequent steps and actions for search engine optimization.

The fourth stage – Technical page setup

At this step, smoothly turn to the technique. Our task at this step is to get a quickly indexed site without technical errors from the perspective of the search engine. What does it mean:

  1. All important and user-required pages must return a status code of 200.
  2. Duplicates of information are evil both from the user and from the machine point of view. If technically the question can not be solved, read about our experience of setting “canonical addresses” .
  3. Minimize the number of 301/302 redirects. It is better to refuse.
  4. The site should not have internal (that is, within the site) links to non-existent pages 404.
  5. There should also be no server errors 500.

How to find incorrect pages? There are a lot of programs and services for scanning (they also say “parsing”) of the site, use any. We use the program ComparseR and the Serpstat service.

The list of incorrect pages and recommendations for correction is prepared by SEO-shnik. The programmer implements on the site.

It is important not to forget about the integration component and the integrated approach.

We saw projects with strong SEO specialists, but without programmers. We saw technically advanced projects without a gram of SEO. In both cases, the site and the customer suffered.

Develop the project in a complex way! For example, under our management.

Why this step is important:

  1. Incorrect pages litter the site. If the user hits the 404 page, he is forced to make extra efforts to navigate the site. Not everyone likes this.
  2. Often superfluous pages duplicate the information of the important pages. The search engine will get confused.
  3. Each site has a certain limit on indexing (pages per day / week / month). It is better to use this limit on useful pages.
  4. The absence of extra pages guarantees the usefulness of information for the user, fast indexing, traffic growth.

The fifth step – Analysis of the “mobility” of the site and the implementation of important recommendations

In August 2017, 66.3% of traffic to sites with the installed Liveinternet counter (388 thousand sites) was from mobile devices .

Our goal is to quickly gain the growth of search traffic. Putting an order in a mobile or adaptive version will give the site an advance in the confidence of search engines.

If the site on the phone looks bad or does not work at all, mobile traffic and subsequent conversions will not be. Yandex and Google can artificially understate the search site without a comfortable adaptive design.

So it should not be

The complexity of introducing an adaptive and passing mobility test is from 20 to 200 hours, depending on the site.

We understand that developing an adaptive tool on a working site is a complex and expensive task. If your site does not pass the mobility test, write, we will offer the best solution.

The result of 4 and 5 steps is technically correct from the point of view of the search engine site, which works well on mobile devices. You can start an active campaign to increase search traffic.

The sixth step. Reference point – Monitoring of issuance and withdrawal of positions

I do not remember who said: “To improve something, you need to measure it.” Before we begin to optimize specific pages of the site (see the second part of the SEO strategy), we will determine the starting point.

We take positions on the key phrases chosen at the stages of the semantic kernel and ranking. It is not necessary to monitor all phrases. We will choose the first 2-3 from each group. So you can not lose important phrases and save budget on “tracking” positions.

We monitor the dynamics of positions once a week. The key indicator is the percentage of phrases in the TOP-10. The second key indicator is search traffic to the site. Both numbers must grow.

This stage completes the task of drawing up a detailed work plan for site optimization. We conducted the necessary training and move on to active action.


The first part of the SEO strategy is the basis for further action. The result of the 6 steps:

  1. Groups of key phrases for priority work.
  2. Technically literate site without errors in the mobile version.
  3. Plan of work on site optimization.

Time for the first 6 steps depends on the size of the site and its “technical preparation”. In a good case, 2 weeks. In difficult situations – 2 months.

The resulted strategy of SEO-promotion with small deviations works in our projects. The best confirmation of its correctness is customer loyalty. We have been working with some sites for several years.

Do not waste time and get started.

The earlier you pass the first steps of the strategy, the earlier the search traffic will increase, the site will become better.