Building an SEO Strategy: A Beginner's Guide

Jan 31, 2024 | Search Engine Optimization

Ranking on search engines requires an intentional SEO strategy. Here’s a beginner’s guide, created by our search engine marketing specialists.

A graphic illustrating the many components of SEO

Every business wants to be at the top of Google’s search results. Considering that half of all clicks go to the first 3 listings, we agree it’s a destination worth fighting for.

Getting on the first page of Google doesn’t just happen, however—you need a plan to make it happen. Here at Informatics, we refer to this as an SEO strategy.

If you’re just beginning with search engine optimization, here's how to get a proper start:

1. Identify keywords

Keywords are specific words or phrases that people use when searching for information online. They play a crucial role in helping search engines understand the content of a webpage, and matching it to relevant user queries.

By writing your website content using relevant keywords, you can improve your chances of appearing in search engine results for those specific terms without paying for sponsored ads.

But how do you determine what those keywords should be?

Keywords related to what you're already found for

A solid keyword strategy begins with words and phrases you’re already ranking for. That’s because it’s easier to boost your credibility and authority on a topic than develop it from scratch. So start by figuring out what you have to work with.

Google Search Console is a great starting point. Through this tool, you get a full picture of the terms you’re already ranking for and what is drawing organic search traffic. It even shows your average position for each keyword and allows you to filter by page.

Once you’ve parsed out the relevant ones (you will likely rank for irrelevant phrases as well), create a list to conduct more comprehensive keyword research with.

Keywords you'd like to be found for

The internet may be your oyster, but you’ll need to narrow your scope to have any sort of SEO success.

The keywords you target should be the ones your audience uses, not necessarily the ones your organization uses around the office. You may think you know your users well, but research will reveal variations, terminology you didn’t think of, or trending problems you can help solve.

Tap into your target audience with these tips:

  • Conduct a competitor analysis to identify keywords in your industry and potential differentiators
  • Leverage dedicated keyword research tools like Keyword Planner, Moz, and SEMRush
  • Explore related searches and auto suggestions
  • Monitor social media and online communities for language trends
  • Use Google Trends to show trending terms

Here are three other tips for generating keywords that may be valuable as part of your overall SEO strategy.

2. Identify terms worth targeting

Once you have a big, messy collection of terms you rank for and terms you’ve discovered, lean on tools like Google Ads or SEMRush for a deeper analysis. Copy and paste your full keyword list into these platforms and they’ll output estimated monthly search volumes and keyword difficulty scores for each one.

Note that the keywords you should target are not always those with high volumes. Striking a delicate balance between search volume and difficulty is key. Highlight, underline, or bold those with substantial traffic potential but lower competition scores (generally anything under 50).

3. Optimize and create content

Once you've identified the keywords you want to target, draft a plan to 1) optimize your website’s current content and 2) create new, keyword-rich content.

To really set yourself up for success, develop a content calendar that helps you stay on top of doing both. How that looks will depend on your team, its size, and the amount of time you’re able to dedicate.
Integrate target keywords naturally throughout your content. Focus on providing valuable information and maintaining readability. Unless you’re developing a pillar page, target only a few keywords per page.

Remember that your keywords don’t just go in your body copy. You’ll also want to incorporate them naturally in the following spots:

Meta Data

Include the target keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions. Keep titles concise, relevant, and enticing for users, as this is what they will see in the search engine results pages. If the page you’re updating ranks well organically for a specific keyword, don't remove it from your page title or meta description. Doing so could reset your credibility on search engines and tank your traffic.

Header Tags (H1, H2, etc.)

Use HTML header tags to structure your content. Include target keywords in headings where it makes sense, and ensure a logical hierarchy.


If possible, incorporate target keywords into your page URLs. Keep URLs concise, descriptive, and easy to read.

Image Alt Text

Optimize image alt text by including relevant keywords. This not only aids in SEO but improves accessibility for users with disabilities.

Internal Linking

Create internal links to other relevant pages on your site using anchor text that includes target keywords. This helps search engines understand your site's structure.

Advanced SEO

Know that search engine optimization is a long-term initiative with varying levels of commitment. A business in a highly competitive search landscape needs to be doing more—building backlinks, breaking keywords into clusters, writing pillar pages, and deploying other high-level SEO tactics.

Whether you need help finding your footing, need to deploy aggressive SEO initiatives, or aren’t quite sure, Informatics is your go-to digital marketing agency for search engine marketing services. Check out our SEO Boost in-house studio, or reach out and book a meeting with our team today!

Need an actual SEO strategy?

Our expert digital marketers can build a comprehensive strategy that boosts your brand's visibility.

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