man try to navigate a path through question marks reflecting challenge of ranking higher with a smart seo strategy

Getting your content into the top position on the search engine results page (SERP) can give you a click-through rate of nearly 30%.

NB: This is an article from Milestone

This rate more than doubles the click-through rate for the result in the second position on the SERP. The higher the ranking that you can secure for your content, the easier you will find it to bring in new site visitors and saturate the top of your sales funnel.

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To earn these top-ranking positions, however, you need to have a solid SEO strategy that helps you analyze what customers want to see and then present them with the content you need. Creating highly ranking content is not a guessing game. It requires quality strategies and a keen understanding of what the search engines and customers themselves want to see.

To help you improve your SEO strategy, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process.

Research: The core of the SEO strategy

Your SEO strategy needs to start with quality research. Before you can produce content that will rank well and attract interested readers, you need to know what topics they want to read about. You also need to understand their user intent when they complete their searches.

Therefore, begin with topic research. See what else already exists on your targeted topic and keyword and the type of user intent they target. Make note of the types of content created, including textual content versus video, shopping, or images. This provides you with the likely intent of searchers and will tell you what type of content to create.

Secondly, your research should also delve into your competitors. Note the content they have created on the topic, their rankings, and potential gaps in what they have made. See where you can edge them out to rank higher or better appeal to the likely user intent.

You can also use your insight into your competitors to find keywords that would benefit you but they do not rank for. Targeting these topics can give you a good chance to outshine them on the SERPs.

Create: Translating the SEO strategy into content

Once you have completed your initial research, you can begin to develop your content. You want to make sure you delve into the topic in-depth so that you can provide interesting and helpful content for your readers. You will generally want to produce between 1000 and 1500 words so that you have the space to do the topic justice. Material that is too shallow will not perform well or keep users engaged.

As you create this content, you also want to include:

  • Custom graphics and images. Material with pictures performs better and custom creations outpace any stock photos. Use images that align well with the content and support what you say. Images of products, services, customers, or your own creative interpretations can all help you get started.
  • Incorporate relevant and accurate data whenever it adds to your material. This contributes to your credibility and supports your ideas. Just make sure you gather data from trusted sources.
  • Include internal and external links to related articles. Show how your piece relates to the rest of the articles on your website as well as where it fits within the broader digital ecosystem. This can also help establish your credibility and let the search engines know the types of topics you should rank highly for.

Optimize: Preparing your content to rank

When you have finished drafting your content, you want to go through your piece and make sure that you have properly optimized it to enhance its discoverability on the SERP. SEO strategies call for you to use several different types of optimization. Focus on these key areas:

  • Make sure the page loads quickly. Speed has become an important ranking factor. Check the Core Vitals of the page. This will tell you how long your page takes to load and how much work it needs to meet Google’s standards. Make any necessary adjustments.
  • Be sure to fine-tune your content and the tags you use with it to make sure it compliments your existing content. You do not want multiple pieces of content competing for the same rankings on the site, you want them to support each other.
  • Add schema markup to the elements and the page to call out important features for Google. If you list an event, provide instructions, include videos, or anything else that Google might find interesting, mark it up with a schema to make sure the search engines find it.
  • Once the article is published, use PR and any important influencers in your industry to see if you can secure some backlinks. Let people know about your content and spread it on social media to help it reach the target audience.

Track: Know how well your SEO strategy performed

Once you have optimized the content, it is time to go live. Once the page lives on your site, tracking it will become critical. You want to make sure you see how your page performs across multiple metrics. See how well the rich elements of the page perform, including if they get any clicks.

Use different analytics reports, including Google Analytics and Google Search Console, to see how the page performs overall. Track the ranking that the page receives and how it changes over time as the article begins to catch people’s attention. See how many people visit the page and once they do when they arrive.


Make sure that your content has a targeted call to action at the bottom of the page. Your CTA should give your audience a specific action that you want them to take. See how many people engage with the page according to your CTA– in other words, how many click on the link you posted or fill out the form.

Use the information you gather through all of this tracking to better understand your audience. Notice what they seemed to appreciate about the content, how well they engaged with it, and the benefits it brings your business and your lead generation strategies. Use this information to help you fine-tune your SEO strategy moving forward. You might determine patterns in the types of CTAs that work best, the style of content people engage with more, or the types of content that brings in more leads. You can use this information as you produce more content.

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