SEO can be a bit of minefield, especially when you’re starting out with it. Where should you start exactly? In the world of search engine optimisation it can be easy to spend a lot of time and effort working on strategies that don’t deliver the desired results, or meet your end-goals.
Beyond SEO, this is a problem that many marketers come across. The reality is that it can be hard to predict what tactics are going to work and produce the best results – this is why so much time and research over the decades has gone into developing proven methodologies, and understanding the psychology of consumers.
One of the simplest and most well-regarded marketing methodologies out there it the SWOT analysis. This is an analysis method that has stood the test of time, and shown great results in helping SEO experts to develop and implement great SEO strategies.
What does SWOT stand for?
So what does this unusual word stand for and what exactly does it entail?
SWOT is an acronym for four key areas of analysis, those being: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. You might have come across it in English class at school! It’s a popular analysis method, useful to analyse many kinds of mediums, beyond simply marketing. When it comes to marketing this is a great way to get a core understanding of your needs when it comes to your brand and your audience.
To complete a successful SWOT analysis you should first outline the strengths and weaknesses of your business, before moving on to examining the opportunities and threats. This will help you to identify what is potentially helpful to your search growth, and what might be hurtful.
Once you have established your business’s key strengths and weakenesses you can begin to put an action plan in place and develop an SEO strategy that suits your needs.
Putting a plan in place
During a SWOT analysis you are likely to discover or highlight a number of areas in your current strategy that are either working or not. You might, for example, recognise that you’re link building strategy is weak, or that content revisions are needed. You might realise that certain pages are well optimised for a keyword, whilst others are not. Being aware of these areas of your website will allow you to put a plan in place for addressing issues, or capitalising on what is already working.
You might for example recognise that there is a need to install certain plug-ins, or see content gaps as an area that you should tackle. Try and order and prioritise areas that need work initially, this will help you work through the steps of tackling different tasks. If there are areas that you recognise are weaknesses, but you’re not sure, double down and do some more research with the use of analytics tools – do a full website audit, this may flag issues you were unaware of.
Once you have a clear picture of potential problems and you strengths, consider the time, difficulty and potential benefit of tackling each task.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself over the course of a SWOT analysis for more effective results:
SWOT Questions to ask
What keywords are you ranking well for?
What content is getting traffic?
How are you better than your competitors?
Where does most of your organic traffic come from?
What SEO strategies in the past have been effective?
What areas do your competitors do better than you in?
What content isn’t receiving any traffic?
Is your budget appropriate for meeting you SEO needs?