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Why do I need an SEO strategy?

6 min read

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What is an SEO strategy? What are the benefits, and when should I engage SEO in my website project?

What is the purpose of an SEO strategy?

There are a few reasons why an SEO strategy should be employed, and several different activities depend on the situation, type of website, and goals. SEO strategies work to improve organic visibility, which means more impressions in search and the potential for more organic clicks (traffic) to your website, largely depending on position (rank).

SEO is a marketing channel and a long-term strategy to gain evergreen organic traffic. It isn’t a quick win but an opportunity to be visible (building brand awareness, authority and trust) and appeal to users at different stages of their buying journey.

Organic traffic should be a website's primary traffic source, and the only way to improve organic traffic is to create content and improve SEO for search intent. Over time, SEO has a greater return on investment and should be seen as a business investment, not a marketing cost, due to its longevity and how it shapes brand perception.

Why do I need an SEO strategy?

A website will rank with an informed SEO strategy or good SEO in place across a website. Gaining organic traffic without good rank is difficult and, in most cases, near-impossible.

There are various statistics for what percentage of the first ten results Google achieves regarding organic clickthrough. In February 2023, Smart Insights reported that the organic SEO clickthrough rate (CTR) on Google Page 1’s SERPs averaged at:

  • Google Position 1 - 34.2%
  • Google Position 2 - 17.1%
  • Google Position 3 - 11.4%
  • Google Position 4 - 8.1%
  • Google Position 5 - 7.4%
  • Google Position 6 - 5.1%
  • Google Position 7 - 4.1%
  • Google Position 8 - 3.3%
  • Google Position 9 - 2.9%
  • Google Position 10 - 2.6%

It demonstrates that organic rank matters in order to drive traffic whilst competing against PPC ads and the amount of real estate they achieve on SERPs now. People inherently want answers fast, and the higher your website results in delivering that, the better for both the user and your business.

SEO strategies aren’t just about ranking high for the big keywords either. It’s about strategically positioning for niche queries and longtail terms to help you outrank competitors and achieve more visibility.

In 2023 and beyond, without an SEO strategy that is attuned to your business, your offering and your customers, and new guidelines from search engines, such as Google’s core updates, Helpful Content and E-E-A-T, websites will underperform. There is no doubt about it.

What are the different types of SEO Strategies?


Protection strategies are usually employed when a pre-existing website is being overhauled in structure, design and development with changing URLs and/or domains and content. This strategy aims to protect current rank, visibility and on-site user journeys to prevent — though it’s not always possible — a loss of position in SERPs. More often than not, protection strategies should review the current state of play and SEO health and improve page and domain visibility without detrimental effects on the current rank.


Opportunity strategies seek to surface opportunities across keywords a website isn’t targeting, visible for, or not ranking well for. Opportunity strategies don’t only look at keywords to use across a site; they look at potential new pages (navigable or non-navigable) and guidance on the type of content a website should have (what articles and white papers would be beneficial). They are also used for brand-new websites to identify how to support the website in gaining and improving organic traffic.


Local strategies are more specific to harnessing a Google Business Profile and improving reviews, citations (business listings), local rank, local pack details, and all-around improving local visibility for businesses with a physical brick-and-mortar presence.

These strategies include tactical elements within On-page and Technical SEO, with some including Off-page SEO (often considered part of Digital PR).

What are the benefits?

An SEO strategy benefits businesses that need their website to work hard to build visibility, organic traffic and leads. When it comes to it, we must remember that it’s a long-term strategy. It could take months and even years, and that’s the most essential aspect to recognise and set expectations for.

Manage expectations around:

  • SEO takes time and is not linear
  • SEO is changeable; rank changes daily (hourly!)
  • SEO must be maintained to work
  • SEO is easily lost and hard to recover

However, the benefits of having an SEO strategy in place and someone monitoring and working on SEO are:

  • Brings organic traffic to your website and increases over time if the search intent is considered
  • Generates interest, connection and leads at different stages of the buying journey
  • If done well, it will begin to put you ahead of the competition
  • Increases brand awareness and trust with a higher rank
  • Offers a more impressive ROI over time
  • Optimises user experience as well as search engines
  • It’s very cost-effective in the long run and scaleable
  • SEO compliments and improves PPC efforts
  • It reflects consumer behaviour, and insights can be gleaned to improve overall customer experience and understanding

When should I engage an SEO or an SEO strategy?

If you’re embarking on a new website, whether for a new business venture or to relaunch a current one, SEO should be involved from the beginning of the project.

SEO isn’t just an afterthought; it’s integral to a website's planning stages and overall architecture/structure. It plays a big role in identifying opportunities or highlighting where pages and content don’t drive traffic. It informs page hierarchies, content zones, and user experience design. It informs content planning and helps influence content writing and the search intent/keywords beneficial to pages. SEO has a hand in developing schema and 301 migrations, to name a few. All in all, SEO touches everything across a website project.

Does SEO come as standard with website projects?

While integral, it doesn’t come as standard with website projects. Most website quotes will offer a 301 migration as standard to ensure old/new URLs have a new destination. Some will ensure the right plugin is included in order to add SEO data (often Yoast for WordPress and SEOmatic for Craft). Still, it’s unusual to find web agencies that encompass everything.

Why? Typically, SEO agencies are separate entities or are within marketing agencies as departments but not web agencies alone.

Most businesses don’t understand the benefit and necessity of including SEO in their website projects, especially since Google’s recent updates with E-E-A-T, Helpful Content and its core algorithm updates. Without SEO at the core of a website project, it will never work as hard as it should. It seems a given for web agencies to offer it in its complete form, but SEO has a bad reputation, and many businesses aren’t willing to pay the extra price tag that comes with it.

Despite the rise in AI and the suggestion that SEO is easily done using tools such as ChatGPT, it’s actually a very technical and highly strategic skill. It requires a lot of time, thought process and consideration, mapping out keywords against data across a website in order to best optimise for performance: for SEO, for the site (in terms of speed and structure) and a user's experience. It’s worth the extra effort and budget if it's done well.

As a web design and development agent, we provide our clients at the proposal stage with pricing and activity options depending on their budget, other partner agencies or the skill level of their internal team when it comes to SEO— we can offer SEO at its basis (SEO migration) up to full SEO strategies and follow-up maintenance and improvement.

OG Article

Lauren Irwin

Lauren is an SEO Lead specialising in SXO and optimising websites for user and search. In a nutshell, she makes websites work hard to be found.

She has specialist knowledge in digital brands and strategy.

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