Determining an ongoing strategy for SEO doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little direction and the right tools, it can take less than 30 minutes. 

What you’ll need: 

    Google Chrome or similar web browser

    Subscription to SEMRush

    Subscription to Ahrefs

Cook time: 

    15 minutes per kw / kw category


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    1. Setup

First step in determining an ongoing SEO strategy for an existing client is to get set up. To do so, open up Google chrome or related web browser, and navigate to,, [], a blank Google sheet, and Note a five tab scheme is ideal. 

seo strategy chrome tabs


Populate the blank Google sheet with current strategy or information and research related to. This includes keyword focus, landing page, any multi-channel activity and previously assigned parameters (e.g. anchor text and/or placement tactics)

    2. Login

Login to Semrush and ahrefs. Note – An entry level paid plan is required for both. 

    3. Sip Tea

coffee mug rowe digital seo


    4. Enter data

Punch [] into both Semrush and Ahrefs. 

Navigate to ‘organic research → positions’ on Semrush, and ‘anchors’ on Ahrefs. See example below: 


semrush organic positions rowe digital image



ahrefs anchors rowe digital


    5. Organize data

On SEMRush, sort positions data descending by CPC. Note – CPC provides glimpse into competition on paid search.

On Ahrefs, select ‘Live’ and toggle ‘link type’ to Dofollow.

Make sure the client site is on the right page. 

    6. Analyze data

Use a combination of SEMRush and Ahrefs to evaluate the category / landing page against previous strategy and key variables. These include: 


Look at CPC first and foremost. The more expensive, the more likely the ROI. 

Keyword volume

Key in on search volume in addition to CPC. While more competitive, terms with both high search volume and CPC are more viable long term targets.


Don’t exclude ranking. Terms with high CPC, search volume and poor ranking can be key targets.

Landing page & content

SEMRUSH landing page drop down organic positions rowe digital


Use the URL field and drop down (see below) option for reassurance on the target page. Click through and ensure content aligns with perceived keyword intent.

Category permutations

During a landing page & content evaluation, use Google combined with [] to find areas that may need improvement. It’s possible further LSI analysis, expansion and/or consolidation is required.

Note – oftentimes cannibalization issues are found here. This step in the process can lead to a more sophisticated content audit.

Note – Google constantly retools on permutations. Stick with 1 – 3 broader high impact terms per page. 

Anchor text

Navigate to Ahrefs and ‘anchors’ and compare/contrast with SEMRush data to mitigate potential risks with over-optimization. A proper SEO strategy usually warrants 15 – 23% exact match for high impact terms. With a few exceptions, terms that fall below this range are generally okay to target.

ahref anchor text rowe digital



Note – these are guidelines and not rule of law. Still, pump the brakes on anything in this range or over. Also, bear in mind the most recent strategy. Pivoting regardless of ratio can be a great way to keep a backlink profile looking natural.


Trends can impact one or all of the above. 

For example, trending keywords can sometimes be more or less adherent to percentage guidelines, while content / messaging can be affected by swift industry swings. 

Keep an eye on the latest news around high impact terms for potential adjustments in content, keyword focus and/or anchor text. 

google trends technical seo rowe digital



With these factors in mind, a little organization and the right setup, an SEO program can easily manifest itself into something great. For SEOs seeking less expensive options, please substitute SEMRush for GSC performance, and key in on CPC data from Google Adwords Keyword Planner. Note – you must begin a website ad campaign for access.