We are always saying that there are many facets to online marketing and SEO and why it is important to consider each one carefully before putting together a campaign that will have the potential to send your business into the stratosphere. So, here are my top tips for what you need to know about SEO before you begin.
Keywords and phrases
Without the right keywords and phrases, you may as well not bother as nobody will be able to find your site. Finding and using the correct keywords that will ensure that your website is correctly categorised by the search engines which will lead the right sort of traffic to you. Using particular keywords often isn’t enough, by using local terms or turning them into long tail keywords, you will enhance your opportunities by a substantial amount. You need to find out what people are asking and then use those questions to your advantage, make use of the data you discover so that your company benefits, don’t lose out to your competitors because you didn’t make use of what was in front of you.
A website that impresses
An impressive website does not mean that you have to have one that is all singing, all dancing. What is impressive to one person is not to another, however, most people are impressed by sites that are quick to load, can be viewed on virtually any device and that are easy to navigate. If you can answer yes to those three factors, you already have a leg up.
This is key to success. Having unique content that is pertinent to your business niche and that is interesting and engaging will ensure visitors return. Articles that are the right length are important, if they are too short, they may not provide enough information. Too long and they may get boring. What is the correct length? Well, that’s one of those ‘how long is a piece of string’ questions and you will need to decide for yourself how long your piece should be.
If you have a blog on your business website, it needs to be updated on a regular basis. You might find it difficult to update your blog every day or every week, it does not really matter how often you post updates, it’s the fact the you do post and post on a regular basis that matters. If visitors get into the habit of reading your blog, they want to find new content when they come back.
Make use of Google’s services
Google provides a toolbox of services that you can use to help you improve your ranking, so familiarise yourself with them and make use of them. This can only be advantageous to you. They also provide paid for services that you might like to use. These can be particularly useful for new sites and can really help to boost your online profile and help with branding.
Social media marketing
Although social media marketing has a limited effect on your site, it is quite important. A site that has no social signals is going to look a bit odd and by making use of social media, you can increase your business brand and online profile considerably. If you think about it, most people who access the internet have an account on at least one social media platform, they will like and share things that they like or find interesting with their friends/followers who might then take a look and like or share with their friends/followers. It’s a bit of a domino effect and you can see how something of interest can go viral.
As I was looking over reports the other day, I realized I was nearly drowning in statistics, benchmarks, KPIs, rankings, conversions, dashboards, audits and so on. You get the picture. I am all for data and tools that make my life easier, but how much is too much?
At my agency, we place a lot of significance on the data that matters to ensure that we are delivering what we are contracted to do. Yet as I was working, I realized that the more I dug through the data, shifting from tool to tool, the less time I was spending doing the work I needed to do.
With a search world crowded with options and resources, I believe it’s time to get back to the basics and simplify the process.
So how can we, as SEOs, use all of the data and great tools available to create a more streamlined and simplified approach to SEO?
Simple doesn’t mean easy
Now, simple doesn’t mean easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
Simple is about focus, consistency and results. I know that I have spent hours and hours working on tasks that, all in all, had a very limited impact on the overall goal of the campaign. So instead of focusing on the number of deliverables we can get done, we need to instead focus on delivering results.
By simplifying your SEO strategy, you will strip from it some of the “extras” that don’t really matter and begin to focus on the tasks and actions that help your site achieve its overall purpose. To help make my point, I want to share something I call the “Simplified Search Productivity Cycle.”
It all begins with goals
You can’t get to where you want to go if you don’t have a plan. Goals help us define our desired destination. Once we define what we want, we can work backward to create a strategy that will help us get there.
When deciding upon your search goals, here are a few questions you should ask:
- What is the purpose of my site? Is it to drive leads? Sell a widget? Connect with content? Your site’s purpose is directly related to the kinds of goals you will set. Learn more about defining your site’s purpose in my last post, “The benefits of creating a purpose-driven SEO strategy.”
- What do I want to achieve? This is where you outline what your end goal looks like. Is it revenue-based? User-based? Traffic-based? Defining what it is you want will help you determine whether or not you are succeeding.
- How will I measure success? After you know what you want to achieve, you need to know what to measure. In order to be sure that you have a positive ROI, you have to know what numbers count. For instance, if you need to generate leads, you are going to need not just to drive traffic, but to drive traffic that will convert. It makes no sense to have thousands of visitors if none of them convert.
- Who is my competition? Knowing what you are up against is important. Looking at your competition, what they do and how they do it can give you some ideas on how to take advantage of the holes in their search marketing strategy.