Haha that old chestnut! Many clients ask it. How do I get the best SEO strategy? The answer is simple. You can design and implement the best SEO strategy…for your budget and based upon the limitations of your business. Ok maybe the word limitations could be replaced with scope in this context because we’re emphasising our strengths aren’t we…so here goes! Here’s the Internet Marketing Platinum 5 step guide to having the best SEO strategy possible for your business.
The best SEO strategy should not involve a “scatter-gun approach”.
Your SEO efforts should be TARGETED and REALISTIC.
Measure absolutely every effort. Leave nothing to chance.
Do more of what works and drop some of what doesn’t work.
Deliver on time, every time.
So let’s examine each of these points, in order (because each point in dependent and an expansion upon the previous one).
using a scatter-gun approach to SEO is not a good idea. Each website is different so the best way to make the best out of your budget when creating your SEO strategy is to know your enemy. Your enemies being your competitors of course. This involves doing competitor analysis – analyse what they are doing. Your efforts must be relative and better but this is not all. You must aproach your SEO strategy using your own unique approach. Your business is unique, you must make it stand out, you must have a message, your job is to impart this message to your target market. Conversely, a scatter-gun approach would involve reading about SEO and deciding what to do what you think might work, test it a bit but then backtrack and try something else or try to do everything but with a diluted effect because your budget won’t stretch. Don’t try this approach. Think quality over quantity and use a sustained and consistent effort in whatever you do.
By targeted I mean the message. Define your message. Too many businesses start the wrong way around. They say I want to be number one in Google. I say for what? They say for everything. I say what’s your budget. They say how much is it. I say how long’s a piece of string. The fact of the matter is that will will develop specific, targeted landing pages which each shall speak personally to a certain segment of your target market, aiming at selling them a specific product/service. It will be one keyword or search term per page and the client will need to budget for this. There will be a sales funnel with opportunities for upsell and their website will end up being a well-oiled marketing machine. This is the whole point of SEO and providing organic search engine optimisation for a client’s website. It’s got to make money right or what’s the point? But like any machine, all of the different parts much work together. The website, the SEO and the online presence must work as an whole. Don’t forget this, it is very important to the success of your SEO strategy.
Realistic mostly pertains to your budget but also your specific business. These two often go hand in hand. If you are the biggest supplier of blue widget in the UK but your online presence is lacking and isn’t representative of your business then you’ll probably have the budget to remedy this. This will be a quick fix. You can gain the back-links that you need. Other websites won’t mind having their brands associated with your brand. There will be synergy. This won’t be a problem. You’ll have the capital to spend on the creative that is required to seek out new back-links which will enable you to achieve your goals in terms of more targeted traffic and higher rankings in Google, Yahoo, Bing!, and other popular search engines. A SEO consultant who you hire will be capable of helping you to fill in the gaps of what your existing online strategy is lacking.
Measuring is very important. Yes, Pay Per Click is easy to measure but so can organic SEO be too. You can use the same principles. The stable of any organic SEO company’s monthly (or weekly) client reporting system will be based upon search engine ranking positions (or SERPS) but this doesn’t cover the whole story. This type of data is obviously a good sign but conversions are what really matter and this can be much more difficult to measure. We can measure these using analytics, contact form tracking and call tracking though, just as you can with pay per click. So there is really no excuse to not track organic SEO if the client’s budget and requirement allow for it. The whole point of a/b split testing and an iterative approach to design is to keep improving. Yes, we use heuristics and experience to design good websites and landing pages which should convert well but, no, that doesn’t mean that all landing pages will convert at their optimum rates from the get go. This is unrealistic. The key here is to realise that once we begin to put real targeted visitors through these landing pages and other web pages, this is when the real data can be seen and we must approach a websites’ design with iteration.
The real truth about SEO, even post the Panda and Penguin updates, is that everything works. That is, everything that should logically work does actually work and every SEO company, practitioner and consultant who was using a technique or method before this that worked before but now doesn’t was either doing it wrong or wasn’t doing enough. Some were repeating very low quality efforts. This doesn’t mean that their content was poor quality, it just means that they weren’t creating back-links in the right places, just the easiest ones. In many cases they were doing what was just enough at the time. Taking the easiest option. Doing what worked at the time. The fact is that this worked. But those SEO consultants who had the foresight probably didn’t see that much of a drop when the Google Panda and Penguin updates were done. It’s obvious that creating lots of profiles and adding just one article to each to generate a fake buzz isn’t a great strategy with any kind of longevity. For starters, anyone can do this and doing so doesn’t require any kind of creative thought, pre-existing business relationship, money or much more than a few minutes of someone’s time. Rinsed and repeated and on seeing results, a SEO practitioner might have thought that this was a good strategy. But it isn’t. The end doesn’t justify the means in this case. Quality and accountability is what counts. Even if you’ve been employing a SEO company that uses these types of dubious strategies up to now and even if your website still hasn’t been penalised as a result doesn’t mean that it’s a good strategy. It’s best to do a audit now before it’s too late. Ask your SEO company to be completely transparent and accountable for the techniques and methods that they use. Choose wisely and spend wisely. And, lastly, don’t pay cheap because you’ll end up paying twice or you might even receive negative results if you’ve had any dubious SEO methods carried out on your website.
When we agree to carry out work for clients we deliver on time. In the same breath, when someone subscribe to one of our email lists or revisits our website we make sure that it is updated. Any special offers are on there. We send regular emails. We answer the phone. We deliver. If there is a blog post, press release or other news release that needs to go out then we publish it on time. You must do this with your SEO. If your SEO company as asked you for information that is vital to your SEO strategy then provide them with it. It’s a two-way street. You must work together with your SEO company to have the best SEO strategy. If you’ve arranged to come in to film an interview in launch of your new product/service then attend the filming or the subsequent press release will be delayed. Your SEO strategy will be affected. The best SEO strategy are those which are considered as being vitally important to the business. Those which don’t do so well are those which don’t receive adequate backing, either financially, or in terms of other resources, from the stakeholders who are involved. It isn’t all down to the SEO company, you must do your bit or it might fail. Deliver what you’ve promised on time for your strategy, for your prospects and customers, are the success of your SEO strategy is much more likely than if you’re constantly adverse to change, questioning the advice of your SEO expert (that’s why you ultimately hire them) or simply tightening your purse strings in favour of some ingrained, more traditional form of advertising (i.e. direct mail or TV). The point I’m making is that if you have a strategy then make sure you implement it and don’t stand in the way to it being implemented. Also, if you are doing other forms of marketing then integrate them too. Simple things like having your social media links and web address in your email footer, email address and web address on your business cards and leaflets and so on.