The internet offers a world of possibility when it comes to marketing, and the opportunities for online marketers to understand and utilise these possibilities are endless.
While there are many different approaches to marketing, one effective way to generate traffic and leads is via SEO.
What is SEO? Simply put, SEO is the process of improving the ‘search engine visibility’ of a website.
Improving a site’s SEO will, in theory, make it easier for people to find it when they are searching for relevant topics or products. And what’s more, the better the SEO, the more people will want to come back for more.
SEO is a useful tool for marketing because it allows you to measure the success of your efforts in terms of traffic, leads and sales. You can track the performance of your SEO efforts vis-à-vis competing businesses to see how your strategy is ranking and shaping up against others.
Get Out Of The Arena, And Into The Game
You’re probably already familiar with the concept of SEO. You might have even tried it out yourself. Perhaps you’ve even run a successful small business and considered investing in SEO.
If so, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Why is SEO considered to be so effective at generating leads and sales?
The answer is that SEO isn’t really about being in the top three positions for your chosen keywords. In today’s world, that’s considered to be ‘sexy SEO’.
Instead, SEO is all about making your site as accessible as possible to search engines so that your page appears when your target audience types in their keywords or phrases. Your ultimate goal should always be to have genuine, authoritative content that will hold its value for years to come.
If you want to generate more leads and sales for your business, the answer isn’t about trying to outrank your competitors. It’s about entering the game.
If you want to get more leads and sales, you need to get out of the SEO arena and into the game. The next step is critical: define your objectives and create a plan of action. Before doing anything else, you need to set your target keywords and phrases. These are the words and phrases that you and your target audience might use to look for products or services relevant to your niche. For example, if you are an interior designer, your target audience might be housewives or home makers who want to redecorate their homes. So, you could set the following keywords:
- home decoration
- house wives
- interior designer
- sales funnel
- lead generation
- lots more
- enterprise value
- marketing mix
- big data
Once you have your list of keywords, organise them into groups and make a note of the competition for each. This will help you identify the keywords that are most suited to your niche and the segments of the market that you are trying to reach. Once you have this information, you can start to build your strategy.
Make Sure Your Keywords Are Diverse
If you are using the same or similar keywords for multiple positions across different platforms (for example: real estate, interior design, mortgage broker), you are increasing your chances of appearing in the ‘free’ box when people search. The ‘free’ box is the first box that appears on the search results page. If you or your target audience are just finding the site now, this is probably where you will begin your search. As a general rule, try and avoid using exact matches for keywords as these will cause you to appear in the ‘sponsored’ or ‘paid’ box on the search results page. People searching for your products or services are more likely to click on the ‘sponsored’ or ‘paid’ results, so you don’t want to risk having your site displayed in these boxes. These boxes appear when people search for brands, products or services, rather than individual keywords or phrases. Your site could appear in the ‘free’ box for other keywords or phrases, but this is unlikely.
As you build out your SEO strategy, make sure that you are using a mix of keywords and phrases. If you try and maximise the number of times a specified keyword or phrase appears in your copy, you will increase your chances of ranking highly in search engine results. Although this might seem like an obvious point, many businesses and marketers get overly obsessed with ensuring that their content is ‘keyword-rich’ and forget about ensuring that their content is ‘idea-rich’. People want to read something that is both informative and interesting, and that’s something that you as the content creator can control.
Build Links To Increase The ‘Trust’ Of Your Site
When a webmaster or SEO tries to increase the ‘trust’ or ‘reliability’ of a site, they do so by accumulating links to their site from other high-quality and relevant websites. When other websites link to your site, it shows that other websites think you are a trustworthy source of information or a product that they might want to purchase.
You can gain more trust from your visitors and potential customers if you build a reputable and reliable brand. Having a lot of backlinks or inbound links from other websites increases your site’s authority in the eyes of Google and other search engines. If you want to become a highly authoritative source on your chosen topic, start building links to your site.
Make Sure You Are Utilising The Right Metrics
A website’s rankings in search engine results depend on a number of factors. However, the metric that you should focus on if you want to see your site climb the search engine results page is ‘relevance’.
The relevancy of your content depends on a number of things, but mainly on the following:
- the number of times your keyword or phrase appears in the text of your article
- the number of times your keyword or phrases appear in the titles of your articles
- the number of times your keyword or phrase appears in the metadata or caption area of your article
- how well your content matches the ‘buyer persona’ or ‘lifecycle stage’ of your target audience
These are all important metrics that you need to pay keen attention to as you build your site. Focusing on too many metrics at once can also cause you to get overwhelmed and confused. Take your time honing in on one or two key metrics at first, and then expand your focus to include the others as you become more familiar with this side of marketing.