SEO is one of those marketing disciplines that require foresight, plenty of planning, a methodical approach and maybe just a bit of marketing intuition.
I've plundered a SEO best practice guide for some tips on how to approach SEO planning and research as your start on the road to lead generation in small business marketing.
Don’t underestimate the task
A good SEO strategy is like building a business to last. More often than not it will involve considerable time and resources.
Understand your own site performance, but also the competition and the market
Any plan involves measurement of improvement so first make an audit of performance before you begin along with the performance of competitors and the state of the market.
There's no point in you targeting a keyword phrase that a competitor has a stranglehold on if there's an equally important phrase that is up for grabs.
Similarly, market analysis allows you to see how a sector maps to search. Here’s an example - plumbing. Even with contextual search on the rise, most plumbers are better targeting the phrase 'plumber London' than simply 'plumber' (providing the plumber works in London).
Understanding the market means understanding the customer - what locations are they in and the devices they’re using?
Plan for your proposition not ranking
Every company is affected in different ways by different ranking factors and, you as a marketer might not be able to affect every variable.
Some of you involved in small business marketing might be working with restrictions on your ability to change web architecture, such as building landing pages. Others might be working for a brand that doesn't have a well-developed social media presence. These factors will affect strategy.
Learn from PPC
SEO and PPC are complementary. Although concentrating efforts in both areas tends not to be harmful, it makes sense to use paid search to fill gaps, buying phrases for which you might not be ranking organically for yet. You must be careful though to ensure each click is useful for the customer.
PPC also allows for copy testing on a small scale, potentially informing wider content efforts.
Plan for ROI
Is an increase in ROI the aim, or is this a longer term customer acquisition campaign?
Break down ROI by location, device, and keyphrases. This is important for setting priorities.
Setting expectations for ROI also includes a knowledge of timeframes involved. When will the company start to see acquisition?
Prioritise the basics
If your title tags needs sorting out, start with those before going on to bigger strategic fish.
It's also clear that working upwards from the long tail keyphrases is going to bear more fruit that initially planning that one highly competitive phrase.
As an example, target 'brown Oxford shoes for men', then 'brown shoes for men', then 'brown shoes' and finally 'shoes'.
Get other teams involved
SEO is involves marketing, tech and your company's content creators. In understanding the resources available to you, ensure you understand who might be able to help with keyword research, content creation and campaign measurement.
Be agile and opportunistic with keyphrase research
Remember that opportunities come and go in search. The results page can change with:
- real world events
- social activity
- changes in the way we use the web, such as new devices
- changes in reach as new territories come online
- changes in the way search engines present information
You must keep abreast of these changes.
What is the audience trying to do?
This is probably the most important point. Don’t lose track of the customer journey and what they are trying to achieve.
The journey from search phrase to appropriate landing page and product/service must be one that makes sense. Customers may well be searching around a problem they have encountered, rather than for your product or service specifically.
Occupying the mind of the customer will help with keyphrase research and optimising the customer journey.
Understand the state of your site
This is part of prioritisation and understanding the customer journey.
Think laterally about link building
Don't just target high authority sites in your sector. Where else might your information me valued?
Once you've started producing content to target keyphrases, make sure you track what does well. This can take the form of social mentions, comments on site, new visits, conversion rate, bounce rate etc.
Knowing what's performing well is vital for maintaining momentum. SEO is stage 1 of the lead generation journey to know more about how to get leads for your business get the FREE eBook from the link below:-