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SEO That Has Real Impact

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the least understood marketing vehicles and yet, one of the most powerful. With millions searching the web daily, the right SEO strategy can direct thousands of them to your site and guide them along the path of the purchasing your product or service. Why implement an SEO strategy?

  1. First, what are your other choices?  Companies often exhaust networking, events, Google campaigns, email, etc. and finally get to the point where they realize they simply can not continue to scale leads upward without it.
  2. Some businesses have products that can sell internationally. Companies are always amazed when they get a good internet marketing program going and they are getting leads from Africa, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, etc.  Many of the prospects in these countries are simply typing in keyword phrases into a web browser.
  3. Based on our experiments, Google, email shows, etc. all get different types of leads. We found when we run all these programs in parallel, we often reach different types of audiences with each vehicle although, undoubtedly, there is some overlap.
  4. SEO strategies are the most cost effective ways to get leads in the long term. Once you turn off an email or Google campaign, the leads dry up.  If you implement an effective SEO strategy, the leads may flow for years.

What are some things to consider once you decide to implement one?

  1. Target audience. Who are you trying to attract? Where are they spending their time? What do they talk about?  Too often companies invent a new term and wonder why no one on the internet is searching for it. Spend some time on blogs that your target audience visits and watch their communication.
  2. Keywords.  What are the keyword terms that prospects might type in to find your product or service? Come up with a list based on your business and products. Go study competitor sites and see what they use.  Have your SEO consultant do a keyword traffic study to see what the internet traffic is for the keywords you are considering.
  3. Keyword grouping strategy. You cannot target an unlimited amount of keywords so you will have to make choices. The highest priority keyword group should be the ones that have high traffic and are very relevant to your business.  Usually all your competitors show up there as well. The second priority is figuring out how to get some of the visitors to high traffic terms that are only partially relevant to come to your site.  The lowest priority is terms that are very relevant, but attract no traffic.
  4. Based on the strategy above, your SEO consultant should have a very robust plan to capture traffic, convert it, and help you grow sales. Capturing traffic should include benchmarking your current traffic, optimizing your current site, creating back-link campaigns, new content and linking to other marketing campaigns like email, social networking, PR, etc.  If your consultant is not bringing up all these dimensions, you may find yourself with poor results 6 months down the road.
  5. Getting traffic is only one part of the equation.  Converting traffic is the other. Most SEO consultants know what the optimum word count should be on a landing page and have great examples of effective landing pages.  They are usually not Product Marketing people and will often need help in writing compelling copy that will be effective with your target audience. Make sure you talk with your SEO consultant as to how this teamwork should be best formed.
  6. Testing is important.  It takes months for SEO to take hold. If you are trying new terms, you may want to talk to your consultant about using Google ad campaigns to do some short-term testing that can guide long-term SEO results. You don’t have to wait 6 months to figure out that certain keywords will not perform well for you.
  7. Back-linking has changed drastically over the last few years.  If your SEO consultant has not articulated a clear back-linking strategy, watch out. Many will buy directories that will quickly create 1000s of back-links but may not produce any traffic. While back-linking is important to raising your page rank, it must be the right back links.  Having companies that are relevant to your industry and have a higher page rank than yourself is the most important place to start.
  8. Reputation management is a new area that has surfaced in the last year or two. It is a way to measure your reputation over the internet in a number of topic areas and help you improve it. Your SEO consultant may or may not be up to speed in this area.
  9. CMS systems, templates, back-end databases are all things that have to be looked at when trying to optimize your traffic. Websites are complex now and have integrated a lot of technology.  Some of this technology can really hurt your traffic when not properly considered.
  10. Measurement, metrics, dashboards, lead flow, scoring, lead follow-up and integration with other marketing programs are additional items that have to be considered. No SEO consultant will know all of these things so creating the proper team of experts to work together will be important.

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