SEO isn’t dead (no matter what some blogs might proclaim).
SEO is still an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. Great email campaigns, social ads, awesome blog posts – a search-led approach will help you maximise digital marketing ROI from all of these tactics.
In 2018, SEO is less about scattered link building and ‘hoping for the best’, and more about commercial gains and a targeted marketing strategy. Justify your SEO investment by aligning it with key business goals and considerations.
Without further ado — use these SEO tips to take your search strategy to the next level...
SEO is a dynamic interplay between website authority and relevancy. Not having enough of the other, or too much of one, may weaken your website’s ranking potential. Get to grips with your site’s core authority metrics in order to pinpoint any missing spokes on your strategy wheel.
Authority in search mainly comes from links and mentions on other websites, whereas relevance is all about the language you use and the context of your inbound and outbound links. In order to boost both, you need to be committed to creating great content on your domain.
Link building is central to a good SEO strategy, but modern link building is more about content and value exchange. Avoid anything that’s too aggressive.
Audit your site + go deep
Every online business needs to have regular web audits. They are the only way of uncovering deep-seated usability and SEO issues. The expense of an audit will be counterbalanced by all the strategic knowledge that you’ll gain.
Here are some basics that you will need to cover in yours:
Images, branding, content: do they all reflect your business; do they engage the user?
Offsite + social: do you have good backlinks and social mentions?
Referral traffic, traffic sources + analytics: what are your users telling you?
Take time to go through your web audit and digest the data in order to focus your SEO strategy on the things that will bring you the most ROI.
Invest in the right tools
Modern marketers have the luxury of being able to access a wide variety of SEO tools (both free and paid) that make our lives a lot easier.
Don’t be afraid to explore the wonderful world of SEO tools and platforms to help you cut down on time. Software like Ahrefs or Screamingfrog make key SEO tasks like keyword monitoring and site crawling a lot easier.
Don’t fall for a ‘hard sell’ – many SaaS companies have awesome sales departments who will stalk you online in order to lure you into a monthly contract. Stand your ground and don’t feel ‘obliged’ to give people the time of day just because you entertained their sales pitch.
On the other hand, not investing in tools can be just as problematic. The old adage "you’ve got to spend money to make money" holds true here. Some tools may seem pricey at first, but once the cost is spread in a monthly fee (and you factor in all the time saved and data captured), you’re often better off.
Test out tools during free trials, and ask other businesses what they rely on. Read reviews carefully – make sure you aren’t going to have to fork out for ‘add-ons’ too.
Shoot for an increase in conversions
Increase in traffic to your site is great, but without a solid commitment to improving conversions, your newfound popularity will go to waste. Spend time tweaking your site for an upturn in conversions. After all, it’s sales that you’re ultimately after!
There are loads of different conversion optimisation strategies you’ll want to try – from opt-in forms and re-designing landing pages, to changing imagery and re-writing your calls-to-action. If you haven’t got a big budget to play with, start with the small stuff that’s easy to change first (this can be surprisingly powerful). But don’t expect a huge upturn in sales just because you changed the colour of your email form... Be realistic. It may be that there are more niche-specific things you need to do in order to increase conversions.
Split testing (a.k.a A/B testing) is a really simple way to try out your new ideas on your existing users – you can use software like Optimizely to help you. You may find that adding or taking away headings on product or landing pages makes a big difference to sales figures.
Invest in user reviews to build trust
Trust is a big commodity online, and for good reason. If your customers trust you, they are more likely to spend more, and spend more often.
Trust can come from a variety of places, but reviews are one cool way to boost customer trust and SEO at the same time. Make the most of positive reviews and shout about them online. Use them on product pages and as part of your sales funnel.
If your customers are really curious about how your brand and product compares to the competition, why not create some content around that? Comparison tables and comparative reviews tend to get a lot of search traffic and user engagement.
Create more targeted content
Search engines and people don’t like pages with thin and confusing content. For the best SEO results, content must be in-depth and engaging – with one clear, overarching purpose.
By going targeted, you’ll use a healthy range of keywords and natural language that’s got your niche covered top to bottom.
Have you created enough of a content knowledge base for your niche?
Are any of your pages a bit confused in their purpose?
Have you answered all the key user questions?
Are you targeting different customer groups? Have they each got their own, unique landing page?
Focus on content quality, personalisation, and clarity.
Sometimes the best SEO strategies are the simplest ones. Granular targeting means a better chance of ranking for commercially competitive keywords; these people are already close to a purchase decision and know what they want.
Modern SEO is strategic and plays a big part in your digital brand. Start looking at how all your digital efforts are talking to each other right now. A more joined-up digital strategy is leaner – better for users, better for business. Which SEO task are you going to tackle first?