Whether you’re new to digital marketing or a seasoned vet, you’ve probably heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This digital marketing service is the main technique used to increase the amount and quality of traffic to your website. The term SEO is also known as keyword use. SEO is incredibly important in marketing to ensure you can be found through Google search results. Having a high search ranking on Google helps drive the right kind of traffic to your website, find new customers, leads to more conversions, and your overall revenue.

People are searching Google for the answer to their problems daily, an average of 5.6 billion to be exact. Have you ever sat down and thought about how Google decides what websites to show and on what results page they appear? Let me tell you, it’s not magic; there is a calculated algorithm that crawls through content on the Internet to determine who sees what and when.

The topics you cover and talk about on your website, blog, and social media determines your placement, among many other factors. Some topics are more competitive than others in terms of SEO and will be harder to achieve first, or even third, page search results. If you are covering a very specific niche or are in an industry that isn’t overly dense, you could potentially score a top search result placement. The main goal of SEO is to make it easy for both search engines and website visitors to understand what a website is about, identify that that page is relevant to a specific search query, and find that page useful enough to rank well on search engine results page (SERP).

So now that you know the basics in SEO, let’s dive into how you can optimize your website and content to ensure your business is being shown on relevant Google results.

Finding and Targeting Your Ideal Audience

The first task you have to accomplish is to determine who your target audience is and what they are searching for. Successful businesses attract customers that have a specific problem that their unique product or service can solve for them. Most established businesses already know whom they are targeting but if you’re just starting out, here are some quick tips to assist you in the process.

5 Tips for Developing a Target Audience:

  • Find the top 5 keywords that best represent your brand and research the demographics that it correlates to.
  • Use surveys and ask your current audience what they want to see, their interests, their opinions, motivations, and buying preferences.
  • Use tools to analyze your competitors brands and if they are reaching your target audience.
  • Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience to understand their behaviors and interests.
  • Identify trends by using social listening techniques to see what people are saying about your company, your competition, and relevant industry topics.

social media and seoPicking the Right Keywords 

Once you’ve narrowed down your target audience, it is time to start researching the keywords that are relevant to them in regards to your business. Since you already did the research into your audience you should have a list of their interests and behaviors, and use that as a starting off point for relevant keywords.

A very common practice in SEO keyword use is to incorporate long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are less common and more specific keywords that help your audience find exactly what they’re looking for. These types of keywords are important to SEO because they are easier to rank for and they bring in valuable traffic. And in return, this lead will be more likely to buy your product or service.

5 Tips for Conquering Keyword Research:

  • Know your niche and audience like the back of your hand
  • Have a list of phrases and topics that are relevant to your business
  • Describe what you’re offering as simple as possible and brainstorm how users might be searching for it
  • Use Keyword Tool to get detailed analytics on phrases
  • Understand the intent behind users searches and what they are trying to gain from it

Building an SEO Friendly Website with Creative Content

Every time someone uses a search engine, they are looking for content – which comes in many different forms; text, video, blog, and even a product recommendation (https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/seo). The content that your website covers is how Google and visitors quickly and easily determine what your website is about. This is referred to as on-site SEO. In the past, the keywords you used in your website copy were the most important, today search engines have grown more sophisticated. They can gather information about your website based on common topics you cover, synonyms, context in which your content is delivered, and certain combinations of words.

While keywords are still important, one strategy to incorporate is focusing on using relevant keywords as opposed to exact match phrases. Content is the most important part of a website, without content, there is no need for a website.

As you’re creating content and copy for your website ask yourself, “how relevant is this to the users intent when searching”?

5 Tips for Creating Relevant Content for SEO

  • In-depth and specific content gives your website a better chance at ranking higher.
  • Organize your content so that is it user friendly, easy to read, and looks clean with minimal ads and affiliate links.
  • Create content that is unique and stands out against other copy in the industry.
  • Incorporate information in a way that shows your authority on the topic.
  • Know what your target audience is searching for and create content that is aligned with their needs.

actionable strategies for seoWhy Local SEO Should be Important to You

While e-commerce and brands are emerging online, there is still a high demand for products and services that are local to the consumer. Here SEO is very important – you want your business to show up as close to first as possible in local searches. Data shows that over 50 percent of users that search for local businesses go into the store that day.

Smaller businesses need to be sure to stay consistent and up to date to compete against bigger businesses. Local SEO optimization is beneficial for all types of businesses, not just product based ones. Doctor’s offices, law practices, plumbing companies, roofing companies, and restaurants will see vast improvements in business when they incorporate local SEO techniques.

5 Tips for Dominating Local Search Results

  • Include all contact information (address, phone number, email) on website.
  • Optimize your website to be user friendly for voice searches through Alexa and Google Home.
  • Reach out to former customers and have them provide reviews that you feature on your website that show cases your unique services and products.
  • Write content that is structured specifically for local users.
  • Include local (and relevant) links into your content. These could be from local newspapers, schools, or government affiliates.

Should You Outsource Your SEO Needs?

While creating and implementing an effective SEO strategy in house can be done well, some companies decide to outsource it. Let’s go over some reasons why you might benefit from outsourcing your SEO.

Outsourcing SEO is said to be more cost effective and save your business more money in the long run. One reason why it’s more cost effective is because a digital marketing company that specializes in SEO can deliver results more quickly than doing it in house. They can get campaigns launched faster, which turns into sales and increased revenue quicker as well. Another cost effective benefit is avoiding hiring another employee, or multiple, to handle the tasks. The cost of bringing on new employees is more expensive; giving them supplies, benefits, a salary, and more in the long run.

Another key reason to outsource SEO to digital marketing agencies is that they are experts in the field. They understand the marketing industry and have a proven track record with multiple client success stories. When you hand over the marketing duties to the experts, it allows you to focus on what you do best, run your business.

SEO optimization is not a one-time endeavor; it is a long-term process that is always changing. This means you need to be testing how your keywords and content are performing each week, if not daily. This can be time consuming when done properly, so when you outsource these tasks, it allows you and your employees to focus on non-marketing related projects.

There are many pros and cons to outsourcing your SEO tasks, so make sure to do some research on if it’s beneficial to your business. Now that we’ve gone over some reasons why you should outsource, let’s talk about how to pick the right company for you.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Outsourcing Agency

  • Research how much content a companies month-to-month package includes
  • Have a conversation with who is going to be doing the SEO work to ensure that they are knowledgeable and capable of delivering desired results
  • Make sure that they have the correct tools and technology to deliver
  • Avoid any company that guarantees a page one ranking on Google – this is a scam
  • Ask questions about their packages, for references, supporting services, their experience, and anything else you want to know

Creating a digital marketing and SEO strategyBuilding a successful SEO strategy takes time, experience, and a learning curve. If you are doing so in house, be patient and be willing to change things up frequently. The most important factor in conquering your SEO is to work from a foundation of understanding your buyer. If you understand what your customer is looking for, you can determine how to market what you’re offering to them much easier. Put yourself in the shoes of your buyer and work from there.

If you have determined that what’s best for your company is to outsource these tasks, do your research to find the best company for your goals and avoid scammers. My number one suggestion when picking an agency is to avoid anyone that is promising you top ranking search results – this is never guaranteed and based on hundreds of factors.

Click here for a free SEO consultation with Destination M+PR today!

Kollin Lephart

Kollin Lephart

Kollin is the Founder and CEO of Destination M+PR. With the many years working in digital marketing for clients both big and small, she has developed an expertise in Email Marketing, Social Media, SEO, SEM, and Public Relations. The energy that exists to create impact for her clients is her passion, and shows through DMPR's work. Contact her today for services or consultation at kollin@destinationmpr.com.

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