If you’re like most business owners, you’re using search engine optimization (SEO) to some degree. For some, that means prudently choosing the titles of blog posts you publish online and hoping for the best. For others, that means investing in a relationship with a professionalSEO agency, and optimizing the business to focus on generating more search traffic.
Wherever you are on this spectrum, you’re probably interested in getting better results, ultimately improving your return on investment (ROI). So how can you do it?
These strategies and approaches can help you ensure you get better results, no matter how you’re currently approaching your SEO campaign:
SEO’s main goal is increasing your search rankings, but that isn’t the bottom line for most optimizers.
Instead, they’re focused onincreasing organic traffic(the inbound traffic from search engine results pages, or SERPs), or getting more conversions, or siphoning interest from the competition.
If you want to improve your “results,” you first need to formally define what those results are, and what your goals are with the strategy.That way, you can objectively measure whether or not you’re hitting the mark.
Working with an SEO agency is one of the best moves you can make for your brand.
They may seem expensive, especially considering the alternative of doing the work yourself, but you tend to get what you pay for. SEO agencies have access to entire teams of SEO professionals, and they tend to be specialist experts rather than generalists.
They also have access to more resources, have more years of experience optimizing web pages, and will be more capable of troubleshooting when something goes wrong.
SEO keywords are typically thought of in two main dimensions: search volume (the number of people searching for the query) and competition (the intensity of competitors trying to rank for the term).
Many newbies shoot for the high-traffic terms, but it’s usually better to try andcapitalize on a specific niche. It may narrow your target demographics and reduce the number of potential visitors your site can get, but it will also make it much easier to rank for those terms.
If you’re in a broad industry, like “plumbing,” you can start with one niche and gradually conquer other niches, like obscure commercial plumbing topics or old-school plumbing systems.
There’s a benefit to increasing the quantity of your SEO work; more blog posts will increase your search engine real estate while also helping you optimize for more keywords, and more links will pass more traffic and authority your way. However, it’s usually better to devote more resources into fewer assets.
For example, one long, well-written onsite blog post is more appealing to readers than a dozen short, shoddily written articles. One powerful link on a high-profile publisher is worth more than several links on blogs no one has heard of.
Spend some time studying your competition, both in terms of how they’re ranking in search engines and the tactics they’re using in content marketing and link building.
Tools like Link ExplorerorSEMRushcan help you determine where your top competitors are building links, and what kind of content they’re producing.
Learn from these pieces of information, not necessarily mimicking their strategies, but definitely capitalizing on their weak points and drawing from their strengths.
SEO is a powerful marketing strategy in part because of how well it works with other marketing strategies. It has impressive synergy with tactics like content marketing, social media marketing, and even email marketing, because these channels all improve the visibility of your content (and your ability to attract links).
You can boost your SEO strategy’s effectiveness by building on these other, mutually effective strategies.
Finally, if you aren’t already, take the time to regularly measure and analyze every facet of your campaign.
Pay attention to the traffic you’re receiving, how your rankings are improving, and how much time and money you’re spending. Only with objective data points will you be able to reasonably determine whether or not your strategies are effective, and where you could improve.
SEO is a strategy that demands consistency, but that’s also one of its weaknesses; too often, SEO practitioners get stuck in a rut, following the same strategies blindly and never branching out into new territory. To be truly effective, it’s good to keep experimenting, and tweaking to improve your results.
Be sure you remain open to new ideas and new angles, and pay attention when those new strategies start to pay off.