SEO Strategy – in Five Simple Steps
What is SEO Strategy, and how does it apply to me?
A lot of business owners seem to approach online marketing as an afterthought. Truth be told, it often seems like they have no marketing strategy in place at all. Which is actually okay, because strategy – particularly SEO strategy – is what we do.
Without a map, you can’t get to where you’re headed. Your strategy is that map. So it stands to reason that, before you can create a strategy for your marketing, you need to get really clear about what your goals are. When you know what you hope to achieve, you can create a plan to turn those hopes into concrete, achievable goals.
First of all: what is search engine optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the processes and techniques used to ensure that search engines can identify the content on your site as being relevant to the search engine users trying to find it. In other words, SEO is the way you tell Google that you have the answers their users need.
One way to achieve good search engine results is to use the words people use when they look for the services you offer. The more closely you can match your target audience’s language, the more likely it is that they will find you. There are many great (FREE) tools online to help you get this right. Probably the easiest, though, is just to ask your customers what they typed into Google when they found you.
Better yet, ask them why they’re buying from you: what problem do you solve for them? Writing about that problem will almost guarantee you more clients.
But SEO doesn’t end with the clever use of keywords and phrases. That’s like taking a single diet pill – one time – and being surprised you don’t shift those extra kilos you’re carrying around. (Hoping i’m not the only one).
Creating great content for the pages on your website, based on solid research into your customers, their habits, and what they need from you, is an excellent place to start. But it’s JUST the start. If you want to make a real dent in your dress size, you probably need to add a bit of cardio to your weekly routine. In the same way, without regular content updates on social media and your website, people won’t find your website (or your business), and your online marketing won’t be effective. It’s important to create and share original content – Every. Single. Week.
Sharing is Caring
It’s also important to curate and share other people’s content, in the form of useful statistics, interesting quotes, informative infographics, and engaging images.
But it goes beyond sharing information and witty sayings. That is very useful, but what you share needs to form part of a larger strategy: a strategy to engage and educate your audience.
SEO in Action
First of all, we need to grab hold of their attention by making sure your content appears when they look for what you do. This is search engine optimisation at work, and it needs to be done consistently on every piece of news you share.
Secondly, it’s important to know what message you’re trying to convey, and what you want people to do as a result. Simply telling stories is not enough. Each story needs to form part of a bigger picture. And each story needs to have a clear call to action at the end. Make it easy for your readers to understand what they need to do next.
When we regularly delve into specific subjects – and we let our audience know that’s what we’re doing – we keep them connected, looking for more. They get a sense of what to expect, which builds trust.
That’s why an SEO and content strategy is so important – and it’s why they work so closely together. When we create a content strategy for our clients, we design a roadmap that takes them from where they are now in terms of knowledge, to where we want them to be.
Imagine, if you will, that you offer something absolutely amazing and essential to human life – but no one has ever heard about it. No one is looking for it, because no one knows it exists. Where your audience is now, in terms of knowledge, is at base zero. We want to take them to the rank of super fan – and it takes effort. We need to get their attention, alert them to the fact that you offer something they need, and then educate them by showing them all of the ways your amazing product will improve their lives.
Writing Content People Are Looking For
As we’ve outlined above, the place to begin is to grab your audience’s attention. And we do this by answering the questions they’re already asking. We find these questions by doing a little background research (or, in this case, a whole lot). We need to understand their pain, and how your solution fixes it. We need to use optimized content to jump in front of them in Google searches, alerting them to the fact that a solution exists. Then we need to keep reminding them – gently, with content that adds genuine value to their lives – until it becomes obvious that they should buy from you.
Easy, right? Not so much. But it is much more manageable with a clear plan.
Here are our Top Five Steps to Simple SEO Strategy:
- Identify the pain.
- Effectively convey the solution (at the same time showing that you “get it”).
- Define the steps that take your audience from strangers to super fans.
- Create and share content that guides them along that journey.
- Keep doing it.
There you have it: your five-step foundation for an SEO strategy that works.
If you’d like a little guidance (or a whole lot), contact us. We do SEO. We’d love to help.