Devising a new SEO strategy is an exciting experience, regardless of whether you are starting fresh or sprucing up an old policy. Search engines are changing their algorithms all of the time and it pays to keep up in the optimization department – however easier said than done. Before you start calling consultant or drafting a new optimization strategy, stop problems at their roots by reviewing a few of the fundamentals.
Know Your Goals
The success of your SEO strategy depends on the clarity of your goals.
No matter what type of website you need to optimize, you will need a strong content strategy and an even stronger keyword targeting strategy. The content part directly relates to the needs of your target audience and the keyword targeting strategy will help ensure that the target audience actually makes it to your website. Unless you know your goals beforehand, all content creation and keyword research will be unfocused and ultimately less effective.
The biggest mistake is pursuing quantity instead of quality. After all, if your previous SEO strategy failed it probably wasn’t due to a lack of visitors but a lack of conversions.
An online shoe store may get thousands of hits by targeting keywords like “cutest shoes” or “celebrity footwear” but these types of searches do not translate well into sales, and sales are the real goal. A better keyword target would be “cute shoes fast shipping” – it would generate significantly fewer website hits, but keywords like these capture those visitors who are willing to buy immediately.
Who is your target audience? What does your target audience really need, and what will your webpage do to satisfy that need? What action do you want this target audience to take after they reach your webpage? You can never be too specific when getting an SEO consulting session and it always helps to have the answers to these questions on hand while creating a new optimization strategy.
Taking An Even Closer Look At Goals
Unless you’re trying to rough out a very general SEO plan for your startup, chances are that you are working on a specific campaign. Don’t let your business goals dilute your campaign goals too much. Let’s go back to the shoe shop example: if you wanted to run a list-building campaign, you would want to avoid the typical buyer-bait keywords.
You might want to create a landing page, or some fresh newsletter content, and target the type of people that you want for your list – those long-term, repeat buyers. Clearly, the “fast shipping” example mentioned earlier targets people who need to buy now, not people who are on a budget and want a weekly newsletter with fantastic deals. Targeting keywords that contain words like “coupons” or “discount codes” may yield more success.
Keep your standard practices in action behind the scenes but don’t let those campaign-specific goals fall by the wayside.
Do you want your website visitors to call you? Do you want them to buy a product? Do you want them to fill out a survey, or click on your sponsor advertisements? SEO is about generating traffic, but conversions are the goal. You have to know your goals before you can begin the optimization process onsite or off. You don’t even want to talk to a consultant before you know exactly what you wish to accomplish.
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Amber Vida is an experienced online writer that focuses on business and marketing topics! She is a regular contributor on this and other informative blogs. She loves to travel and network.