No one wants several years of slog to get their business up there at the top of Google with the competition, so you need to embrace more modern SEO (neo-SEO) tactics to get where your business deserves to be. However, you must also continue to keep your eye on the real prize – attracting actual potential customers, clients and useful leads for your business, rather than just drawing in traffic for the sake of it.
As Google constantly enhances its ability to ensure rankings are based upon websites that invest resources into improving user experience, it makes it ever-tougher for traditional SEO agencies to confound the algorithms and bump their clients up the search rankings.
Concentrate on Content
In competitive business environments, it is crucial to focus upon setting your company apart from the competition and this requires putting in more effort to deliver valuable content that your target audience will take the time to absorb. What you are putting out there must also reflect positively upon your organisation.
Consider who you would prefer to attract to your website, what they are interested in and how they prefer to receive their content.
Often a successful way to get started with content marketing is to identify and break down your business activities into separate elements, then determine how each can be portrayed in an interesting way to the audience.
For example, a veterinarian practice might include departments for several types of animal, with each having a plethora of stories and issues to cover. Vets can speak about seasonal issues, such as dog heat stroke or chocolate poisoning at Christmas; they can communicate with authority on all its services, from animal relocation to obesity management or parasite control and comment upon trends and issues within the market. And don’t forget the main tools a vet has that barely any other type of business can offer: an endless supply of cute and cuddly animals, which prove a huge hit among most of the population and, more importantly, a vet’s target audience – animal lovers.
Writing blogs, designing images or recording video or podcasts better than your competition and then pushing this content out in a more targeted and intelligent way using the marketing channels at your disposal can be enough to give you the edge and drive better traffic to your site. Continuously putting this type of content marketing off for another day is simply not a competitive option, as content marketing continues to rise in importance.
If you’re not sure where to start regarding your content, then drop me an email with some background and I’ll get back with some ideas.
Here are 5 reminders to follow when publishing online content:
- Interlink your content wherever relevant – if your audience is engaged, they should be encouraged to continue the journey
- Add multiple pages covering the same key areas from different angles
- Don’t duplicate content
- Consistently promote your articles/ video/ blogs/ podcasts on social media
- Always keep content up to date and relevant – things change quickly, so ensure you remove items that might have become outdated, as they could reflect negatively upon your organisation
Fine-tune your funnel
You want people to draw potential customers to visit your site who have no intention of buying anything from you today, tomorrow, or even in the next year, then you want to provide them with useful content to ensure they come back again and again, building familiarity with and confidence in your brand. Ideally you want to build a long-term relationship with your business, where they respect you for giving them valuable content and not asking for much of anything in return at that time, other than perhaps the opportunity to communicate further.
While it may vary between industries, several sources claim the average rate of someone visiting a commercially-driven website and then the visit converting into a sale is lower than 2%. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, you should target driving more than 50 people to your site in order to have the chance of a conversion.
If you consider what I call the ABCDEF purchasing process, content marketing is still at point A or B: Awareness and Becoming interested; rather than the latter stages: Consideration; (Definite) intent; Evaluation; Finalisation. The idea of a funnel comes from the inverted pyramid shape more than how a funnel works – unlike a funnel, a website generally loses most of the traffic that is poured into it. If you picture the shape of a funnel – a large amount of people can come in at the top, but will drop away during the purchasing process until only a small percentage converts – signified by the pointed bottom of the shape. By optimising the stages of your funnel to make this purchasing process run as smoothly as possible as the potential customer moves through to point F, you can radically improve your chances of a sale.
Take the customer journey on your site yourself and, as you go through this conversion funnel, look at it from a visitor’s perspective and consider how they feel as they move along the process. Do you have pop-ups or lead magnets appearing too early, or are they timed just right? Is the contact form or purchasing button easy to see? Are all your contact links clickable? Do some pictures or clips take too long to load. Some time spent objectively looking at this can make a huge difference to future sales – and if you can’t be objective – then ask a friend to take the journey and report back.
The communication tactics you use to drive people to your site is crucial, but only the beginning, and the way you maximise who comes out the bottom of the funnel is key to sales success. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to find strong search terms to use in the content hosted on your site. This should help improve the quality of traffic going into the top of your funnel.
It’s important to periodically check your site’s Google Analytics and browse the journey your customer has been taking by referring to the Behavior area, where you can see where your customers have dropped off and when. You can then often use this information to make key changes, or just small tweaks, to the pages or site functionality that can make a huge difference to helping more conversions down and out the bottom of the funnel.
Constantly monitoring, evaluating and adjusting is the key to ensuring the site is capturing the right audience and maximising visitor conversion – alongside functionality and keyword-driven content.
Use a deeper pool of keywords in your content
While the most obvious and valuable ‘buyer intent’ keywords should of course be used in your content throughout your site, think a little further and brainstorm the alternative keywords some prospects may search and ensure they feature in your content. If you are struggling to expand your keywords bank, consider calling a quick team brainstorm, or send some emails or WhatsApps to friendly customers or other trusted contacts asking them to suggest their top ten keywords they might use if trying to find your product, services or company type.
Get to grips with Google Search Console
Click on Google Search Console then click the Performance for a list of the organic search terms you are ranking for. If your site is not already on Google Search console, then follow the simple steps and then use it to get to know which organic keywords are doing best in terms of website traffic. This can provide you with a knowledge-based guide to which types of content and keywords it might be better to focus upon. There are hundreds of handy tutorials on getting going with Google Search Console, so what are you waiting for?