It’s happened to all of us, even if we don’t like to admit it. Sometimes what sounds like a great idea in principle doesn’t work in reality. This is particularly galling when it’s a marketing strategy in which you’ve invested hours of work.
You’re not alone. Some of the world’s biggest brands, including Burger King and Ford, have had well-publicized marketing campaign disasters in recent years. But there’s a way, though.
Read on to find out why marketing strategies go wrong and how you can use SEO to turn things around. An excellent digital marketing strategy can help you reach more of the right kind of customer and accomplish outstanding results for your business. And of course, this will positively affect your bottom line.
How a Marketing Strategy Can Go Wrong
Things move so fast in the digital world. It’s hard to keep up with new trends, and comfortable with making a wrong move. This can be costly both in terms of time and money. An integrated marketing strategy, with good SEO principles at its heart, will avoid these mistakes.
No Defined Target Audience
Before you even start planning your campaign, you must identify your target audience. You can waste a tremendous amount of money, focussing your efforts on the wrong people, and failing to see any results.
For any digital marketing to work, including SEO strategies, you need a clear view of your buyer persona and what makes them tick. Then you can hone your content to appeal to this demographic and use social media analytics to adjust your offering depending on the insights available.
Unfocused Social Media Use
It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon when a new social media platform launches. But it’s not necessarily the best thing to have a presence on every single platform and post everywhere. It’s better to have a more focused approach.
You should choose the platforms which are most effective for your business needs. If you’re selling fashion items or art, for example, then a strong presence on Instagram is a good idea. Your customers will want to see a lot of images of your product offering. B2B companies will gain more traction from focusing on LinkedIn.
Failure to Engage with Customers
Personal engagement is critical, especially in cases of negative feedback. Sending automated responses via social media is a bad idea, and remember that things can go viral very quickly, especially on Twitter.
It’s estimated that 74% of companies have at least one negative review online, and you mustn’t ignore these. It’s necessary to try to manage the company’s reputation and diffuse the situation by responding professionally and trying to resolve the issue.
So now we’ve looked at some of the things that can go wrong. Let’s move on to talk about SEO and how it can help you to get your digital marketing strategy back on track.
SEO in a Nutshell
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It sounds pretty daunting for people who aren’t marketing professionals (and maybe even to some who are!). As a concept, it’s relatively straightforward, though.
SEO is all about optimizing the content that you post online so that search engines show it higher up in the search results for relevant keywords. It’s about trying to get your company to the top of the list in Google when your customers do relevant searches.
It sounds simple. And with more than 3.5 billion Google searches taking place every day, it’s essential to get a handle on how to harness the power of the internet search to help your customers to find you so that they can purchase your products or services.
How SEO Works
Search engines such as Google operate a crawling system. They trawl web content, searching for content to build an index. That index is then subject to a complex algorithm, which tries to match content to search requests and user intentions.
Digital marketers use various strategies to optimize the content of their websites for search engines. This means that search engines can understand the content they’re seeing and present it higher up the search engine results page (SERP).
A lot of the hits you see on the SERP will be paid for content, including Google Ads and various other pay-per-click strategies. For organic content – that is, content that you haven’t paid to promote – you need to focus on your SEO.
Why Does My Business Need SEO?
We’ve seen that SEO can help improve a website’s visibility on the SERP. But what value does this offer? Is SEO worth the effort? Let’s look at a few of the reasons why SEO is so crucial to your business.
Organic Search Traffic
Organic search traffic is a significant source of web traffic for most business websites. Google, in particular, holds a lot of power – other search engines do exist, of course, but Google has the highest market share by far. So optimizing your website, according to Google’s specifications, is a sensible move for any business.
Good SEO Means Trust and Credibility
Having a website that Google trusts enough to put at the higher end of the search rankings means having a website that is trusted as a credible source of information. Building an authoritative website is one of the best things you can do to improve your SEO.
That means have a quality backlink profile – no spammy paid backlinks! It means producing high-quality content regularly and having a user-friendly site. It takes time to build an authoritative site, but it’s well worth the effort as it contributes to your brand’s offering as a valuable product or service.
Improved User Experience
Good SEO means building a user-friendly site, which is also optimized for mobile devices. Google knows how to interpret positive user experience and reward it in the search engine rankings.
Of course, this is also beneficial in a broader context. Customers are much less likely to get in contact or make a purchase from a glitchy site, which is hard to navigate. Getting this aspect of your website right is a critical part of good SEO.
Local SEO Leads To Increased Engagement
Nearly half of all Google searches are looking for local information, and it’s estimated that 88% of customers will visit a physical location within 24 hours of looking it up online. These numbers clearly show the importance of good local SEO.
You must have contact information on your home page, and you make sure that your company is correctly categorized in business directories. Again, mobile optimization is also essential here – people may search for you when they’re out and about, and you want them to be able to find you.
How to Create an Effective SEO Strategy
By now, you should be convinced of the benefits of an SEO strategy for your business. At its most basic level, an SEO strategy is focused on organizing a website’s content by category. This makes it easier for Google to understand that content and match it to the intent of the user.
But what are the critical steps in implementing SEO for your company website? Read on to find out how to get started, or improve on your existing efforts.
1. Collate a list of Keywords and Topics
Keywords are the cornerstone of SEO, but the first step should be creating a list of topics you want to cover in your blog or on your website. Narrow down your list to those that are the most important to the people within your audience, then rank them in order of priority.
2. Build Pages for Each Topic With Optimized Headers
Create a page for each topic from your list and create content that outlines the topic at the summary level. Each page should contain information that is relevant to your customers and includes links to other pages within your site to encourage the visitor to stay longer on the site.
Add optimized titles to each page, which include your keywords, authoritatively. For example, if your company is a college or higher education center, you can state your position at the top of your field or within the local rankings (make sure you reference any claims like this, though!)
Add strong meta-descriptions to support the title and ensure that you are always considering the journey of the user through the website. What problem has led them to your website? How can you solve this problem?
3. Stay Up-To-Date on SEO News
The SEO landscape is ever-changing. Search engine algorithms are updated at an increasingly frequent rate. Google made 516 algorithm tweaks in 2010. By 2018, this had increased to 3234 – that’s nine changes per day.
It’s probably impossible to keep up-to-date with the detail of all these changes. But it would help if you stay informed on the latest trends and tips in SEO. You can be sure that your competitors will be, so you don’t want to get left behind.
4. Measure Your Success
Too many businesses only analyze the efficacy of their marketing campaigns at the end. But you can track your metrics on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to keep your plan on track and make adjustments as you go along.
You can use an SEO tool to monitor your organic traffic and how each of your pages is ranking. If this sounds too complex for your in-house capabilities, you might want to consider hiring a professional team to manage your SEO for you.
5. Don’t Forget About Social Media
Investing in the right social media platforms will benefit your SEO rankings. As user patterns shift and the way consumers interact with the internet changes, companies need to respond to this.
Ensure that your company’s contact details and necessary information are available on all social media profiles. This will count as indexed content, which will contribute towards local SEO rankings.
Using video on social media is a great way to maximize engagement. It would be best if you considered developing a video marketing strategy to harness your social media following and convert likes to buys.
6. Avoid Black Hat SEO, Focus on White Hat Strategies
One of the reasons that Google changes its algorithms so often is to discourage the old black hat SEO practices, which so many companies used to use in the early days of SEO. This form of SEO focuses solely on the search engine, rather than the human user of the website.
Black hat tactics include lots of duplicate content, stuffed with keywords. This makes content difficult to read, and repetitive and boring rather than engaging. Another dubious tactic that used to be popular was generating a large store of backlinks, for example, through spamming lots of digital directories.
Google has got wise to this tactic and now only rewards high-quality backlinks. Link-building remains essential as a ranking factor, but it’s necessary to take a more nuanced approach.
White hat strategies are what’s needed now. This includes credible link-building on authoritative sites and creating relevant content with appropriate links and references. Search engines will reward content with the right spelling and grammar and well-labeled images.
Using SEO To Increase Web Traffic
By focusing on the latest and most respected SEO tactics, it’s possible to increase traffic to your website significantly. SEO is no longer an optional marketing strategy. It’s critical for companies who want to grow and become more competitive.
A good SEO company will have a great understanding of the company they’re promoting and will set exact parameters for any marketing campaigns. SEO marketing can bring a great return on investment if appropriately handled by experts.
Now is the perfect time to get in touch with us to discuss your SEO needs. We can help you to optimize your website for better visibility, improved traffic, and, most importantly, more happy customers.