One of the best ways to get things done, be it a party, a meet-and-greet, or even just a team meeting, is to have a checklist. You think through the entire process beforehand, and write it all down to make sure you have everything you need to succeed.
So, perhaps as part of your new 2017 marketing strategy, you’ve decided to dive into the world of SEO. Perhaps, you’re just looking to refine your current knowledge and understanding of SEO. Whatever your reason, I’ve created an SEO best practice checklist for developing your SEO strategy in 2017.
1) Understand your personas
Ultimately, no matter how good you are at selecting keywords, and optimizing your blog posts, you will not see results if your content is not worth looking at. The best way to go about taking this problem is to dust off the old persona profiles, update them, and get to work.
Who are your target customers? What are their pain points? Why would they turn to a product or service like yours? What kind of questions are running through their minds? Creating content for the user (not the search engine) is key because it keeps your website’s content relevant and increases the brand awareness for your company. If you write content worth reading, people will come.
2) Get a grip on the basics of SEO
Have you found yourself asking; What’s the difference between internal and inbound links? Or what is LSI? How does it affect SEO? What is SEO? The best way for you to begin building your SEO strategy is to make sure you understand the basics of SEO. Check out this blog post, where I answer the questions above and more (for your basic SEO needs) in full detail.
3) Know that the game is always changing
An important thing to understand when dealing with SEO is that the search engines aren’t there to help you move your product. They are there for the user to find the information that they need. Which means that search engines aren’t focusing on how many keywords you used, or how often you’ve used them. Sure, it’s a factor, but it won’t have as much weight to the search engine as something like inbound links.
Search engines are constantly upgrading their algorithms to provide the best content available to its users. Which means that the game is no longer about keyword stuffing, it’s about quality content. If search engines are looking for the best answer for their users, you want to make sure your content has the answer they are looking for.
4) Mobile continues to rise
Mobile devices are slowly, but surely becoming the primary search tool of choice. For example, did you know that 50% of all search users begin their search with a mobile device? This is a statistic that is only going to continue to grow with mobile seeing 125% growth rate and desktop searches only seeing a 12% growth rate. (Search Engine Watch)
This not only increases the need for a mobile friendly website, but it is changing the way people search in general. The innovation of voice search, and the challenges of typing on mobile keypads will change the way people search. Search queries will be longer, or shorter depending on whether it’s a voice search or a quick mobile search. One thing is for sure though, these search queries are becoming more and more likely to use specific, targeted, long-tail keyword phrases.
5) Sharing your content over social media
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to create your content and just let it sit there. That isn’t going to help drive traffic, your content is not going to promote itself. (Unless you’ve figured out some magic spell to make this happen, in which case, please let me know.)
Once you create your content, promote it over social media. Tweet it, share it on your Facebook page, post it to a LinkedIn group or your personal LinkedIn feed, share it through Google+ or Instagram, whatever social media platforms your company uses.
This creates more engagement, and by sharing it on social media, you will allow those who liked your article to quickly retweet, or share your post to their own followers. As with all things, use caution, and make sure to engage with others. Re-tweet worthy links, answer questions, and establish yourself as a thought leader, not a spammer.
6) Be prepared for hours of keyword research
So yes, keywords themselves may not impact your search engine ranking as much as quality inbound links, but no SEO strategy would be complete without keyword research. This part of your strategy will probably be the most time consuming, as coming up with a list of great keywords is far from easy.
Sure, you’ll find plenty of okay keywords worth perusing, some good ones, but that low-hanging fruit is hard to find. If you plan on seeing quick results, be prepared to spend hours doing keyword research. For a full step-by-step on keyword research, take a look at this blog post.
7) Know that SEO takes time
One of the most important things to consider before diving into your new SEO strategy is that it will take time. SEO unfortunately, is not an overnight process for which you will see the results right away. There are quite a few factors, which will influence how quickly you see the results from your SEO efforts such as:
- The quality of your content
- How much content you create
- The size of your site
- The keywords you’ve selected to target and their difficulty
While I cannot provide you with a definitive answer, you should expect to look at anywhere between 1 to 6 months of work before you start seeing real results (based on the factors listed above). Every new piece of content you create will continue to accumulate value over time, and each one will help you move your SEO results forward. Soon you’ll see those organic search result numbers rising!
If you’re still looking to prove the value of incorporating an inbound marketing strategy (with a targeted SEO strategy) check out our latest ebook: The Marketer’s #1 Challenge: Proving ROI, where you can get actionable ideas on proving your marketing teams efforts to your C-suite.
This blog post is part of “The Ultimate Guide to Web Development” blog series.