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If you’re looking to market a business online, you have a lot of different options. You might consider running some ads or starting a blog. What about your social media presence or even your own website? Search engine optimization, SEO, may not even enter your mind.
Many people are less convinced about SEO, these days, thinking that Google is so smart, why do you need to do anything special to get it to read your website properly? Proper SEO still remains one of the foundations of a good digital marketing strategy, even if keywords are no longer the be-all, end-all.
Some people give up on SEO because they don’t see instant results. They might also believe that SEO is a one-time effort. When they don’t see the improvements they think they should, they decide to ditch SEO.
Good SEO is the foundation of all your digital marketing efforts these days, though. Time, patience and persistence will pay off, so stick with your strategy. These tips will help you get started on the right foot, so you can be confident that you’ll see results.
Success with SEO is not instant. That’s tough for many people to swallow in a world where you can find the answer to anything, buy whatever you need, and talk to people literally 24/7.
Fact of the matter is it can sometimes take weeks or months for SEO to really start working its magic. Startups must start working on their SEO long before they launch. You may not be able to rank for your keywords until you’ve launched your site, but you should have some idea what those keywords are.
That means doing keyword research before you launch. You want to build content around those keywords. Don’t forget about peripheral keywords either. People searching for these terms might be interested in what you have to offer. They might not know the name of your product or even the category, but they’re asking questions about tools or solutions for problems they see all the time. Make sure you reach them!
Now think about your ideal buyer and the journey they’re on. Start with buyer personas. Who will buy this product or service? What problems are they looking to solve, and what do they complain about most often?
Next, think about building content around each step in their journey. How will you support them through the discovery phase? What about buyers in the decision-making phase? The buyer journey isn’t straight-forward anymore. In fact, it can sometimes seem like two steps forward, five hops back! You need to make sure you can really speak to the customer at every stage in their journey.
Is there a comparison chart you can offer? An infographic that cites some amazing statistics about what your product can help them achieve? Education and information are key players in the buyer decision-making process today.
The other reason to start working on SEO from the start is so you can build it into your website. Many people add SEO as an after-thought, which creates a lot of extra work. If your site is outdated and you’re thinking about updating it, then you should build SEO right in.
Plenty of small actions you can take make you more Google-friendly. Use alt or title tags for your images, and think about the URLs you’re giving to each piece of content. SEO-friendly URLs include the keyword, so Google’s robots can understand what your content is about. Meta descriptions and titles are also important.
If you include these features from the start and make them part of your process for setting up a new page or adding a new blog post, then SEO becomes a natural part of everything you do. In turn, it’s much more likely that your efforts will pay off.
Also consider the concept of a website pillar page which consists of a topic, long form content, a downloadable and lots of supporting blog posts and website pages interlinking to your topic. Read one of our own FAQ guideline articles on how to build a pillar page.
Not sure how to get started with SEO or digital marketing, or feel like you need an overhaul? Get in touch with us! We can help you design a better strategy to take your business forward.