Search engine optimization (SEO) is a common term heard among CMO’s nowadays, but some might be surprised how little CMO’s actually know about the topic. “It’s expensive, but worth it if you know what you’re doing” is an expression I often hear. So, how are you supposed to create an effective SEO strategy for your marketing team if you don’t know what you’re doing? For this reason, I have decided to share a few of my tips for what has helped my team – and our clients – pull off a successful strategy. Below are the three key things that every CMO needs to know about SEO.
SEO is a long-term strategy.
Above all else, this may be the single-most important aspect about SEO to wrap your head around. According to Conductor’s March 2015 study, the overall number of SEO jobs in the top 20 cities grew by 18% between 2012 to 2015. SEO is constantly evolving and has led to the growth in demand for qualified candidates to fill SEO position. It takes time to build a strong SEO presence, so it is unrealistic to expect to see immediate results. Remember to be patient and make sure your team is tracking their progress and regularly updating you with the results.
To ensure your team’s efforts are progressing in the right direction, here are a few of the key results you should expect your team to report within the first three to nine months of implementing your SEO strategy include:
- Your search ranking for the target keywords have increased your company’s search position.
- The number of people searching for your identified keywords is positively correlated to the growth in clicks to your website.
- Your website has gained X amount of backlinks from reputable sources, thus driving X amount of additional traffic to your website.
- The number of users visiting your site that match your target customer profile is increasing.
- There are an increasing amount of new search opportunities being discovered on a regular basis.
Try using Alexa’s free traffic tool to measure the metrics on your website’s pages as well as any of your competitors. Using social media to drive more traffic to your website in addition to increasing the number of blog posts and guest blogging are all effective ways to increase traffic to your website organically.
Avoid using the “one-size-fits-all” approach.
Due to the many factors that need to be considered in determining how to build an SEO presence, your strategy needs to be customized to meet your specific business goals and objectives. What works for someone else – even one of your competitors – may not work well for you. Why? No two businesses are identical – no matter how hard a copycat may try, it’s just not possible. Take the time to fully understand your situation in order to determine which strategies work best for your business.
Consider the following questions:
- What are the short, medium, and long-term goals of your business?
- How will your search engine optimization strategy align with your marketing goals?
- What other promotional channels are you using or plan to use in the future?
- Which markets is your business targeting?
- How much of your traffic is currently coming from mobile vs. web users?
- How much manpower can you attribute to managing your search presence?
- Which social media channels are your customers on?
- Are you planning to launch new products and services?
- Are you planning to expand your scope of operations and market base?
Quality over quantity.
Make sure that your content and keywords represent what is actually discussed on your page. Equip your team with the right tools to monitor and evaluate your standing. Building backlinks to your website from credible sources is still important to your overall SEO strategy, but it is no longer enough for businesses to get by. Search giant, Google, recently released its full 160-page Search Quality Rating Guidelines that can be found here. Have your team read it, study it, analyze it, and repeat. Whether you like it or not, playing by Google’s rules is a necessity in order to improve your search engine ranking.
So, can you make SEO work for your business? Yes. Will it be easy? Not likely – but since when has anything rewarding come easy? Just like any other effective strategy, it requires periods of learning, adaptation, and most of all, patience. Wait it out and you’ll see. Let us know what has worked well for you on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!