One: Identify Opportunities
Two: Understand Competitive Landscape
Three: Optimize, Optimize, Optimize
Four: Measure Success
SEO has long since matured over the past 15 years of practice. This means that in order to stay competitive, an organization needs to play in the SEO space. To any seasoned marketer, SEO as a philosophy shouldn’t be difficult to grasp. Where marketers run into problems is strategy and management of SEO implementation.
The blog post you are reading now is only Part 1 in my 4 part series on the pillars of SEO strategy and management. My goal is to help give you c-level marketing executives out there a framework in how to organize and manage your SEO implementation and/or give you a better frame of reference when dealing with 3rd party SEO partners.
PART ONE: Identify Opportunities
Like in any marketing strategy you start with research. SEO is no different in that regards. But you say: “Charles I already know my target market like the back of my hand. What else do I need to know?”
You need to understand your opportunities from a few different perspectives:
- Current Website & Content Performance
- Buyer Journey for Your Product/Service
- Buyer Persona
- Keyword Research
Current Website & Content Performance
Understanding how your website is currently performing is key to moving forward in any SEO implementation. Seeing how your visitors move through your site and what content they are consuming is the goal of this analysis. In another article authored, I go through the Who, What, When , Where, and How of Google Analytics which takes a deep dive into what type of information is important to look at in Google Analytics. This is a great place to start when analyzing the key metrics of success of your website. It also gives a breakdown of what kind of information you can discover about your website visitors.
Buyer Journey for Your Product/Service
Here is where you want to understand what kinds of information your customers want to see at each specific point in the buyer journey. The better you satisfy their questions, the more likely they are to move forward in their journey; and the more likely they are going to move forward in that journey with YOU. Here is how you flesh this out:
- Write down steps of buyer journey for your industry
- At each step, put yourself in the shoes of your customer and write down questions you would have (as a customer) about your product/service at that specific point
Understanding your audience is one of the key fundamentals of the marketing industry. Sometimes we tend to bucket people into numbers and psychological traits but forget there is an actual person behind those metrics. Creating a buyer persona allows us to still look at those key metrics of behaviors and traits but as a holistic person. It humanizes the process and allows to us marketers to make more informed decisions when it comes to our target audience. Below are three steps you should follow when creating buyer personas:
- Interview your audience
- Demographic and psychographic information
- Segment that information into the marketing funnel
- Create a fictitious person from your results
- Why they are interested in your product/service
Keyword research is one of the most pivotal parts of this pillar. The goal is to understand what language and terms customers use to find your products/services. products/services. One may think that a customer would search for “XYZ”, but through keyword research you may find they search for “ABC”. There are plenty of tools and strategies one can use to find the best keywords, but I find keeping it simple and logical is always the best approach. Here are a few great tools I use when doing keyword research.
When you feel comfortable enough that you have built this pillar up its time to move on to the next one: Understanding the Competitive Landscape. Look for it next month!
In the meantime, download our free checklist How Stream Does SEO to learn more about Search Engine Optimization. http://offers.streamcompanies.com/seo-checklist