Over the past few weeks on The Innovative Marketer column, we have discussed the importance of content creation (videos, infographics, e-newsletters, eBooks etc.) to an organisation, the best ways to create viral content and how to set up a business blog for your organisation. During the previous edition on inbound marketing, we discussed five of the most effective ways to get the right exposure for your articles, which then means high traffic to your website, engagement on your online community among others.
Whether your organisation or as an individual you are just starting out with content marketing or you have been doing this for a while, some of the biggest challenges you will face at some point will include how to increase the low level of traffic to your site, and increase the level of engagement on your website and social media community. The go-to solution will be to strategise how to effectively market your content to your prospective customers for them to find your products and services online in order to grow your business using strategies under content marketing. This will mean looking for the best strategies to do so and using what channels (please refer to last week’s post to get educated on this).
Search Engine Optimisation involves enhancing your website through the use of key words and technical factors among others to get the website more visible and show up higher on search engine results pages, so as to generate more traffic, thus more sales. As a content developer and marketer, it is important to pay close attention to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in your quest to get your content noticed by the reader and the prospective customer online. SEO has become quite a common term in this digital age, but this is the right content for you if you want to brush over your SEO skills or learn about it all afresh.
Factors affecting successful SEO
To understand SEO better and use it effectively, it is important we first understand what search engines such as Bing and Google are and how they work. Some of the main purposes and functions of the search engine includes crawling and indexing web pages, serving useful records and ranking results pages. Some of the factors that affect the ranking of your website include the following:
• Factors occurring on your site (how fast your web pages load, User Interface experience, the design of the website, site architecture and the kind of words you use among many others
• Factors occurring off your site also include PR, social media activity and digital marketing activities among others
How long it takes to see success with SEO
Search Engine Optimisation is not just a campaign to be run for a month and later saved in your list of past content marketing campaigns. SEO requires commitment, dedication and patience. It is not black magic; if you want to realise long-term success there are unfortunately no quick fixes that will get your site ranking number one. In most cases, it takes approximately five months to a year to help an organisation’s website see the benefits of SEO to it. For that reason, I always insist companies seeking my services in this aspect of content marketing understand our business relationship will last for at least five months, and not just a couple of months.
This realisation then raises the question of whether you should then go for Pay-per-Click (PPC) or not, if it takes this long to see the potential benefits of SEO to an organisation.
In clarifying this, it should be noted here that PPC is paid online advertising which runs for a duration of time, say some weeks whereas SEO, once you start practicing it, becomes a long term investment for your company although it takes a lot of time and effort.The PPC, although it provides a good rate of exposure, is also expensive as compared to SEO.
Without an SEO strategy, it becomes quite difficult to practice SEO the right way and seeing results become difficult. To help you focus on getting the most out of your SEO activities, I recommend you pay attention to the following important aspects of SEO during your SEO strategy session
• Content optimisation
• User Experience design
• Technical optimisation
• Off-site promotion strategies
There is available quite a wide range of tools to enable in the effective strategising and implementation of an SEO strategy. Stated below are some tools worth considering
• Alexa Rankings
• Hubspot Marketing Grader
• Wordpress SEO by Yoast
Getting SEO right is no difficult thing to do, and getting it right can be relatively easy. Evaluating success is important and an important way to know if your SEO strategy is fetching the right results or if it still needs a lot more tweaking. To evaluate success of SEO, I recommend you take a close look at both the content and technical strategies, and also compare results from the most recent audits.
To audit your content strategy in SEO, critically evaluate if the content on the website is optimised as per standard, and if the right key words have been used. These key words usually include those potential readers and customers will easily use to search for terms or solutions to their problems.
In performing the technical evaluation of your SEO strategy, consider among other factors if your website may have any indexation barriers, whether it is accessible to crawlers, and if the server setup was well tested.
The only way to help google help you in making your site and its content visible is if you understand SEO, know how to create an effective SEO strategy, learn to use key words, understand how to implement the strategy and assess success, and also have the patience to stay committed to see results. You work towards seeing your website in the first search engine results pages when you search for a term related to your business.
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