If you have invested in a growth marketing stack, then you are likely utilizing SEO as a top of funnel traffic generation strategy to aid in achieving specific goals: improve traffic quantity, quality, and rank specific landing pages and web pages for various keywords and search phrases. You may also be using SEO to send traffic to mid-funnel landing pages, and to web pages designed to directly convert leads into sales. And what you may not know is that the data acquired from SEO can be used to improve other strategies and enhance growth enablement across the board. And unless you are in a rare niche where nobody searches for your products or services online, SEO is a vital strategy for any custom growth marketing stack to garner maximum success.
But SEO is also the hardest strategy in a growth stack to run; it is a process that takes time to see a return, and even then it’s analytics are opaque, and unlike paid media there is no way to see where your invested dollars make the most of your investment through all the various strands of an organic campaign. Yet, for most businesses, SEO is the most profitable strategy to run, and if properly optimized and managed, it can work for you for free, for years to come without you having to invest a penny of your money. In other words, if you start running a growth stack and pause the strategy three or five years down the road, your SEO strategy can still continue running on autopilot for many more years to come, and still convert sales from organic traffic. But if you’ve had a consultation with a growth marketing agency, and a custom stack is indeed the best approach to help improve your bottom line, SEO will need to run alongside other strategies with various tech tools in place to make the most of your investment and to help you hit your high-revenue goals.
But how can you tell the SEO piece is working? What expectations should you have around SEO going into the engagement? This article is intended to help members of the C-Suite, internal marketing managers and brand managers learn more about SEO’s role in a growth stack, the healthy expectations one should have, and how to tell if the strategy is making good on your investment.
Give SEO the time It Needs to Prove Itself
For me, motor sports are dull. But the analogy will serve well here. There is a race track, multiple cars each built by a team of engineers, each has a pit crew responsible for diagnosing and making quick repairs to the car, based on its current performance and competitor’s tactics with the goal to get it back on track with the goal to win. Its success ultimately relies on how good the driver is, the team, and how good (or poor) the competitor’s teams and strategy are in comparison.
SEO works the same way. You have a lead strategist on your growth marketing agency’s team, they have an internal team, and they work with your internal team. Audits are run, keywords are tracked, website engagement and conversions are studied, and audits are ran on your top competitors. And often, it takes many laps to get clear insight on how well the strategy is performing, and if any optimizations need to be made.
Your SEO Results Will Be their Best if You Stay Goal-Focused
All too often a client will state their goals, then demand web content that is counterproductive. First of all, some content is intended for promoting a desired brand image or tone. Then there is content designed to educate your customers, rank for their search queries, and convince them that your services and products provide the best solution to their needs.
First of all, if your perceived branded tone for you, or for your customers? Do you think more buyers care about the language and tone on your website, or how your products provide solutions to their pain points and needs? In some cases you can have both and a collaboration can be reached between your idea of what good content is, and content for SEO that will actually convert leads into customers and help improve your bottom line.. Then there are scenarios where you have to ask yourself this question: what will grow your business, content that won’t rank and that nobody will ever see, or content that may not be your ideal choice, but that your customers love and that helps you hit your sales targets?
The key is to stay goal-focuses, and ask yourself which content option will actually help you achieve your goals. Then trust your agency, run with it, and wait for the strategy to prove itself.
SEO Should be Leveraging Other Strategies, and Vice Versa
One SEO expectation you should have going into a growth stack engagement is that SEO will feed your other strategies, and those other strategies will help empower SEO. Remember, SEO research is the single best way to learn about how customers actually search for your products and services; it is the best resource to get an authentic snapshot of what they want, what they don’t want. Make sure your growth marketing agency has a powerful CRM that pulls data from Google Analytics and mashes it together with high-level information on leads that enter workflows from organic traffic. This data can be used to improve audience targeting for paid media, inbound marketing, and social media marketing, and at the same time data from these three strategies can be used to help improve organic audience targeting, keyword selection and contextual elements to content written for SOE value.
Take a Hammer to the SEO Hourglass, Escape Its Confines
There is no clock SEO runs on, so don’t set your expectations according to some conceptualized time piece that will leave you trapped. Every engagement that utilizes SEO will work differently, because every business is unique, has its own target customers, and its own set of top organic competitors that your strategist needs to dissect, reverse-engineer and defeat. In fact, a standard onboarding time takes three months of research, audits, keyword discovery, and mapping out a content cluster model with pillar pages designed to help your business hit its growth goals and be the top reigning star in your industry.
Instead, look for consistent growth’ continuous gains in rankings, user engagement, form submits from organic traffic, conversion, and all the other steps that come before enough data can be collected to make the right optimizations to fine-tune the engine that generates sales from organic strategies.
Patience is key. And trusting your agency and the lead SEO strategist while holding them accountable to the above mentioned items while having reasonable expectations with a clear understanding of how SEO helps empower a growth marketing stack, and how it contributes to achieving your growth goals, puts you in an ideal seat to lead your organization’s internal team, while working with your growth marketing agency, to ensure SEO delivers across the board.
Download Our FREE Guide on WEBITMD’s Modern Approach to SEO, the Same Strategy we Include in Our Growth Stack!
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