Just ask any business what their number one goal is, and the answer will likely be “more customers”. In other words, they want to increase their revenue and growth, and any one who isn’t some 73 year-old advocate of Yellow Page ads and door hangers will understand that this means getting more online traffic. So how in tarnation do you do that? It all comes down to having a deep understanding of how and why people engage yours and other industry-related content. Once you have all your buyer personas outlined and under the microscope can you begin creating a strategy combining SEO, paid media and inbound marketing to lead the right consumer audiences to the right messaging and articles that will engage, nurture and convert them.
In case you missed it, we recently published an article on how we increased ranking and organic traffic by more than 70 percent for our clients. This article will dive deeper taking a look at six tactics performed in that winning strategy that helped fuel organic growth and conversions.
1. Create a Keyword Strategy for People’s Specific Needs, not Search Volume
When you log into your keyword planning software, you may start to feel like a cat staring at a squirrel from the window: you want to break free, enjoy the chase, and nail it. But unless you are a cat or live in Kentucky, squirrel isn’t going to be captivating even though they are everywhere. Ranking keywords for users is (more or less) like this. Just because a keyword has a massive search volume, does this mean you should chase the rankings until you are found on page one of Google for this coveted word?
Let’s look at the question from another angle. Which set of keywords would likely lead to content most likely to convert:
Set 1 –
- Black Sweaters
- Black sweaters men
- Men’s black sweater
- Black sweaters for men
Set 2 –
- Men’s modern black sweaters
- L modern black sweaters for men
- Men’s size L modern black sweater
- Black sweater leather sleeves mens
Go ahead and check; “men’s size L modern black sweater” has so little search volume that it won’t register in my software. But this keyword ranked well for one of our clients and was responsible for a nice chunk of organic traffic that converted into sales. Now check “black sweater leather sleeves mens”; this keyword has roughly 90 searches each month as opposed to “mens black sweater” with about 2900 monthly searches. Once we ranked the client for the lower search volume keyword that contained greater detail helpful to the buyer, organic traffic to this product page more than tripled.
Improving SEO – Ranking Content for People and not Search Volume
We noticed that after about seven months of steadily increasing ranking for low-hanging-fruit keywords and more buyer-focused search terms, our clients began ranking for those larger search-volume keywords. Why? Because an aggressive blogging and SEO strategy let Google know which product were similar and different, and who the ideal customer is, and isn’t. In addition, the engagement metrics backed up the content with bounce rates, session duration, pages per session and conversion.
In other words, our strategy was based in understanding our customers, analyzing Google Analytics to determine keyword and search term relativity per page, and create optimized content to reflect buyer needs while letting Google know HOW this content is related to larger, broader keywords. Boom!
2. March SEO and PPC Down the Aisle in a Shotgun Wedding
We’ve all heard that sales and marketing departments often have internal conflict. They tend to be classic foes like Tom and Jerry, or Batman and Joker. But did you know that some digital marketing agencies are so internally disconnected that their departments can butt heads rather than work together? All too often paid search and organic search departments not only avoid one another, but try to prove which is more valuable.
It’s time to pick up that rusty old .12 gauge and march PPC and SEO down the aisle, because the best SEO Los Angeles agencies also running PPC with search strategies do so, because they see the value in each for leveraging these services to increase traffic, lead conversion and sales.
Multiple studies show that when mid-size organizations rank for paid and organic results simultaneously, CTRs improve by more than 80 percent. Not only does the company appear twice on page one of Google which naturally increases clicks, but the dominant presence tends to make searchers think the company is the leader in their industry because they have more visibility. There are always overlapping elements in paid and organic strategies ranging from audience targeting to keyword strategies. When aligning paid and organic search, SEO efforts will significantly improve as will engagement metrics.
3. Use Cluster Model Content Focused on Buyers, Not Products
We already talked about writing for people, and this research project backs the talk. I conducted a research project in which organic ranking and engagement metrics were studied between two segmented groups. Group A used a cluster model strategy with topics and context focused on precise buyer personas, and Group B used a cluster model strategy in which titles and topics focused on products and services. Both groups had the same amount of content and the same keyword groupings. Yet Group A experienced a significant increase in rankings and engagement data within a three month period, as you can see here:
- Average Increase in Rankings – Group A – 67% / Group B – 22%
- Average New Users – Group A – 89% / Group B – 57%
- Average Session Duration – Group A – 64% / Group B – 29%
- Average Page Number Views Per Session – . Group A – 37% / Group B – 15%
- Bounce Rate Improvement – Group A – 92% / Group B – 44%
- Average Conversion Improvement – Group A – 91% / Group B – 55%
Here are some striking takeaways from this data:
- Both strategies saw improvements, yet the group that focused context and topics on buyer needs as opposed to product features out-performed.
- The huge improvement in bounce rate, rankings and new users suggests that smart SEO strategies that use audience targeting tactics give the best results.
- Findings support that people and Google love the same audience-focused content.
Start by creating a cluster strategy that addresses buyers and their pain points as opposed to articles that begin by talking about the brand and its goods. Shoot for articles with a minimum of 1000 words, and integrate products as solutions to the buyer’s pains. Basically, any time you talk about product benefits be sure to use a contextual framing style to present the message so it features services and products as solutions to consumer problems.
Feel Inspired to Amp Up Your SEO Game?
If you found value in these tips, we think you will love our FREE guide on WEBITMD’s modern approach to SEO. Learn what it takes to create an SEO strategy that borrows ideas from inbound marketing tactics, and see how your business fits into the scope of things? Fancy having a chat? We would love to learn more about your growth goals, so give us a call!