Whether through an agency or internal teams, search engine optimization is the most common digital marketing strategy businesses invest in.
The problem is that very few SEO strategies are executed at an expert level. There are several reasons for this. Because SEO is more challenging to measure as opposed to PPC or inbound marketing, organic search can get away with poor execution and a lot of smoke and mirrors to justify “plastic results”. SEO is also an agile process, and its very nature gives room for lazy operative and buckets of excuses.
At the end of the day, any marketing strategy is only worth continuing if it’s helping a company achieve its growth goals. This is why the best SEO agencies offer modern strategies, define growth goals with their clients, create data streams for setting measurable milestones, and provide clients with reporting that shows where conversions took place, and how SEO played a role.
These four tips will help marketers make the needed adjustments for taking a common, lackluster SEO strategy and turning it into a revenue generating monster that converts the right kind of traffic into satisfied customers.
1. The Foundation of Advanced SEO Rests in Audience Targeting
Before you can run an advanced SEO strategy that enables sales, you need to understand who your customers are, how they consume and engage content related to your products and services, and learn what types of content they digest and share the most.
Audience targeting and keyword determination will play into all of this. Most SEO agencies simply collect broad, high-search volume keywords and create content designed to rank hoping that whatever they throw out into the SERPs sticks to something.
Instead of ranking blindly to the moon with little sales, rank content for your ideal customers. This means you will need to complete buyer personas that deep-dive into information like age, gender, job industry, job title, how success is measured at work, where they consume industry-related information, and even family status.
It is also important to learn what type of content buyers favor. Are most of them downloading comprehensive white papers, or are they reading blogs? Be sure you identify your buyer’s pains, and understand how your product will serve as the best solution to their needs in order to fine-tune audience targeting operatives.
When creating buyer personas to use in audience targeting strategies, be sure to talk to your sales team to gain insights into what motivates them to buy (or go to the competition). You should also comb through emails for any telling information, and even send out questionnaires to past clients and leads that never converted.
Once you know your buyer personas, be sure to find out where they congregate online. Are they busy on Instagram, or do they share content in niche LinkedIn groups? What topics are they talking about? What are the common problems they face, and in what context do they praise products? You will want to integrate this data into the buyer persona, and create an audience targeting strategy that will help pave the way for creating keywords, web page content, blogs and even backlinks.
2. The Right Keywords Probably Aren’t What You Think
We already touched on this, but most SEO services target industry-related keywords with a high search volume thinking they will get more eyes on their content, and therefore more conversions.
When checking our organic conversions over the last nine months, more than 87 percent derived from landing pages powered by content and keywords focused entirely around buyer needs and search intention, as opposed to broad high search volume keywords.
Using broad keywords is fine, and even necessary. However, they shouldn’t be the main focus. As Google’s AI and machine learning fueled algorithm continues evolving, the search engine is wise to the emotional intentions searchers have behind each query. Therefore longtail keywords that revolve around the context of “problem / resolution” will rank for niche audiences that convert better than larger and more general searchers.
3. Blog to Rank and Convert
A growth-driven advanced SEO strategy will have a blog in place designed to improve rankings, and convert readers into paying customers.
First, make sure you create unique topics within a context that speaks to your buyer’s biggest needs. Be sure these topics are broken down into each stage of the buyer’s journey: Awareness, Consideration and Decision stage.
It’s ideal to have an internal linking strategy for blogs that leads readers to other stages of the buyer’s journey; this will improve the user experience and help convert readers that would otherwise scan the content and bounce, or skip it entirely for not receiving the desired information.
If you want to learn how to write the best blog in your industry, you will need to master the cluster model with a pillar page. This is a proven method for improving rankings and conversion rate through an advanced SEO strategy. Why? Because, from a rankings standpoint, Google loves structured content. The cluster model allows for structuring content according to topics, intended audience, and focused keywords. Consumers also love structured content because it helps them navigate to areas with more focused topics addressing their unique needs.
4. Be Selective with Backlinks
Backlinks still matter, and you want to build up a healthy backlink portfolio. But in order to execute in a way that improves ranking as a stepping stone to sales enablement, there are some considerations that need to be made:
- Only seek backlinks from domains that are relevant to your industry
- Make sure the referring domain has high domain authority
- Focus on getting follow links
- Make sure the referring domain gives you control over link destination and anchor text
- Use anchor texts that focus on context and topic rich keywords
- Make sure the referring domains themselves have healthy backlink portfolios
- Segment topics and work with referring domains that focus on each one specifically
Running an advanced SEO strategy means you need to align on-site and off-site operations. Follow these backlinks best practices and you will see a significant shift in your ability to rank specific content for high-conversion niche audiences.
Did these SEO Tips Offer High Value?
If you found these SEO tips helpful, we think you will love a more comprehensive dive into the world of WEBITMD’s modern SEO strategy. You can download your FREE guide below; learn what makes our SEO strategy original and truly high-level, and see if it makes sense in terms of helping your company hit its growth goals!