The steps to running a successful SEO strategy include the following: research, write content that ranks for the right audiences, and educate organic leads so they will better understand their own needs, see value in your offer, and make a transaction.
Traditional SEO agencies attempt to rank their clients for certain keywords, then they leave the next steps up to their client. And this is fine, so long as they make this clear to their clients before entering a relationship. But the best SEO agencies are growth marketing experts who don’t just stop at ranking; they use a multi-channel approach to driving traffic (that includes SEO) while running a conversion rate optimization strategy that actually performs lead nurturing, increases sales and helps organizations achieve other growth goals. Your main goal, after all, isn’t to rank on page one of Google but instead to increase sales. That said, ranking alone won’t help you hit your revenue targets; your traffic needs to be high-quality, and your content needs to compel people to perform a desired action, be it filling out an appointment form, downloading a guide, or making a purchase.
In order for an SEO agency to run a growth driven strategy that performs like this, marketers need to work closely with their clients through a collaborative relationship. But this isn’t always an easy process for companies and their internal marketing teams. This article is intended to help members of the C-Suite, brand managers, marketing managers and anyone else appointed to manage a relationship with an SEO agency learn how to collaborate in a way that will help them hit their sales goals and continue up a prosperous trajectory of year-over-year growth.
How Internal Teams Should Collaborate with SEO Agencies in the Research Phase
Any successful SEO agency that has a growth driven approach won’t just start writing content around a collection of keywords or run a technical SEO audit and start re-writing titles, tags and meta descriptions. The foundation of a successful SEO strategy is built on understanding who the customers are and what their journey looks like before making a purchasing decision. This is why market research is crucial, and it is where SEO agencies and other marketers rely on a collaborative effort with the client.
Your SEO agency needs to create buyer personas to base strategies from. This means they need to know important information on your buyers ranging from basic things like age range, gender, and average income level all the way up to knowing what the specific problems buyers have and how the featured products and services offer the best solution. There is tremendous value in having a meeting with your sales team and SEO agency so your marketing agency can learn what the common objections are, why people ultimately buy, or why they feel compelled to do more research before making a purchase. When SEO agencies understand points like these, they can engineer content that speaks to specific buyers and that ranks for the search queries they typically enter. Collaboration like this will help prevent the writing of poor content with bad keywords that won’t convert but instead will see to the engineering of buyer-focused content that leads to higher quality traffic, more conversions, and more sales.
How SEO Agencies Rank Content Built on Understanding the Customer’s Needs
In order to understand this process, it’s important to learn how Google’s algorithm has evolved. Several years ago SEO strategies could be put together with zero collaboration from the client. Back then SEO experts could discover which keywords they should target and write content in a way that ranks pages for these specific search terms. But Google has long since evolved, as it runs on AI and machine learning. This means it can actually understand the searcher’s needs and pain points at an emotional level, and rank content that speaks directly to those pain points with content hat offers the best solution.
Keywords still matter and always will, but gone are the days when you can pepper standard content with them and expect to gain high organic visibility. When SEO agencies gain a deep understanding of a brand;s buyers and understand the buyer’s journey, they can create longtail versions of keywords, and use broad keywords within a specific context that showcases a product as a solution. Such content is highly educational, well written (and written naturally) and if the client is running other digital marketing strategies, content for organic growth can play roles into leveraging other strategies. For example, if a brand is investing in a Growth Marketing Stack, and SEO and inbound strategies are running simultaneously, landing pages in a workflow can have SEO considerations to help drive additional traffic into the conversion funnel. But without understanding the buyers and gaining valuable insight from their clients on how customers make a purchasing decision, the effort will be more challenging than is necessary.
Don’t Ghost Your SEO Agency or Drop the Ball on Completing Tasks
In order for there to be a healthy relationship that produces amazing growth driven content, you need to stick to deadlines that you and your SEO agency agree on. All too often digital marketing agencies will email clients and ask for access to their website, Google Analytics, CRM, email marketing platform and a number of other portals. Without this access, your marketer’s hands are tied and time is being wasted because no further work can start until access is given. When your SEO agency asks for credentials, you should give this to them no later than 24 hours after the request is made.
If you are contributing content to the SEO campaign, you need to respond to your agency when they ask questions, and more importantly, complete and send the content before the deadline. Most companies that invest in a Growth Stack of customized strategies and tools that utilize SEO are benefiting from a content cluster strategy. This is where pillar pages are created and fed through a cluster of blogs and off-site articles that each have their own unique topic and resolution. In many cases, clients have a few internal team members or freelancers who agree to write content in addition to the content your SEO agency is producing. And if this is the case, there is a precise strategy set in place making every article crucial for attracting a higher quality level of traffic, and converting them into customers. Every blog is like a brick for building a house of success, and if your team is late, the strategy will have gaps and flimsy walls. That said, be responsive, submit your content on time, and pay attention to the SEO considerations your agency give you for every article you write.
Learn About the WEBITMD Growth-Driven Approach to Modern SEO
Can our modern approach to SEO help you hit your sales goals, or would our Growth Stack, a custom set of tools and strategies that utilizes SEO in a multi-channel approach to traffic generation be a better investment? Download the guide below and start by learning about our SEO approach. Then give us a call to set up a phone appointment to explore all your options, based on your unique needs and sales cycle.