(LinkedIn: To be continued…..)
(Image from Moz.com）
Traditionally, based on all the well-known ranking factors, SEO specialist would set out to orderly conduct Research; Structure; On-site SEO; Link Building; Keep Improving; Analyze Ranking and Traffic; Repeat (details are shown on the illustration).
The problems with traditional SEO approaches
To sum up the problems with traditional approaches, they are doing things mostly from a technical perspective. Since the Panda Algorithm update in 2011, Google started to show the favour for unique and high-quality contents more and more obvious. Additionally, quality of backlinks, branded search and social signals seem to weight more and more over years. Google always evolves. “Old SEO” is fundamentally different from “New SEO”. That’s why as an SEO, keeping up with the trends is so important.
- Opportunity Discovery: This is the plan&prioritize stage. A seasoned SEO should strategically align business goals, branding, buyer personas (are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers) with typically SEO process like website’s SEO Audit, Competitor Analysis, Keyword Research. A Content Audit is absolutely necessary as well before any content creation. In the process, you might find that Local Citation needs to be consolidated first; or you might find good keyword opportunities to rank. Let’s face it, you will always find endless things to do or fix! So, to wrap up Opportunity Discovery before any implementation, SEOs need to prioritize tasks, especially when time and resources are limited.
- Content Implementation: Content marketing has become such an inseparable aspect of SEO. Creating high quality and unique contents is no doubt a building block of a successful SEO campaign. This process would consist of Content Planning, Content Creation, Content Distribution. (Depending on the “priorities list” that is made in Opportunity Discovery, some of Technical SEO tasks might need be done first).
- Technical SEO: Yeah yeah yeah, the boring but critical stuff like indexation, site speed, submitting site XML maps…
- Social Marketing Implementation: Social media have a staggering number of 2.5 billion users according to Statista. No markers can ignore a marketing channel like that. The impact of social media marketing goes beyond pushing social profiles on the first page of Search Engine Result Pages. It also distributes your contents, captures external links and increases brand awareness.
- Measurement & Analysis: When it comes to digital marketing, you can easily track almost everything. If you haven’t used website monitoring tools like Google Analytics yet, you need to have it set up (It’s a FREE tool!). Along with Google Search Console, it not only allows you to track and analyze traffic’s sources, visitor’s behaviour and browser’s language, but also search terms that visitors use to find your web pages. The report can be incredibly detailed. At this point(usually 5-7 months after SEO campaign started), you would probably have collected a sizeable data during the SEO campaign that enables meaningly analysis.
- Optimization: It’s time to make data-driven changes. SEO should continue on Conversion Rate Optimization (conversing more visitors into leads), Content Repurposing( re-formatting existing contents ), Content republishing and etc.
|Number of new retailers acquired via organic search in a given month||10|
|Average net income (profit) per order||$100|
|Total profits from new organic search customers in a given month (10X$100/customer)||$1,000|
|The average number of orders per customer over a “lifetime”||5|
|Total average lifetime profit||$5,000|
|Monthly marketing budget (expense)||$2,500|
|Average lifetime profits from new customers ($5,000) divided by monthly organic marketing spend ($2,500)||ROI = 200%|
And the best part, if most of your competitors aren’t doing SEO, the website doesn’t stop bringing you new clients immediately even after the SEO campaign is over. The ugly fact most SEO companies won’t tell you is that: even if you pause SEO for 3-6 months after a long period of time( 12-18 months) of proper SEO works, your ranking would most likely not drop. It’s pretty much like guitar practising. If you skip two and three sessions, you can get back to where you were fairly easy. But if stop practising for too long, obviously it gets harder to get back.
Benefits of a well-architected and well-executed SEO campaign also includes:
- Brand awareness;
- Lead generation: Social Media following;
- Growing Email list;
- Incoming calls or online purchases;
- Hiring in-house: If your company is big enough to hire a full-time, then here’s some statics, the national average annual salary for hiring an in-house SEO is C$46,000 and U$42,862 in Canada and USA respectively. Another way to find out is to go Indeed comparing how much are other companies are willing to pay;
- Outsourcing: Hiring a digital agency is another option. Digital agencies and consultants usually provide SEO related services for website owners, including Technical SEO; Content strategy and development; Expertise in specific markets and geographies and even SEO training. Because SEO campaign’s success also requires expertise in Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing as mentioned before, they usually bundle up the services and charge a monthly fee(usually $ 1000-5000/month). Here’s what I can say: a great SEO will never charge low prices. If you’re hunting for a discount, chances are you’ll end up with an SEO who cuts corners and hurts your site in the long run.
What are the key takeaways if you don’t want to read the whole article:
- Google’s mission is to help users to find the desired information that they looking for as easy as possible.
- It takes at least 4-6 months before you see SEO
- Google updates its algorithm constantly, what worked last year doesn’t always work today. Therefore SEO need to keep up with the changes.
- Nowadays, SEO must align with your business goals, buyer personas, branding, content creation, social media
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