- February 6, 2015
Three Fundamental Search Strategies That Deserve More Credit
Recently I had a discussion with a Search Consultant whom mentioned how times are changing in regards to SEO and digital. He mentioned he had a client whom is extremely savvy and probably could be running some aspects of the SEO campaign themselves. These situations can be tricky as the client is very easy to communicate with for efficacy but on the same coin may challenge the authority of strategy from time to time.
With that being pre-production or on-site optimization stage of the contract is typically when you launch an on-going search engine optimization campaign and there are some easy tactics that sometimes get little to no credit. This stage is very imperative as most SEO’s understand as it ensures all screws are tightened in the “engine” so to speak.
If pre-production mapping & optimization are meticulous and logical this will impact organic traffic in the future. It will help with thematic association and jive cohesively with additional marketing channels at play.
Anyways, from a client management perspective on-site optimization tends to be a very unpredictable conversations which can vary greatly. Some clients desperately need a clean, mapped out website where as others are optimized 99% and would benefit from a differed strategy. After dealing with so many different objections or simply questions from clients in regards to the initial search strategy it is important to highlight why or what matters initially in the process. Of course these items have changed from the old days and will continue to change most likely with the algorithm but for the sake of today in 2015 here are some theories based on data and experience over the past couple algorithm updates.
Headers & On-Site Code Optimization
SEO has a priority to put search or promote organic rankings first.
This means to always map out ideal keyword targets/sets and recommend above the fold strategic content and structure. A blend of page aesthetics with search volume (used from multiple software – I do not solely trust Google data) that naturally refers to uses co-citation to explain logic or solution to end users that will land on the page via referral or search.
This tends to be one of the most difficult processes with clients. Whether it is related to a poor communicating development team that is difficult to reach or a graphic designer who feels the design will compromise the brand it can be very challenging to get past these obstacles and implement impactful changes. Overall, it is clear there is shift toward on-site structure, content and aesthetics with the algorithm in 2015 and this is something every client should take serious if a qualified SEO suggests.
Note: A general trend seen is that local clients tend to have more on-site influence on rankings than national client where off-site tends to be weighed in a bit heavier.
Blog Integration & Strategy
Also a strategy that is very hit or miss but I recommend ALL clients seeking to build organic numbers have an easily integrated CMS blog either under the root domain or a subdomain. Nowadays WordPress is a no-brainer. It allows for SEO optimization and of course very easy upkeep/maintenance for in-house team members or in the future.
Your blog allows fresh, relevant content to circulate the web and reflect back on your website quality. This increases repeat visitors likelihood of sharing your content and continued loyalty while showing the search engine your site is not antiquated or going stale in the world that is ever-changing!
Finally, I’ve personally witnessed that a blog with steady relevant content is the key to bringing in long-tail keyword associations.
Some things that help keep this on track are providing a blog schedule ahead of time and confirming general subjects. Then you can get a head start on the content publication and schedule these posts well in advance if using a platform like WordPress.
Provide solutions to potential users in the niche, engage viewers with out of the box dialogue and do not over-sell…the rest is history.
Taking into account competitors upon initial campaigns for search engine optimization is crucial. By competitors I mean ONLINE competitors whom are specifically ranking organically. Each consultant/agency has their own ways of doing competitive research but to sift through the static and breadth of data and make impactful insights & draft a realistic campaign is the whole goal.
One trait separating novice digital marketers from advanced is the ability/experience to filter out the data quick, choose a starting point and begin implementation. I’ve found to pursue too many avenues initially (direct marketing competitors, brick and mortar competitors, etc.) can distract/waste valuable time that could be utilized more efficiently looking at organic trends, data and truly focusing in on a lean, mean SEO strategy.
As with any digital strategy however, be aware that various aspects do influence organic but I recommend efficacy and honing in on what whom to emulate, benchmark and monitor in regards to their organic presence. For example some basic items would be to audit link profile, social presence/engagement, content marketing efforts & other online techniques of close competitors…. just don’t get hung up on a list of historical competitors that have a website with one or two pages and zero presence in Google.
Overall, these three strategies are easily digested for any professional or client whom has had some exposure to search marketing or digital marketing. However, they can often be treated with very little regard or not truly analyzed correctly. I believe in 2015 these are three very easy techniques that if done right can yield better results than a highly technical campaign fixing robots.txt, xml sitemaps, etc. These traits simplify SEO correct, but they give google exactly what it wants. What are your thoughts?