The SEO (search engine optimization) process is a long-term investment because, like any worthwhile investment, it takes time to grow. If your company is investing in traditional marketing campaigns, it is vital to invest similarly in SEO and digital campaigns. A good SEO campaign can have an everlasting effect on your online presence.
Common SEO Misconceptions
The most common misconception about SEO is that it should be a quick fix. Often businesses understand the importance of SEO and content marketing in this increasingly digital age; however, it’s difficult to understand why a successful SEO campaign is a long process. Below, outlines the basics that go into every successful SEO campaign and why focusing on a long-term strategy will take your business to the next level.
The SEO Process
Implementing a proper SEO strategy can take 6 – 12 months. Similar to traditional marketing/advertising tactics, SEO requires ongoing maintenance; so, it should be a part of your business’ marketing plan and budget. Several factors influence this timeframe: research, optimization, and maintenance. Research must happen before any on page optimizations can be completed. Monthly maintenance is performed to boost rankings, expand traffic, and provide an accurate report on improvements.
Best SEO Practices
Competitive Analysis: It’s important to examine your business’ competitive landscape. Who are your top competitors online? What are their strengths, weaknesses and the strategies they employ? This insight will help you set measurable goals for the campaign.
Your Customers: Understanding what customers are actually searching for is vital. It’s important to understand your customers pain points and expectations for the partnership.
Keywords: The terms you might use to describe a product or service are often not the same words your customers would search. Target keywords are then selected based on a combination of factors, such as search volume and ranking difficulty. More competitive keywords most often require a more aggressive strategy for your business to achieve an improved rank/position in Google’s search results. It’s up to the SEO specialist to find the sweet spot for you.
On-page SEO: This is your basic SEO that involves content creation, site improvements, customizing your headings, alt tags, page titles and more. This is where your keywords shine. You should always work on improving your site in order to show that your content is fresh and up-to-date for Google’s standards.
Off-site SEO: Link-building is a huge aspect of off-site SEO. If other reputable sites link to yours, then Google will, in turn, deem you as reputable. Think of these links as popularity votes. Find people who will be interested in linking to your content. Some options may be blogs, online directories, informational websites or local/industry news websites. The right fit should be unique and relevant to your business and product.
Local SEO & Social Media Marketing: Social marketing is a huge part of your online presence and vital to your SEO strategy. Google pulls resources from all over the web for businesses. Google My Business Listings, Google reviews, Bing Places for Business, Facebook, Yelp and others can all affect how search engines view your business in their rankings. Maintaining these platforms and setting them up correctly is a huge part of growing & maintaining your visibility and rankings.
Reporting: Measurable outcomes benchmarked against your goals allow you to determine the ROI of your SEO campaign, as well as the effectiveness of your website. Reports are important to track progress and guide adjustments to SEO tactics as your digital marketing strategy evolves.
Content Creation: This goes hand in hand with both on-page and off-site SEO. Content should be updated frequently and created to continue boosting your rankings and traffic. Review old pages on your website to find ways to better optimize them and increase conversions. Create new pages to stay relevant and continue to pull in increased traffic.
Google’s Algorithms: Google’s algorithms can change up to 500-600 times in a year. Sometimes these are small changes. Other times they can be huge game changers in the way Google handles what shows up in search results. It’s important to have someone who is on top of these fluctuations to keep your SEO efforts relevant.
Patience is the Keyword
When starting this process it’s important to understand that patience is key. Even the most well-optimized pages take time to reach their full potential. In “Why Content Marketing Isn’t an Overnight Success” Julia McCoy quoted that some of her best ranking articles (now #2 in organic search results), took over 6-7 months to reach that point. If you are just starting out, you might see quick results within your first month. However, without nurturing this marketing aspect, there will be a loss on the compounded effects of long-term SEO, leaving the ROI at a fraction of what it could be.
Don’t Fall Behind
Stay ahead of your competition by maintaining your SEO and constantly improving your website. SEO marketing is a prevalent practice in today’s digital age. If you drop the ball on maintaining your SEO, your competitors might pick it up and run with it.
If you want to improve your long-term SEO marketing, Firefly is here to help. We will work with you to learn your needs and launch a successful campaign that will give you the online boost you’re looking for.
SEO Specialist – Self-professed Harry Potter enthusiast who loves a good cup of Joe, Hunter brings SEO savvy to Firefly. Since her start, she has been studying data and metrics in order to provide clients with a unique presence in the digital realm. Adapting quickly to the ever-changing marketing landscape, she helps to find the big picture in a sea of data.