So, how do most people go about their SEO?
A lot of people jump straight in to optimizing their websites by:
- adding content,
- choosing the right keywords and
- getting as many links as possible
Then they usually find that they are not getting the hits (visits) they expect or the profile of customers that they were expected! To fix this you need to have a clear SEO strategy.
The first step in your SEO strategy should be to define your target audience.
Your target audience is defined as the group of people you are trying to reach. Your target audience can be companies/people from specific:
- geographical areas,
- industry groups,
- areas of expertise,
- age groups,
- gender profiles,
- marital status, and so on…
Discovering and profiling the right target audience is one of the most important stages in marketing. Incorrectly defining your target audience, usually results in expensive campaigns with minimal return.
Great, you now know your target audience. What are their needs and wants? Once you know these you can look at supplying the solutions your customers are looking for. Knowing these needs and your appropriate solutions, you can now start thinking about your
- Content strategy,
- Keyword strategy and
- Link building strategy
Knowing these things will help us better define a content strategy and prioritize content to bring to the forefront.
You can only generate conversions (Sales, join a group, membership and so on) by ensuring that to bring traffic to your site. To do this, you need to provide on your site the content and or tools your customers are looking for. You need to make sure that the customer needs are covered adequately in your content and should be prioritized.
Having a great site with content optimized is a waste of time unless you are optimizing the right content: the content your customers want! It sounds simple but so many companies and people get this wrong.
Ideally you carry out your keyword research once you know and understand your customer needs. Most people look at their existing site and decide to optimize the current content. They add additional content/keywords to ensure you meet your customer needs. After optimizing your existing site you need to review have all the right keywords been covered and are in line with your customer needs. The ideal scenario is for you to do your keyword research first and then write the content.
Make sure the keywords/phrases used and expected by your customers are highly visible on your site.
Link building strategy
Remember getting links is important for two reasons, firstly it helps your SEO rating and secondly (often forgotten) it drives traffic to your site. Inbound links to your site demonstrate that your site is an authority in a particular area, the more site relevant sites that link to you the better for SEO.
Try and get links from sites that have a good page rank but who could also drive visitors to your site. For example, you run a small taxi company, getting the local hotels to put a link on their sites to yours will help your SEO but will also drive business: you are making it easy for potential customers to find you.