When starting SEO work from scratch, your competition likely has a few advantages. They have more time applied at the task, they have spent more resources and may have leveraged paid ads or other channels to enhance traffic and position. Competing with sites that have in-place content and rank can seem like a daunting challenge to take on. Despite entrenched SEO leaders, new sites or SEO content can compete and win position against existing content. Starting from scratch requires a concerted plan and choosing strategic targets to concentrate the efforts to be the most effective. In reality, time and position can work against companies with content at the top of SEO rankings. Many of these companies stop SEO efforts after reaching page one, letting content age. Aged content is more vulnerable to losing position, allowing new, fresh content to make its way into prime ‘first-page’ position.
Knowing your Objective and Knowing your Audience
The ultimate objective of SEO is not to get page ranks, or even to rank for keywords that you think are important. The primary goal of your SEO efforts is going to vary based on the objectives of your business and website. Do you want the visitors to your site to sign up as members? Make a purchase? Contact Sales? Understand key information? Defining the key objective for site traffic is the primary requirement for successful SEO. Once this objective and the measurable goals around it are defined, the strategy to accomplish these goals can be designed and emplaced. For example, Write2Marent (W2M) Client SmartScoot competes against companies that are much larger with the ultimate objective of selling the SmartScoot Travel Scooter. The goal can be measured in sales online and compared against total site traffic to gauge the success of one page or idea VS another.
A key part of competing in SEO and meeting SEO goals is understanding the target audience. Most businesses will claim that they understand their customers but this goes beyond sales needs. Successful SEO means knowing how the audience speaks, what buzzwords they use and company-specific internal lingo or common industry jargon. Understanding how your audience communicates and thinks about business concepts allows marketers to guess at how they search for business topics. The language they use in search engines may not be what you or your company uses to describe services & products. Beyond knowing what problems or risks keep them up at night, knowing how clients describe these problems allows you to target their online questions with digital answers crafted to speak to their needs. W2M researches your clients and your competitors to identify the keywords that have the most potential traffic and best fulfill the identified goals. In SmartScoot’s case, we have discovered that although “mobility scooter” is how their product is described within the industry, terms like “travel scooter” and “folding scooter” are more frequently searched by their target audience.
Quality over Quantity
Part of the process W2M undertakes to identify quality keywords is to plan content. Choosing keywords that are effective at completing the target goals consists of identifying the keywords, planning the SEO content and actually creating the content. Identifying and targeting opportune keywords is part of the planning process. Content ideas can be accumulated and plotted into a calendar of content releases. This content plan then becomes a living thing that can be added to or edited as new ideas arise or certain topics become timely from changing events.
Building content should not be an effort of maximizing volume but an exercise in creating quality. Long-form content ranks higher than shorter content. Informative quality articles will position you as a resource enticing readers to come back or share the content with friends. In this way, high-quality content consistently outperforms short, shallow content. Part of long-form content is creating a hierarchy or umbrella of content. Once a strong page is made for one or more keywords, other content that refers to those keywords should be linked back to the cornerstone page. SEO is a long-term investment, and this work should be ongoing to both gain and maintain search rankings for your target keywords.
Write2Market works closely to target SEO opportunities with our partners to cultivate the most effective long-term SEO investment using hierarchal cornerstone pages, combined with long-form content, allowing smaller companies and websites to compete with companies and websites that are much larger.