“We’ve invested in SEO and it has not proven to be successful for our company.” “Our company is handling SEO efforts in-house.” “Our business breathes on referrals and we don’t need SEO.” Sound a bit too familiar? These are a few of the most common statements I’ve heard from clients during the past two decades. Unrealistic expectations and false assumptions are typically the indicators for failure in planning, strategizing, implementing, and executing an SEO campaign. Take a look at the recent condensed SEO checklist I put together when you have a moment. Peruse through the download which should give you an insight at the complexities revolved around an SEO campaign process. In 2014 alone Google particularly implemented somewhere around 500-600 algorithmic changes with intent on refining the its quality formula. Search matters simply because consumer leverage this channel more than any other to seek information on products, services, and brands. If your brand is not front and center for customers than chances are that your company may be losing out on potential revenue due to lack of search visibility.
“So, how do you maneuver the politics of a SEO campaign?”
Like anything marketing related or business focused for that matter, planning stands at the epic center of an SEO campaign. What does that really encompass in though? In fact, the lack of an SEO campaign plan is perhaps one of the top causes of failing at such endeavor from the get-go. Without an SEO plan it is truly difficult and almost impossible even to implement, track, and measure the success behind such campaign. Each brand is unique in the way it operates within respective industries and verticals. Therefore, it is imperative to put forth strong consideration around the goals and objectives you are attempting to answer in an SEO campaign.
Is it more phone calls? Are you looking for more contact form submissions? Is it e-commerce sales that your company is after? Perhaps all of the above then.
Here’s a few things to consider strongly during the planning stage of an SEO campaign.
- SEO Audit – this is perhaps one of the pre-requisites I strongly push for with my clients. In essence evaluating their entire brand from an SEO magnifying glass. Typically in an SEO audit exercise there an extensive investigation under the hood in planning for a thorough SEO campaign. There are four areas of an SEO audit – Accessibility, Indexation, On-Page, and Off-Page.
- Backlink Profile – connections and relationships on the web still matter in an SEO campaign. For example, identifying spam or irrelevant websites that link back to your website domain may in fact assist with improvements in SEO visibility. Therefore, I would strongly encourage that you perform a thorough sweep of the backlinks currently linking to your website domain. Google Webmaster Tools is an excellent resource that can assist with identifying such domains.
- Keyword Research – while SEO has shifted more into semantic search, keywords still have significance in an SEO campaign. They are a bit harder to identify though these days considering the shifting consumer behavior patterns. That being said though, let me clarify that pursuing highly searched and relevant keyword phrases still yields traffic potential. You may want to explore the Beginner’s Guide to SEO Keyword Research if this is a foreign territory for you. A few of the useful and functional SEO keyword research tools out there are Wordstream, Keyword Tool, Yoast Suggests, Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Personally, I’ve found the search queries section of Google Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics to be most beneficial in identifying relevant keyword phrases.
- On-Page Optimization, Mobility, UX/UI – there is a lot of chatter around SEO campaign planning that entails in significant focus upon On-Page Optimization. Page aesthetic and content substance serves of utmost importance to the end user during their journey and interaction with your brand. This includes anything from typography, image selection, CTAs, interlinking, mobile interaction, and more. Grab a free copy of my condensed SEO checklist for further insight on these areas. In early 2015 Google publishes a case study stating that nearly 60% of all of its web traffic is now generated through mobile devices. As it stands there is roughly 6 billion searches that occur on Google daily.
- Content Marketing – fresh content plays a factorial role in an SEO campaign. As a matter of fact, it is one of the key ingredients of driving relevant traffic to your website. The consumer mentality has shifted so much that in this day and age it requires far more cultivating than ever before. Content serves for means of subject matter expertise, advice, resource, and ultimately a way to build a strong audience. Search engines such as Google are a big fan of dynamic content freshness. Frequency and relevance however plays a large factor in the type of SEO traffic your brand will rope in. Therefore, consider a strategy for a holistic content marketing plan. Ensure that you can find a way to communicate with your customer base in an engaging and informative fashion.
“Cheap SEO” does not equate to good SEO. That is in actuality one of the harmful disadvantages in the SEO industry. There is a valid reason why an SEO service is “cheap” and will ultimately impact the results in an SEO campaign. I’ve worked with some clients that claim that their 52% of their online e-commerce revenue is generation through Google Organic Traffic alone. So, in essence budgetary investment in an SEO campaign will vary based on the industry. Normally though when I work with SEO clients I recommend no less than a $1,500 monthly investment on their SEO endeavors.
SEO is a complicated field involving a diverse mentality. It’s a combination of creative and technical expertise that ultimately attributes to the complexities of an SEO campaign development. A free 1-hour complimentary consultation may bring you that much closer to acquiring answers to your SEO campaign questions.
Goals & Objectives
Over 50% of companies struggle in identifying the goals and objectives behind their SEO campaign. For many SEO may have turned into a necessity but one with many unanswered questions. Clarity around goals and objectives will attributed strongly in the success of your SEO campaign. So, when determining the goals and objectives around your SEO campaign, considering the following questions in preparation:
- Are you exploring an SEO campaign for more web traffic?
- Is your new SEO campaign focused on more sales/conversions?
- Are you using your new SEO campaign for development of thought leadership or subject matter expertise?
- Is this SEO campaign geared towards more phone calls or contact form submissions?
- Are you pursuing this SEO campaign for reputation management purposes?
- Is this SEO campaign focused on brand awareness?
The above questions states are perhaps some of the most common usually explored in preparation of an SEO campaign. However, by no means they constitute the parameters of SEO campaign planning. For example, there might be other reasons that specifically pertain to your brand within its respective industry.
The planning of an SEO campaign is simply the preliminary step to strategizing around goals and objectives. Strategic implementation of an SEO campaign however is probably one of the most challenging components. As I mentioned above, the SEO mentality is a diverse mindset combining creative, content, and technical skill sets. Allow me to explain further. The success of an SEO campaign relies heavily on the resources involved within it. On average, a successful SEO campaign will require a seasoned individual in the following areas or a team of resources holding the following expertise:
- Website Development/Website Developer
- Creative/Graphic Designer or Art Director
- Content/Creative Content Writer
- Brand Strategist
- Social Media/Social Media Coordinator
- UX/UI Focus and/or UX/UI specialist
- Project Manager
- Data Analyst
As you can see, the role of an SEO is in actuality quite diverse requiring a multi-faceted approach. Obviously one could not possess equal strengths in each respective area therefore seasoned specialists would be a great asset in the SEO campaign planning, implementation, and execution process.
“What kind of ROI will I generate from SEO?” This is probably the #1 question I get asked about ROI in an SEO campaign. Honestly, it’s difficult question to answer given the incoherence most SEOs have in a client’s industry. There are various determining factors that pinpoint the success of an SEO campaign though. That makes things even more difficult but let’s entertain a few options here to paint some clarity around the ROI question.
- Example: You sell books online through an e-commerce store averaging $15 per book
- You have sold 50 books in a single month
- Net income (profit) per book purchase is $7
- Total profits from Organic Traffic sales online is $350 in a single month
- Monthly SEO expense is $1,000
- Sales divided by SEO expense = – 65% ROI
So, as you can see the ROI of an SEO campaign investment in this particular scenario yields a 65% loss. You can apply the formula above though to your own industry, products, or services to determine the benefit behind an SEO campaign investment.
A single mistake that majority of companies make is failure to execute properly. There’s a variety of different reasons this is a common mistake in an SEO campaign. Typically, it’s a failure to tactically executive upon each individual areas with an SEO campaign. Other reasons entail in utilizing internal resources who are incoherent to the SEO field in general. Therefore creating false expectations and assumptions that impact the results of an SEO campaign. What baffles me to this day though is that some brands will invest in SEO campaign planning but fail to utilize an experience resource to assist with execution of such campaign.
Focus on leveraging strengths of a seasoned SEO specialist that can assist with succinct alignment of SEO campaign endeavors prior to execution. After all, it’s your brand making the investment in hope for generating measurable results.
Time, Money, & Patience
SEO in general isn’t a gold mine erupting overnight. It takes time, money, and patience to be successful with an SEO campaign. However, it has been proven that SEO yields nearly a 4:1 lead generation potential within inbound marketing endeavors vs. traditional outbound marketing initiatives. Search in general is the #1 channel most commonly utilized by consumers to find information on brands, products, or services.
Are you struggling with your SEO campaign initiatives? Contact me today for a FREE 1-hour complimentary consultation to discuss your needs. No gimmicks, nothing to sell, pure chat about your brand’s SEO goals and objectives.