By Lori Sullivan
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the top channel for sales conversions and a top lead generation source, with 25% of marketers finding it produces a below average cost per lead. When it comes to digital best practices, SEO is number one on our list. Whether it is optimizing a website from the ground up or using analytic data and keyword research to improve an existing site’s SEO, we put the utmost importance on optimizing all digital content to foster organic growth and drive sales through online search.
SEO consumes an average of 9% of marketers’ overall time, however, only 9% of companies have a full-time SEO expert or blog lead. Brands may lack time to put into the SEO process, the intricate skill set or a definitive strategy. Knowing that 75% of online users do not scroll past the first page of search results, we can all agree that it is necessary to put SEO best practices into action.
Within our SEO process, we first go through Discovery & Analysis. We take a detailed look into a client’s website to evaluate on which content visitors are spending their time and, just as importantly, not spending time. In the same respect, we take a look at key industry competitors to gauge where they are placing emphasis when it comes to industry topics and keywords. We also construct and implement tools as need. For instance, we may create and distribute a detailed customer and/or prospect survey to determine buyer personas and how people search for and consume industry information.
Keyword research is tedious, but it’s arguably the most important aspect of SEO, and it flows directly out of Discovery & Analysis. We transition away from thinking of keywords like data and put more of an emphasis on the unique user who will be typing in that keyword. Will industry insiders abbreviate a particular term? How will the majority of prospects structure their search terms?
Continuing through the SEO process, we use keyword research to craft a content strategy and implement keyword-centric content across a client site, improving page titles, meta descriptions, URLs and alt tags as well as all on-page content. From there, we move into one of the most vital and difficult steps, Measurement & Optimization, in which it is necessary to analyze the impact of the work performed and pinpoint any holes to fill or additional opportunities moving forward.