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As with any marketing strategy, the key to success is to be able to define objectives and measure how successful they are. There’s no point in taking a shot in the dark (something which I think brands certainly do sometimes!) You need to consider your overall business goals, and how you can achieve these in the online landscape.
It’s likely that your business goals will be largely based around the following:
So how do these tie into SEO, PPC, Content and Social? Let’s take a look at the objectives you can set in order to meet your business’ needs.
Do you want your potential customers to be searching for your product or service and first encounter one of your competitors? Of course you don’t. You want to be the one they find first, click through to and ultimately either buy a product or make a query.
It is guaranteed that at least one of your competitors is utilising an SEO strategy to optimise their site – after all, it’s vital for online brand awareness.
Your ultimate goals for an SEO strategy should be based around the following:
In order to rank well, you will also need to conduct keyword research so that you can determine the best terms to target when optimising your site. Think about what users will be searching for when trying to find a business like yours.
To rank for relevant keywords. To achieve this, you need to measure the success of the keywords that you have selected to target. Sometimes, the terms you feel are relevant, are not the ones that are going to drive traffic to your site. Adjust accordingly, and continue to monitor their performance. You ideally need terms which have a high search demand, with low competition.
This might seem more like a task than a goal, but it is incredibly important to check that your site is working technically. SEO is not all about ranking for keywords, and your site could end up holding you back if you have inaccurate coding, duplicate content or a restrictive site speed.
An audit should not just be carried out once – you should set a goal of ensuring that you carry out regular audits to ensure everything is ship-shape. Without keeping on top of this, any aspirations of ranking well and being found online will be scuppered.
You can always use our SEO Analyser tool to help determine initial problems and work from there.
Aside from the site itself, you also need to be monitoring your backlinks – this is essentially “link PR” and ties back to brand awareness as well as your rankings.
Low quality links from spammy sites are akin to bad PR when it comes to ranking well, whereas high quality authoritative links from great sources equals a PR high five and better chances of ranking higher.
Improve your backlink profile by using tools to monitor regularly. Here’s a great video discussing the best tools out there.
Pay-per-click advertising is a must for delivering paid traffic to your site. With a paid search campaign, you can point visitors to particular landing pages (for example, a product, services or resources page), helping to more directly encourage sales leads.
Once again, you need to have an understanding of what new customers will be searching for. Within the ad, you will have to sell the landing page with a killer description. On top of that, you need to have the budget to bid competitively.
To drive targeted traffic towards particular pages on your site that will be of the most value to customers and to your business. Managed well, a paid search campaign can increase sales significantly, making it a great return on investment.
Content has become a buzz word in the world of digital marketing for some time now.
The need to create fresh, unique content that people will find useful, informative or entertaining and will want to share is now a necessity in order to not only support ranking for keywords, but also to build your brand as an expert within your industry.
So what can content do for your business goals? Plenty.
Great content can be a wonderful source of referral traffic, particularly if you are able to secure an editorial post on a site that has greater authority, and a larger audience than your own. The same goes for a particularly popular piece of on-site content that has been shared across social media. That piece of content is drawing in new potential customers – so make it count with actionable calls to action.
Build relationships with bloggers and site owners by contributing quality content. Provide value with all that you create. This will help build a naturally healthy looking backlink profile and help increase brand awareness as well.
Great content is remembered. Whether it’s a particularly interesting and useful blog post, or a well-designed and informative infographic, if your brand principles are at the heart of it, then this is great exposure for your business. Take the often cited example of innocent smoothies – each piece of content they create is fun, friendly and incredibly shareable.
Think about the desired outcome of your content. Don’t create content for the sake of it. Create a strategy that is a blend of content types and measure what works.
Is your business active on social media? If not, you are missing out on a great platform for not only sharing your own content, but also sharing other content relevant to your industry. Once again, this will work towards building your reputation as a source of expertise.
On top of these benefits, social media is the place that many people turn to in order to share their thoughts on brand experiences. Turn this into an opportunity to offer good customer service, instead of remaining in the dark about what many of your customers have to say.
Monitor brand mentions on social networks. Whether you receive good or bad feedback, engage by responding and turn an unhappy customer into a happy one or a happy customer into one that feels appreciated. Check out this video for the best brand monitoring tools out there.
These are the core elements that will help your business to align its goals with online objectives. Do you have any to add? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.
Time To Plan via BigStock Photo
Samantha Noble is well known within in the search industry, she even won the UK Search Personality 2016 at the UK Search Awards in November. This year, she continues to make an impact on the industry by judging not only one, but three, prestigious industry awards.