SEO Strategy Tips for the CEO
Trying to keep pace with SEO developments can feel like running on a treadmill -- no matter how fast you go, you never gain any ground.
Nevertheless, there are things companies can do to get a competitive SEO advantage ... because so few competitors are bothering to do them. How long you maintain your advantage depends on how soon you get started.
1. Develop an Internal Writing Team
More and more, SEO results hinge on a firm's ability to create a steady stream of authoritative, useful and relevant content. To meet that standard, writers must have an intimate understanding of the firm's industry, products, services, customers, sales process and competitors. Agencies and freelancers can contribute, but without in-house writers, effectiveness will be limited. Don't believe it? Keep in mind you're hearing this from a writer who works for an agency.
2. Participate in Google Authorship
Not only should a firm have writers, those writers should actively participate in the new Google Authorship program. By participating, onsite and offsite content will gain organic search visibility and, because author thumbnails appear next to links on search engine results pages (SERPs), click-throughs increase, leading to more traffic and leads. Beyond SEO, Authorship enhances credibility and thought leadership status.
3. Produce Visual Content
Search engine users aren't just looking for textual content anymore. People have an enormous appetite for visual content: slide presentations, video, infographics, etc. And in most B2B niches, demand far exceeds supply. While the cost of producing visual content can be high, its impact on lead generation and sales can also be high. In the first place, it's easier to gain prominent visibility in the less crowded arenas of image search and video search. Second, visual content opens up gigantic new search platforms such as YouTube and SlideShare. Third, visual content is extremely persuasive and enables firms to get across complex product and service benefits with tremendous clarity.
4. Don't Be a "Rank" Amateur
Rankings used to be crucially important for SEO. I don't think the world has figured out this is no longer the case. Because Google now serves up results based on a user's geographic location and search history, a web page's rank varies depending on the user. Also, because of social media sharing and segmented search -- video search, news search, etc. -- overall visibility is more important than narrow rankings for particular keyword phrases (with some exceptions).
But even if rankings could be determined and reliably tracked, they would still not be as important as lead generation in terms of evaluating SEO performance. For instance, if you rank #1 for a keyword that generates zero leads and rank #24 for a keyword that generates 10 leads per month, which would you focus on?
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