SEO — You Get Out What You Put In
SEO is not unlike anything else in life: You get out of it what you put in. In the old days, SEO was an exception to the rule because clients could hand off SEO to an agency with very little subsequent involvement. No more. SEO is no longer a standalone marketing activity; instead, it requires collaboration between client and agency on a number of marketing fronts.
Content is at the core of an SEO campaign. Off-site content is used to acquire backlinks, and on-site content is used to create highly visible landing pages for targeted keywords. However, without solid inputs from the client, SEO content created by the agency will be less authoritative, informative and accurate than it would otherwise be. The more authoritative, informative and accurate the content is, the more visible it will be on organic search, and the better job it will do of converting traffic into sales leads and revenue.
As just stated, sales leads and revenue are the true goals of SEO — not traffic, and certainly not rankings. Once SEO brings visitors to the website, the website must convert, and in order for the website to convert, it must have strong offers. If your SEO reports show increased traffic but no corresponding increase in conversions, perhaps more time and effort needs to go into the offers. “Call for more information” or “Contact us now” is going through the motions; not enough to support a standout SEO campaign.
Along the same lines as offers but more broadly, the client website must deliver an exceptionally good user experience (UX) to convert visitors into sales leads. Not only that, certain usability issues affect organic visibility on Google. For instance, Google’s search algorithm rewards web pages that load quickly, making page loading time a critical on-site performance issue. In addition to loading time, you must make sure these two big site issues are addressed, through close collaboration with your SEO:
- Mobile optimization — Google rewards content that delivers a strong mobile experience. Mobile optimization may require a great deal of design work, but it can help you capture significant new chunks of qualified traffic.
- Navigation and page-by-page keyword focus — Some sites require a complete overhaul to make their content comprehensible to Google crawlers. Big job, big reward!
Most other types of on-site work, such as reworking title tags and fixing broken links, can be handled fairly routinely, but all the work in the world will have minimal impact without real effort going into the preceding two.
So far we’ve been talking about SEO issues that require the client to commit time. Committing money is also important. Trying to do SEO on a shoestring budget guarantees failure. Without an adequate budget, your agency will not have adequate time to:
- Create high-quality content in sufficient volume
- Market the content effectively to off-site publishers
- Review and repair all on-site issues affecting SEO
- Create non-content backlinks in sufficient volume
- Do thorough and ongoing keyword analysis
- Conduct tests, evaluate data, and make strategic and tactical adjustments
If your SEO investment does not seem to be paying off the way you’d like it to, please contact us. We’d be happy to review your situation and share ideas for improvement.