by Mike Murray
If you want to add more customers with the power of SEO, you need to know your strengths and seize your opportunities.
You’ll easily come across buzz about how quality content matters the most with SEO. I’m sure that Google values thoughtful, original content that answers searchers’ questions and makes them wiser than they were the day before.
But SEO success – and your ability to land those leads – requires that you make smart decisions and have several digital marketing pieces in place (or at least head down the right path).
Here are five important areas to understand:
1. Know Your Sweet Spot
What the heck is an SEO Sweet Spot? I made it up. But please read on if you don’t want to waste your time or money.
Your Sweet Spot is how you rank among the first 10 results in Google coupled with Google’s average monthly search volume.
Let’s assume you have 20 favorite keyword phrases. I mean, who doesn’t walk around with those 20 phrases all day long?
On a more serious note, how many are on the first page of Google? Let’s say you pulled off four of them and they rank #4, #6, #8 and #9. Not bad. Let’s set aside the fact that most people click the first three results, which you don’t have. Now, what’s the monthly search volume for each of those keyword phrases? Let’s assume that volume ranges from 10 to 50. Your Sweet Spot is 10-50 (for words that at least rank among the top 1-10 positions).
Can you go after more competitive keyword phrases – like search volumes of 100, 200 or 500? Sure. And where will you rank? You need visibility to have a shot at generating leads.
I don’t want to discourage you. By all means, take a risk now and then. But be mindful of your Sweet Spot. Get those top positions on Google.
2. Build Your Website Authority for Search Engines
You can have a 20-page website with SEO basics in place and not rank for anything.
Why? You’re not credible in the eyes of search engines like Google. You need quality backlinks to be a trusted website. Moz rates websites on a 1-100 scale. The score has a lot to do with backlinks (the number and quality of links pointing to your website).
How do you improve your score and get more links, which influence search engine rankings?
- Spy on your competitors for sources (their backlink data abounds at Moz and SEMrush)
- Make a list of ideas for referring links (you and/or members of your team should think through your contacts – other companies, organizations, suppliers, etc.).
- Create original, useful content like how-to guides, white papers and studies
- Identify newsletters and other media that may provide links
- Use tools like SoloSEO (especially focus on industry directory results)
3. Get Your Page Titles Right
The trend these days is to go with a catchy headline like:
Get Outstanding CPA Services from Money Powerhouse Mega Company and Associates
Well, that might not help you rank for Cleveland Accounting Firm
Cleveland Accounting Firm with Diverse Financial Services for Ohio Businesses
What happened to the “Mega Company and Associates” business name? I skipped it.
Google never says how many characters to use, but it’s clear that more words bog down the page title. You’re likely already ranking well for your company name. Why dilute the page title with those extra words?
Another option might be:
Accounting Firm in Cleveland, Ohio Offers Diverse Financial Services
4. Don’t Waste Your Content
It’s really easy to produce a blog. But it’s alarming how often companies produce posts without a viable keyword strategy. If you’re going to write about a new product or an industry trend, make sure your headline (page content header) has a target keyword phrase that matches your Sweet Spot.
5. Pay Attention to Your Website Design
Is your website clunky? Are you not a friend of white space? Do you have too many calls to action? Do you have any?
You can get traffic from search engine all day long – and track the activity in your website analytics. But what if your website fails to win over the visitors? Here are some other questions to keep in mind:
- Is your phone number easy to find? How does it stand out?
- Do you give your Contact any prominence in your design or navigation (maybe a different font size or color)?
- Is there a free trial that you play up?
- Do you showcase any testimonials?
- Are you affiliated with any industry associations?
- Do you highlight certifications?
- Is it easy for people to find what they want?
As you can tell, you have much to consider with SEO. But it can be a good source of relevant traffic and leads that you convert to sales. Assess where you’re at today and make some adjustments to connect with your next customer.