Answer These 5 Questions For A Successful SEO Strategy
Hey there my fellow SEO Creatives,
Dr Max here and today I want to talk about building an SEO Strategy.
If you aren’t asking the right questions when it comes to building an SEO strategy then you are going to do one of two things; fail or make it more complicated than necessary. Asking questions is a great start however many marketers that are new to the world of SEO struggle to ask these ‘right questions‘ so in true Maxvim.com fashion I will be showing you FIVE things that you should really be thinking about when creating your SEO master-plan.
So WHAT is an SEO strategy?
Is it a case of listing what keywords you want to rank for, how to get the links for said keywords and hope you get lucky? Well the short answer is no. Sure listing the keywords you want to rank for is an important step in the process but it isn’t a strategy in itself.
Unfortunately many marketers start and finish with a list of keywords and what they think is a good strategy for domination but instead end up with a list of, well, keywords doing nothing for them. The last thing you want to do is strike up a conversation with a potential client about keywords and links and then not being able to produce results for this so called strategy so let’s dive in and take a look at what is REALLY needed.
If you get down to the bare bones of it, I feel there are just FIVE simple questions that need to be asked and answered in order to build a great and compelling strategy. Yep, you read that right…just FIVE questions…
Question number 1
What is it that our (or the clients’) organization or business create that would help searchers’ problems or answer their questions? (Or what could/will they create in the near future to help).
At the moment you may not have created anything which would help to satisfy a searchers’ curiosity or problem(s). However you could be creating/writing/developing something that these people want or need which is of high value to said searchers’ who would be incredibly grateful to you for giving them access. (This can also be something that you have not yet created and be something that you WILL be creating in the future).
The main take home though is the question itself…
WHAT is it that you have or will have that will help answer a problem people have.
That’s question one down to its bare bones, simple right? Yes; but effective and essential. The answer to this question can be as simple as a product or a service that you have developed or are developing which will aid others in completing a certain task or tasks, it could be a series of instructional videos or an online course; it could be anything. The point is that you need to be solving a problem or answering a question people have or will have. So make sure you have a great answer to this first question and then you can move onto the next one.
What is the UNIQUE value that you are providing (or your client provides) that no one else canor does provide?
If everyone else is producing the same thing in the same way then you need to come up with a better, more unique and if possible more simple and easy solution to the searchers’ problems or pains. Your solution needs to either be of extreme high quality in comparison to your competitors or it needs to be highly unique so that you get their interest and pique their interest.
Don’t just try and aim to be better than the top ten Google results, BE better than anything available and you will go far.
WHO can and will amplify OUR message to bring us the results we are looking for and WHY will they do it?
This is something that has become essential to master since SEO has gone from being a simple exercise of taking or creating content and acquiring backlinks to an exercise where you have to go out there in the trenches and EARN your links, you need to qualify for the right to be heard and in order to do this you need to be creating value and adding that value all of the time.
There was a time when you were able to have ranking signals placed where you wanted, aim and point rank building links and you would be good to go but as mentioned above this is no longer the case, and although you can still do that to some degree it is in no way as beneficial as it once was, so you need to earn your ranking signals and links, be an SEO soldier and get in the trenches it’s honestly so much better than pointing a link and hoping for the best.
The message or links aren’t enough alone though and you NEED others to amplify your message in order to earn those ranking signals we spoke about above, you need people to help get your word out and be heard because that adds more value to your message regardless of what that message may be.
Without other you might as well be shouting at a brick wall, ever herd the phrase ‘In space no one can hear you scream’? Well online failure to get others to help amplify your message is basically one and the same as screaming in space…you will not be heard. This includes broadcasting on social media networks and the like too, you need people.
This brings us to the WHO…
Who are you able to get on your side to amplify your voice, your message, your content? Well it depends greatly on your target audience and target customers but this isn’t all. It also depends on the influencers in your niche, the people your target audience already know, like and trust.
There are also plenty of industries and niches (especially highly competitive ones) where your customers are your WORST amplifiers because they love you and want to keep you to themselves; they don’t want their competitors knowing about you in other words. They may love your products or the services that you provide so much that they ultimately want to keep you to themselves and not let anyone else have your knowledge; this is very flattering but bad for your business as you need them to want to shout from the rooftops about you right?
Because of this you need to go a level higher, you need the influencers, you need press releases and bloggers to amplify your message to their followers and fans because that way it filters down and you get that ever so important message out to as many people as can see or hear it.
So make sure you research who your top influencers are, which bloggers are most likely to allow you to feature a guest post or add your content to their blog and of course make sure you are out there adding valuable content and press releases so that you can get out to the masses…Earn Your Worth.
WHAT is your process for getting paying customers from searching visitors?
This is a vital piece of the puzzle because if you do not know the answer or at least one of the many answers to this question then you cannot expect to have search visits and a positive return on your investment, you just can’t.
You need to be building out cash generating and customer grabbing funnels, funnels that tell you where your customers are coming from; Social media (including Youtube and Facebook), referred from another website, visited directly, from email marketing, through conference and trade shows, through press releases etc. You NEED to have a funnel in place and you NEED to know where the traffic is coming from because then you can turn up the juice on those traffic sources which are generating customers for you.
Then from the traffic they visit the site, maybe enter their email and opt in to your newsletters or even buy straight from the page, what is YOUR funnel process? How do you take your visitor from first time visitor to buyer or subscriber and then buyer? What does YOUR funnel look like?
If you haven’t already got your funnel in place you need to think hard about it and get it put into place now so that you can reap in the benefits from all the other hard work you have put in. Then you need to optimize your conversion rates through means of testing, split test different color schemes, graphics or the way things are delivered or written.
You can test just about anything and I highly recommend optimizely.com who have now changed from a paid membership to a free membership (as long as you have less than 50,000 visitors per month (If you have more than that and can’t afford to pay the small members fee then you are going wrong somewhere and need to look at your site for ways to increase ROI.
HOW can you get what you do exposed on search engines so that they can easily understand, crawl and index your content ?
This is much more like the classic nitty gritty SEO from back in the good old days but still very much needs to be a part of your overall process and not the be all, end all or after thought. Maybe you can easily answer the above 4 questions but your main product or service is not in a position to be searched or optimized for searching for; maybe it is a mobile or desktop app or something that just doesn’t integrate well with SEO.
Well you are in luck because that is where the traditional ‘content creation’ comes into play. You can start a blog and have detailed answers to the 4 questions above as singular blog posts or maybe you can tell people how your product, app or service works in the format of a blog post of even Vlog post! Youtube is now one of the biggest search engines on the planet and if you forget to use that as a tool in your SEO arsenal you are going to be missing out big time.
Use ALL of your tools effectively, this means using the likes of social media to broadcast your content and not just add annoying ‘Look at me’ type statuses and tweets. You have unlimited delivery routes that were not here a decade ago use them to your advantage and use them now. Clarity is another thing you need to consider; don’t simply create a blog post for the sake of it. Instead create high quality, well crafted content with a topic in mind and an aim to hit; for instance in this article I want you to be able to leave knowing at least one good piece of advice that advice being the five questions above.
Don’t forget to use keywords in your content creation too, use them in EVERYTHING including the video descriptions of your Youtube videos or podcasts (if you decide to do audio) and obviously in blog articles too. Keywords are still very much the lifeblood of SEO and if you ignore them you will be setting yourself up to fail.
Finally you need to make sure that you have high quality throughout broadcasting of your content, such as keyword rich urls, titles, graphics and headers basically do everything in the highest of quality that you can everything will fall into place as long as your message is on topic and pertinent as well as being optimized with keyword rich content and of great value to your target audience.
If you master these FIVE simple questions, you can then start to get really tactical and become very successful online with your SEO efforts if you don’t have these answers then you need to go out there and get those answers because then you will be able to sets your sights high, add valuable content and once again become a successful master of SEO.
So make sure everyone in your team knows the answer to these five question, make sure you all know what goals you are aiming for and hit them. I hope this has been an eye opener and I hope you can take some nuggets of knowledge with this article today.
Please comment below and let me know your thoughts on it.