By Jeff Cooper, an EO Philadelphia member and president and CEO of Expo Logic
Companies invest time, energy and money into search engine optimization all the time. What they don’t always do is take a step back and get clear on a SEO strategy before jumping in. I learned I had to create a plan and strategy to gauge whether or not my SEO efforts are generating awareness from prospective clients searching for my products and services.
1. Identify Your Core Keyword Phrases
Start by identifying your top 10-15 keywords by thinking about the phrases you wish you would show up for when people look for your company. Think beyond your company name to specific products and services prospective clients might be trying to find. You can use tools like Google Free Keywords and Hubspot to help you brainstorm ideas.
For example, we specialize in event and trade show registration, but people who don’t know us would not know to search for “Expo Logic”. Instead, we identified opportunities to rank for services and products people are searching for like “trade show registration” and “lead retrieval scanner.” Focusing on service and product specific phrases has provided a significant jump in our keyword rankings, with 24 of our main keywords ranked in the top three, and 42 ranked in the top 10.
2. Create Compelling Content
To get the most from your SEO strategy, it’s important to know the difference between paid and organic results. Paid ads are a good tactic for a time sensitive campaign when you want to create quick awareness. New product launches, holiday promotions and specials work well with paid placement. For the long haul, it’s best to focus on organic results.
The most effective way to improve your organic SEO is to create compelling content around the keywords you identified in step one. Publish regular blog posts on your site, keep your social media profiles updated with relevant information that leads back to your site, and develop fresh site content focused on your target phrases.
From our organic SEO efforts, we’ve doubled our Twitter followers and steadily increased the number of site visitors each month.
3. Stay Organized
The best way to stay on top of your different SEO efforts is to create an editorial calendar for your content.
Look for topic ideas by monitoring news about your industry through Google alerts. Subscribe to your competitor’s RSS feeds to stay on top of trending topics. Ask your sales team the top questions they hear from prospective clients and plan to answer them in your blog. Schedule your content out about a month in advance.
4. Monitor Your Rankings
Lastly, make sure you have a good stats system set up to monitor your SEO success. A tool like Google Analytics or Hubspot can help you review keyword rankings, site traffic, social media leads and other important measures to see what SEO efforts are generating the most awareness.