Experts predict we’ll continue to see see the shift away from transactional marketing, with a ‘click’ as the point of interaction to a new era of engagement marketing. Marketers are now focusing on engaging people on a personal level and continuously over time across all channels and experiences.
Gone are the days of interruptions and forcing information upon people who have no desire or interest in your industry. The formula for success in marketing is providing information to the people who want to learn about you and letting them come to you for more information.
Marketers consistently rank search engine optimization (SEO) as one of the greatest drivers of return on investment (ROI), and the supporting evidence clearly shows having an actual SEO plan is a crucial part of any comprehensive digital marketing strategy. It’s not a destination, but a journey.
It’s important for marketers to start SEO planning with a clear understanding of the target audience. Through data layering from owned databases, Google Analytics, HubSpot and third parties like Facebook and Twitter analytics, marketers are able to gain valuable information about their customers that will help direct content and SEO initiatives moving forward.
First, do your SEO research.
Without SEO, we’re just throwing information into cyberspace. Initial research on our buyer personas helps build a clear picture of how our users are searching for and sharing information, and provides valuable insights into keywords, hashtags, topics and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
When it comes to on-page SEO, a responsive website design equipped to handle searches on all devices is essential. The structure, content and code must be user-friendly and easily accessible.
SEO is about making small, meaningful modifications to parts of your website.
When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements. When combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site’s user experience and performance in organic search results — where your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.
Here are seven SEO mistakes you could be making without even knowing it.
1. You’re disregarding social media.
I can’t stress this enough — social media is critical to your marketing campaigns and strategies. With the ability to “like” and follow pages you’re interested in, a person only sees what they want to see. The more you like, the more you’ll see.
By integrating with industry standards, I’m able to create and provide fresh content through blogging and social media streams that actively helps our clients to to stay on everyone’s radar. This means I’m frequently (not obsessively) checking news feeds, sharing content from other industry-related organizations and paying close attention to business trends and strategies.
Getting someone to share your article is great. This means more eyeballs on your original content. You need to include social sharing buttons.
This year, social will be considered an integral part of an organization’s digital marketing mix and will become a real revenue engine. To do this effectively, organizations need to create relevant and personalized social campaigns and take advantage of the increasingly refined targeting options on each social platform.
In the past, we’ve worked with clients to create social campaigns to gain traction and awareness of the company — like a contest to win a Macbook Air or a free birthday party at a bowling center.
2. You’re not utilizing local SEO.
Think Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google Plus. This is quickly becoming the way people search. Many local searches are done on mobile devices by people looking to visit a business in the near future.
If you have multiple locations for you business, it’s important to create a different listing for each one. It might mean more work for you, but it’s easier for your customers and viewers to process information.
3. You’re choosing poor keywords.
When deciding on keywords, you have to think about how you would want people to find the post in search engines. What will people type into a search engine to find your topic? What do they expect to find?
Even if you nail every other aspect of your local marketing strategy, choosing the wrong keywords could be your downfall. The reader’s enjoyment needs to be your main priority, so don’t spam your readers with keywords. Nobody likes spam.
Your focus should be on the page and the topic, not just one or two of potentially hundreds of keywords. Never assume that your site should rank #1 without first knowing why it’s helpful to searchers.
4. You’re failing to optimize navigation.
People expect to navigate through your website effortlessly — especially on their phones and other mobile devices. Search engines reward it. If you do not have a clear hierarchy on your website, Google has no idea what information is most important on your site.
If users can’t find your company basics, they are going to leave and look elsewhere. This is going to increase your bounce rate, lower conversions and let Google know your site is not the best search result for that keyword.
5. You’re not producing fresh content.
Yes, it’s important to share what others in your industry are saying. But it’s just as important (if not more) to produce your own content. What do your customers struggle with the most? What are their frequently asked questions? Talk about it.
Utilize the tools and capabilities available to you. What data and analytics do you need to create the experiences and outcomes you want?
6. You’re neglecting personalization.
Through innovations like real-time personalization on websites and email marketing, marketers can now target and segment customers for a better user experience.
People are tired of being blasted with generic content.
When something has my name on it, there’s more incentive for me to open it.
7. You’re forgetting mobile.
Mobile and tablets are the future. Companies will start to create more custom mobile applications for their marketing campaigns and product solutions. Additionally, digital publishing will start to become a focus. Instead of static ebooks, companies will start moving to more interactive electronic media.
Managing your SEO and marketing efforts is an ongoing project that requires taking risks, doing your homework and attracting your target audiences.