SEO is the best way to get more leads. We all know that it’s important for your website content to be found by people looking for what you offer. And how do they find you? They search online using keywords related to their situation, and when their inquiry matches what you offer, they click on your ad. With SEO, you have the opportunity to be visible when your ideal customer types in what you offer.
Finding the right keywords is key. However, sometimes it can feel like a shot in the dark. Sure, there are tools to help you find good keywords, but there’s no guarantee they’ll actually convert into an inquiry or sale for you. Here are some ways to help you find the right keywords for your business.
Build Your Website With Intent
The first way to find good keywords is to build your website with intent. What do I mean by that? Have a reason for every page, piece of content, and link on your site. Each time you write something, ask yourself why you’re writing it. If you can’t come up with a good answer, then don’t publish it.
For example, if you write an article about “SEO for dentists” and the keyword is SEO, write it with the intent to make them aware of what SEO is. The more helpful your content is, the more likely people are to share it on social media. This is called back-links, and the more you have, the higher your website goes in search engine rankings.
If you write a page specifically about SEO, chances are someone who’s looking for “SEO” will find you. Or if they’re looking for SEO marketing services, they’ll find you as well.
Choose Relevant Keywords
This is where the research comes in. If someone’s looking for “web design,” and your website offers web design services, then obviously that would be a good keyword to use on your site. But what if they’re looking for “build my own website” or “how to create a website?”
You may have the best web design services in town, but these keywords are not relevant to what you do. However, they’re both great searches to target if your business offers DIY website-building tutorials or classes for someone who wants to build their own site.
Here are some guidelines for choosing your keywords:
Choose keywords that have a high search volume. For example, don’t choose “used parakeets for sale in Missouri” when you could go with “parakeets for sale.” The latter has a much higher search volume and is therefore more valuable to your business.
For example, don’t choose “used parakeets for sale in Missouri” when you could go with “parakeets for sale.” The latter has a much higher search volume and is therefore more valuable to your business. Choose keywords that have a low level of competition. If it’s too hard to rank on page one, then forget about it! There are over 200 million websites on the web. If you want your website to stand out, you need to think carefully about your keywords.
If it’s too hard to rank on page one, then forget about it! There are over 200 million websites on the web. If you want your website to stand out, you need to think carefully about your keywords. Use long-tail keywords. If you’re a local store that specializes in selling parakeets, then it will be difficult to rank highly for “parakeets.” However, “how to care for pet parakeets” is much easier to rank for.
Use Keywords In Your Content Strategically
Once you’ve chosen keywords relevant to your business, it’s time to use them in your content strategy. To do that, you’ll first need to figure out what kind of content you should create.
What type of content works best for your business? If you’re a local pet shop with parakeets for sale, then writing blog posts about the different species of parakeets and how to care for them is a great idea. You could also publish videos and tutorials about parakeets and post those on YouTube.
To find content ideas, ask yourself: What can I write or create that would help my customers? How can I make their lives better with the information that I provide? What questions do they usually have about my product or service? How can I provide them with answers?
Once you have your topics, start putting together a content strategy. A content strategy is simply the type of content you plan to publish (blog posts, videos, etc.) when it will be published (schedule publishing in advance or post spontaneously), and how often you’ll publish (once a week, once a month).
Optimize Your Content For Search Engines
Search engine optimization is the practice of designing your website to make it more visible in search engines like Google and Bing. This means doing things like adding keywords strategically throughout your text content; choosing the “right” media file names; publishing unique and engaging content; and more.
You can learn everything you need to know about SEO in our blog post “How to Make Your Blog Easy to Find by Search Engines.” In this section, we’ll talk specifically about adding keywords to your website content.
Again, you want to add keywords that are relevant to your business and that have a high search volume. However, this time, you’re going to use them in specific ways that will help boost your website’s ranking in the SERPs.
First, you need to know where on your site’s pages these keywords should be placed. There are two main areas that are important for integrating keywords: title tags and meta descriptions.
<title> tags are the HTML codes that appear at the very top of your browser window when you visit a website. They can be seen in search results, too.
Here’s an example of how Petsmart uses its title tag to include keywords about their dogs, cats and other pet supplies: You should start by choosing the right keywords to use in your page’s. The are the HTML codes that appear at the very top of your browser window when you visit a website. They can be seen in search results, too. Here’s an example of how Petsmart uses its title tag to include keywords about their dogs, cats and other pet supplies:
Meta descriptions are the HTML code snippets that describe your page in Google’s results. Here’s an example of how Petsmart uses meta descriptions to share more relevant keywords about their pet supplies:
Another way to include keywords is through image file names and alt tags. File names are not seen by users but they’re used by search engines to understand what a web page is about.
Image alt tags, however, are seen by users and help to explain an image if a user cannot load it. Here’s what Petsmart does with its image alt tags:
As you can see from the examples above, search engines pay close attention to keywords that appear at the top of a webpage as well as those that appear in image file names and alt tags.
Promote Your Content
You’ve created great content and optimized it for SEO, so now what?
The answer is simple: promote it! Here are some ways you can get the word out about your latest article or piece of content:
- Email marketing campaigns
- Blogging campaigns
- Guest blogging
- Speaking opportunities
- Social media marketing strategies (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.)
Not all of these tactics will be right for your business and your audience–and that’s OK! Test to see which work best for you.
For example, email marketing campaigns have been shown to be the most effective for certain types of businesses. In both our Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing World Infographics, we found that marketers who use email marketing as a part of their overall digital marketing strategy reported having the highest ROI from their efforts.
It’s also possible that guest blogging or social media will work best for your audience. The only way to know for sure is to test, track, and measure.
Measure Results & ROI
You’ve done it! You have a great blog optimized for search engines and you’re sharing your content across the web. Now what?
The answer is simple: SMART goals.
As you may know, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
Setting SMART goals will help you track your success moving forward so that you can continually improve the process based on results. Goal setting is essential to improving ROI. You can read more about this in our blog post on goal setting.
Once you have your goals set, track your success by measuring the following:
- Website traffic from organic search results on Google and other search engines
- Conversions from each of your blog posts (i.e. email opt-ins for a newsletter, downloads of a whitepaper or call to action)
- Customer referrals from each of your blog posts
- Social media shares for each of your blog posts
- Testimonials you receive from customers or users who interacted with your content
All of these can help you determine if the time, effort, and energy that goes into blogging is worth it. Of course, you also want to make sure that your efforts are resulting in high-quality leads and customers.
A great thing to track is how well your blog content contributes to revenue generation (i.e. sales, leads, etc.). This will help you identify the success of your content as it relates to increasing ROI.
Create a Content Distribution Strategy
Now that you know how to set up a blog for SEO and how to create great content, let’s talk about distribution. You’ve written a blog post or you have some new content that you want to promote. Here are some ways you can share your content across the web with everyone:
- Email marketing campaigns
- Embed high-quality code snippets in your email templates
- Social media marketing strategies (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.)
- Guest blogging
- Submit your content to industry publications
- Social bookmarking (i.e. Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon)
- Promoting through search engine marketing (AdWords for example)
- Spin the article and re-publish it on medium or high-quality low-priced content sites
While it may seem like a daunting task, you actually have quite a few options for promoting your content. As you create more blog posts or new web pages, implement these strategies into your overall digital marketing strategy to see if any are effective at driving traffic back to your site.
Once you’ve implemented all of these strategies and you’re ready to scale your content marketing efforts, we recommend creating a content distribution strategy map. This will help you plan out your next steps and see how everything comes together in the big picture so that all of your content is consistent and complementary.
Track Your Blog’s Competitors
Unless you’ve been blogging for years, it’s possible that there are some blogs out there with similar topics to your site. While you want to focus on creating great content, it can be helpful to track your competitor’s content so you know where they are getting their leads from.
There are plenty of tools available for tracking keywords and even organic search engine results. Simply type in the URLs of your main competitors in the search box to see what they are up to.
This is especially helpful when you want to identify their silo structure or where they are getting their leads from so that you can expand on these strategies for your own site. Of course, always make sure that whatever strategies you adopt don’t violate any Google webmaster guidelines.
No matter what, you want to pay attention to the keywords that they are targeting for each of their blog posts and how many people are clicking through to read their content. If your competitors have a million monthly visitors but their most popular blog post is only getting clicks from 10 people then it may not be worth writing similar content unless you can identify why.
By seeing the keywords and phrases your competitors rank for, you’ll be able to build up your own list of keywords that you can target or expand on what they already have going on. As we’ve talked about before, Google is getting smarter and it’s important for content marketers to stay one step ahead at all times.
Benefits of Blogging
The benefits of blogging are the same as traditional content marketing. If you’re planning on starting a blog for any reason, here are some of the most common benefits that marketers gain from creating great content:
Build your brand by being an industry expert or thought leader Gain links to your website that are relevant and authoritative Attract new website visitors and subscribers who want to learn more about your blog’s topic
Create a dialogue with your audience so that they trust you and will continue to read your content Create brand awareness around competing products or services Distribute great pieces of content across the web (re-post on other sites, open up for guest blogging opportunities) Drive relevant traffic back to your website and increase conversions
If you’re wondering how to promote a blog post, simply follow the same steps as promoting traditional content. You can utilize:
Email marketing (use tools like MailChimp to automate the process) Social media advertising (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Pay-per-click search engine ads (Google Adwords) Guest blogging (reach out to industry-related blogs and offer them an SEO-optimized draft).
Many marketers find guest blogging to be one of the most effective strategies for promoting their blog posts. Guest blogging is basically writing content on someone else’s site so that you can gain exposure to a new audience that may not have known about your blog.
For example, let’s say that you have a great blog post about how to market yourself on LinkedIn. You can then reach out to some of the top industry blogs and offer them a guest post describing the same topic with a link back to your site for full attribution.
If you do this consistently enough, you will be able to gain a significant amount of referral traffic back to your blog. Remember that it’s all about creating valuable content and promoting it to the right audience at the right time. You have to make plan for SEO cost calculator for getting leads.