Ranking or Tanking? Fire Up Your SEO Strategy Process
Where is your small to mid-sized business ranking on Google? If you’re not where you’d like to be (like on page 1), it could be time to take a closer look at your SEO strategy process. Here are the essential steps we follow as a digital inbound marketing agency to help our clients rank higher and get more leads.
Start With the Site
Our SEO strategy process starts with keyword research, competitive analysis and development of a site map and SEO strategy. When we work with a new client, this strategy is presented along with a competitive analysis during the customer discovery month. An optimized website should include a site map with keywords assigned to each page, a list of relevant keywords for ongoing content and a competitive analysis that shows what keywords competitors’ sites are ranking for. Even if you aren’t launching a new site, it’s a good idea to review your list of keywords and make sure you’re developing content that includes them on a consistent basis.
Part of our SEO strategy process includes developing content calendars that guide us in methodically using clients’ keywords. We consistently add keyword-optimized content, such as case studies, blog posts, FAQ pages, core pages and longer-tail keyword pages to our clients’ websites. If you’re not already using a content calendar, follow the steps outlined here to set yourself up with a quarterly roadmap.
Get Specific on Your Location
Chances are, someone right now is Googling “Chinese food near me.” This is a “service + location” search, and if potential customers are looking for you in a certain region, you want to show up right at the top of their search results. With highly competitive markets, “service + location” pages provide the best opportunities to be found organically.
Start this step in the SEO strategy process by making a list of your top services and top locations where you offer these services. Be specific: If you offer IT services in Philadelphia, for example, the city is most likely just one area you serve. Make a list of all the communities and neighborhoods in and around that location where people might be starting their search. Then, start to compile a list of your services, like “IT support in Drexel Hill,” or “cybersecurity in Camden” or “IT consulting in King of Prussia.” You can include these pages with long-tail keywords in your website content calendar. You’ll discover hundreds of combinations of your services and locations, so take your time and slowly add this type of content to your site. (Hint: Taking it slow is important, Google won’t like it if you add 100 of these pages at once to your site. So try for 10 or so each week.)
Back at You!
Securing backlinks to your website is another smart step in an SEO strategy process. The idea is, you want to get other sites (the more popular the better) to link to your website URL. It’s time-consuming work, but worthwhile. We work with our clients to build backlinks from reputable sites, such as industry trade publications, social media channels, industry associations, listing agencies and local government or chambers of commerce. Start by joining a few associations, and make sure your company website is linked from their online directories.
Take a NAP
In the SEO world, NAP stands for name, address and phone number. It’s critical that this information appears on your website and is the same all across the web. You can use services to help ensure consistency in your NAP information. For instance, after we launch a client’s website, we set up a citation burst with local SEO tool BrightLocal to update all the client’s NAP listings everywhere online.
Customer reviews matter to your search rankings. Consider how to develop a process with your internal team to request reviews. Google My Business, Clutch.co, Upcity and Cloudtango are a few of the sites where you can focus on securing positive reviews. Just remember that Google forbids you to incentivize reviews on their platform. So, no offering people compensation in return for a review, please.
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Be sure your SEO strategy process includes regularly reviewing your rankings. We use Moz to track overall rankings and create reports for clients on the progress of their top keyword combinations each month. Additional tools you can use to keep tabs on rankings include BrightLocal, Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Spyfu.
What’s Your SEO Strategy Process?
If you need help moving the needle on getting found online, let’s talk. We’d be happy to discuss your options for showing up and generating more leads to help you grow.
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