The SEO king (Moz) recently talked about SEO having three bosses and why it’s important to think about all of them when building your SEO strategy.
So, to make things easier, we’ve broken down what they said into simple terms that make it easy for everyone to understand – not just the SEO experts.
1. Your Business and SEO
First is your business. Of course, as your income and future, it’s important to first look at what it needs as it has its own unique demands. And, when it comes to SEO, there’s a number of things you should consider.
These are vital to get you going. And, as any successful business owner knows, you’re not going anywhere without a goal to work towards. These goals then determine what your marketing goals are, which in turn determines your SEO goals.
Once those goals are established, next on the list is competitors (anyone thinking this list is looking very much like building a business plan – there’s a reason for that). And it’s this business plan that will serve us here as you probably already know who your direct competitors are.
However, do you know who your SEO competitors are? These are the people who might not be doing the same thing as you but they give information to your ideal audience.
Once this is done, it’s time to look at what kind of staff and budget you have to implement things. Sometimes business owners just don’t have the time to think about these things so, outsourcing could be the answer.
Your brand identity is all about where you stand and this in turn tells you what type of content you need to develop. An example of this, is if a piece of content is trending but it doesn’t align with your brand, it’s not worth your reputation to get involved as it will only confuse your audience and put them off.
Next is expertise, which is linked to brand identity and is all about what you’re good at and what you can offer. If you’re lacking in some way, it’s probably worth seeing if there is any way you can collaborate.
Related to expertise is your strengths. Bring people into your brand by playing to the things you’re good at and not trying to do the things you’re not so good at, it’ll only show. So, if you’re good at writing then write, if you’re better at design try infographics instead.
Finally for this section is the amount of time you devote to your SEO. If you’re a start-up the things your site needs is completely different to a much bigger more established company and what they stand for. So, make sure you’re doing what your business needs, not what someone else needs.
Second on the list is searches. Think of searches as the people you’re serving as a business.
Your business personas will really help for search and if you haven’t got any yet – now’s the time to create some. These personas will help you focus on the type of content you need to create to attract the right audience.
It’s easy to find search intent and relevance through your search engine results page. It’s simply a case of searching for your ideal keywords and seeing what Google and the rest have decided are the most relevant answer for that query.
Once you’ve done this you can use this information to serve that audience with content based on the ideas you get from your research.
Another important thing to remember is to make sure you’re focusing your content on topics not keywords. The days of stuffing keywords into text randomly are thankfully long gone. These days it’s more important to focus your content on a topic and serve that audience with things they want to read.
Psychological and Socioeconomic
This isn’t as complicated as it sounds, it’s simply about making sure you’re aware of the issues that affect your target audience and what they’re struggling with so you can position your content as the solution to their issues.
Many people assume branding is just your logo and the way you look but this is only a part of your brand. Branding is the whole package – the way you look and the way you sound. So, make sure the language you use is the same as the language used by your audience. There is no point using language they don’t understand, it will only put them off.
Some businesses have naturally quiet months; it’s just part of the way things work (the wedding industry is a good example of this). Many more people get married in the summer months, so this is much busier than the winter. It’s worth making note of any quiet months to see if there’s a pattern.
Search behaviour is something that naturally changes over time. As we change and the world, we live in changes and evolves, so do the people in it. So, it’s worth paying attention to these changes and reacting accordingly.
Your customer journey is important, and it is always worth understanding the touch points your customer has with your business and their journey to discover you. Once you have this information you can use it to create content that serves that journey and helps them along the way.
As businesses owners many assume they’ve got things right because the structure makes sense to them. But, what’s right for your audience might be different to your assumptions. Make sure you make everything accessible and structured in a simple, logical way.
3. Search Engines
When we think of SEO, search engines are often where we start, but as we’ve set out above, the search engines come third on the list. But, when we do think about them it’s important to understand they are businesses and if we understand this, it’s easier to understand how they work.
For you, this simply means to get ranked you need to have a website that’s in line with their business. So, let’s see what they’re concerned with.
Natural language processing has become a huge part of how sites are ranked. So, what you say and the way you say it has become more important than ever. This is where your copywriter is comes in.
This is another big part of how search engines rank. They look at how authoritative your site is based on a number of factors and those that fit are ranked higher. It’s worth investigating how to make sure you’re displaying the markers that help with this.
These are essentially the digital version of word-of-mouth recommendations from other sites. This is particularly important if they’re a trusted source themselves. Alongside this, internal linking is another important factor.
This is simply making sure your site is indexable by fixing errors and getting rid of pages that add no value to your audience at all.
Search engines also run along the theory that a query deserves freshness. So, they will always determine that the most up to date information is more relevant, which is why it’s important to keep adding content and information to your site.
Aside from this, there’s the ongoing updates happening constantly, which means SEO is never something that’s just done.
So, now you know what to do, all you need to do is go and implement it. But if you’d like further help with SEO, have a look at what we can do to help.