There’s no doubt about it. If you’ve been asked to do SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your company, you’re facing some serious information overload. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? What should you do? What shouldn’t you do?
Ideally, you can give a company like VIEO a call and say, “Yo, data geeks. I need some SEO help over here, pronto.” But sometimes, you have to work up to the ideal situation, both in terms of getting your higher-ups on board, and in terms of budget.
So, here’s a quick marketing checklist to help you sort through the SEO information overload:
- Take baby steps. Don’t try to do it all at once. Taking care of one thing at a time will get you there much more quickly, and imposing some structure on yourself will help you cut through the clutter faster than anything else.
- Know who you’re talking to. What are your customers' pain points? What do they do in their spare time? Who do they follow online? What are their job descriptions? This information makes up your buyer persona, and you’ve got to work this out before bothering with SEO.
- Set your goals and objectives for your SEO work up front. Where are you now in terms of website traffic? How many leads do you get from your website? How many leads become customers? These are your benchmarks. Now determine where you want those numbers to be. These are your objectives. Be specific and set a timeline for success.
- Do your keyword research. Now that Google no longer gives keyword data, you’ve got to be a little creative, but there are still some great tools for that. If you don’t have a paid tool, use Google Adwords’ keyword research tool.
- Blog, blog, blog, blog, blog. And blog some more. Be yourself. Create your own voice for your writing, and use it consistently. And get good at writing. No one wants to read your crappy content, so make it great content instead.
- Build content across platforms. When you write a blog post, turn that into a SlideShare presentation. Then make the SlideShare into a YouTube video. Then post your video to your Facebook business page and Twitter, and your SlideShare to LinkedIn and Google Plus. Etc.
- Don’t throw up on people. Share and interact. No one wants to read promotion after promotion after promotion - your customers want to be entertained. They want to get to know you. They want to interact, on their terms. So spend the time to make it real, instead of just cranking out promotional content.
- Know your industry's thought leaders, and help them to get to know you. Don’t ask them for anything, just contribute. Build a relationship. Eventually, you’ll know it’s the right time to ask them to write a post on your blog, or to post on theirs. Don’t rush it.
- Check your results against your benchmarks. Are you going in the right direction? Make changes to your strategy as needed.
- Be persistent! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your SEO won’t improve results overnight, either. If you keep after it, you’ll get your results over time.
If the above doesn’t sound like SEO to you, by all means, get into the minutia of data-crunching and link-building and all the other things that drive people nuts.
But trust me – good targeted content, consistently delivered to the right people, is the only SEO that most small businesses need to succeed. Keep the tips in our marketing checklist in mind, and you'll be well on your way.
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