Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to improve their online visibility and attract more customers. SEO campaigns are designed to increase the organic search traffic your website receives from major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
However, investing in an SEO campaign without understanding its complexities can be a costly mistake. Before you commit to an SEO strategy, it’s important that you understand how it works and what factors will affect its success or failure. Here are 10 things you should know before investing in an SEO campaign.
1. Know Your Target Audience
Understanding your target audience is essential to creating an effective SEO campaign. Research the demographics of your potential customers so that you can tailor your content and keywords around them. You can do this by using tools like Google Trends, which will give you an idea of who is searching for the terms you’re targeting.
On top of that, finding your target audience can be done by digging into the keywords they’re using and where they are coming from. You can also use demographic tools like Google Ads or Facebook Audience Insights to better understand who your target audience is.
Knowing who your target audience is will also help you understand where they spend most of their time. And when you know how to reach the people most likely to be interested in your business, the sales practically make themselves.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Set realistic goals for your SEO campaign so that you can measure its success and make any necessary adjustments. This could include anything from increasing website traffic to boosting conversions or improving visibility on specific keywords.
By “realistic”, we mean that the goals you set should be achievable, specific and measurable. For example, “increase organic search traffic by 10% month-over-month” is a much more realistic goal than “increase organic search traffic significantly”.
Your goals should be structured in concrete steps so that they can be tracked and evaluated accordingly. In addition to this, they should be changed and updated as soon as the current ones have been achieved. That way, you won’t be standing in your own way when it comes to success.
3. Understand Your Competition
Before you start investing in an SEO campaign, it’s important that you understand your competition. This involves researching the keywords they are targeting, assessing their backlink profile, and studying how they present their content on their website.
By understanding your competition, you can gain insight into their strengths and weaknesses, which can in turn help you to develop a successful SEO strategy.
Using their strengths will help you to improve your own visibility and success while knowing their weaknesses can help you focus on areas where they are falling short. This will help you bridge that gap in your own campaign, giving your target audience a solution that the competitor can’t give.
4. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
The number one mistake that companies make when investing in SEO is not optimizing their website for mobile. With the rise of smartphones, it’s essential that your website is optimized for mobile. This is because Google’s algorithms now prioritize websites that are optimized for mobile devices over those that aren’t.
Think about this from the perspective of your audience. Everyone is on their mobiles these days and if your website doesn’t look appealing or isn’t easy to navigate on mobile, then they are likely to leave and find a website that is.
That’s why it’s important to make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. You should also consider investing in a responsive website design to ensure your website looks good and functions properly on all devices.
5. Have a Solid Keyword Strategy
Creating an effective keyword strategy is essential for any SEO campaign. This involves doing keyword research to identify which keywords are relevant to your business, industry, or product.
Your keyword strategy should be tailored to your target audience and the topics that are related to what you offer. You should also consider long-tail keywords which are more specific and have less competition.
Once you have identified the right keywords, it’s important to optimize your content for these terms so that Google can rank your content higher in the search engine results. This can include anything from adding relevant keywords to your titles and meta descriptions to ensuring that the content you create is optimized for the keywords.
6. Invest in Quality Content Creation
Speaking of content, content creation is a key element of any SEO campaign and it should not be overlooked. Quality content is essential for any successful SEO campaign and it should not just be about keyword optimization.
The content you create should be interesting, engaging, and informative. It should also provide value to your target audience. This means that you need to have an understanding of what kind of content they are looking for and create content that appeals to them. For example, if you are targeting a younger audience, then creating content around “trending topics” would be more effective than creating content that is more technical in nature.
Apart from this, you should also consider investing in link-building and guest blogging as these are effective ways of driving more traffic to your website.
7. Understand What Search Engines Look For
It’s important to understand what search engines are looking for when they index web pages. This will help you optimize your pages for better visibility and ranking in search engine results.
When it comes to SEO, there are several factors that search engines take into account when determining the ranking of a web page. These include factors such as content quality, keyword optimization, and website structure.
Google also has specific guidelines for SEO that you should adhere to in order to ensure your website is optimized properly. This includes following best practices such as using meta tags, creating a sitemap, and ensuring that your website is crawlable by search engine bots.
By understanding what search engines look for, you can ensure that your website is set up for success in terms of SEO.
8. Shop Around for an Outsourcing Agency Early
While you may think that you can do everything yourself, it is often a good idea to look into outsourcing agencies early on in the process. This will help you get more bang for your buck and ensure that everything is done properly.
There are a number of reputable SEO companies in the US and wider that you can use to help with your campaign. These companies can provide a range of services from keyword research to content creation and link building. It’s important to shop around for the right company as there are some that may not be as reputable or as experienced.
By researching the agencies and taking the time to understand their services, you can ensure that you’ve found the right fit for your business.
Even if you don’t end up using outsourcing services in the beginning, knowing you have someone to turn to when the time comes is very beneficial and ensures there are no hitches in your campaign.
9. Monitor Your Progress
It’s also important to keep track of your progress and measure your success. This will help you to identify what is working and what isn’t so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
You should track both on-site and off-site metrics such as keyword rankings, organic traffic, link-building efforts, website visits, and page views. This will give you an indication of how well your SEO efforts are paying off and allow you to make any necessary changes to your strategy.
You should also use tools such as Google Analytics to track how visitors are interacting with your website and use this information to further optimize your pages.
10. Keep Up With the Latest Trends
SEO is a dynamic field, and as such, you should stay up to date with the latest trends. You should be aware of any algorithm updates or changes in search engine behavior and make sure your website is compliant with them.
You should also keep an eye out for any emerging trends that may have an impact on SEO, such as voice search or content personalization. For example, if voice search is becoming increasingly popular, you should ensure that your website is optimized for it.
Similarly, if content personalization is on the rise, you should focus on creating more tailored content to meet user needs.
By staying aware of such changes, you can ensure that your website is always optimized for maximum visibility and traffic.
SEO can be a powerful tool for driving traffic and increasing the visibility of your website. However, it is important to remember that it takes time and consistency to see the desired results. By following these 10 steps, you can ensure that you are setting yourself up for success with your SEO campaign. Good luck!
Sarah Watson is an economist and content writer currently employed with DigitalStrategyOne. She’s a passionate blogger expressing herself through her creative and informative articles about online marketing strategies.