When A Street Artist Inspires the D...April 6, 2019
Many people view SEO as that voodoo or magic that miraculously happens with a stroke of luck! I was recently interviewed by a few people about SEO and their first question was, Does it really work? It made me smile because these were intelligent business folks who really wanted an honest answer; they were also folks who had been burnt spending a lot of money on SEO without seeing a good ROI or anything else for that matter.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and my focus is primarily to get my clients ranked on the first page of Google. I concentrate on Google because it is the dominant search engine by far. Not to say Yahoo or Bing don’t matter, but Google rules and is my first priority. When I interview potential clients, I ask them about their goals for investing in SEO. Many just give me a blank look, some say to get more sales and others, errrrr … that’s what we were told to do to get more traffic to our website.
So why SEO?
SEO is a marketing engineering process that marries up your brand, communication and search engine rankings, all three of which must work in tandem. For example, you might be selling a service that is focused on family law, but your SEO person ranks you as a personal injury attorney. Sure, you might get inbound calls but you’re not going to get the leads that matter to you. Another example could be that you focus on family law; you have a long list of areas that you specialize in, but your SEO person only focuses on one or two keywords and they are services that don’t yield a good use of your time. Recently, I was talking with a VP of a merchant service provider.. He showed me some of his analytics which surprisingly revealed that they were only ranked one for e-check processing; a service they don’t actually offer!
What constitutes a good SEO campaign? Basically, it boils down to applying these fundamentals of marrying up brand, communication and keyword strategies. Remember, SEO is also about pleasing two audiences, one is human and the other is bots. So, with that in mind here are some tips for you:
- The Game Plan
The game plan is simple; it’s sales for many, for law firms its retainers; call it whatever you like, the game plan is sales. In many of my strategy sessions I ask the question, how many customers do you have? Answer: Errrr, I will need to check. What were your annual sales last year? Answer: Errrrr, I’m not sure. Many business owners don’t know what the numbers are and this is a worry. Why would anyone invest in SEO or anything in the marketing arena without understanding what the game plan is? Once the numbers come on the table for review, it’s an eye opening experience for most people I have met. As a strategist, it gives me the confidence to prescribe the next steps by answering the following questions:
Should the investment go into SEO or digital marketing?
What areas should be focused on?
How should branding and communication be positioned based around what is selling?
What makes money for the business?
How well can the business handle incoming calls or additional leads?
- The Competition
Once the game plan is clearly set with the business owner, the next challenge is to understand macro-economic factors and threats i.e. the competition. A good SEO person will study this landscape to ensure they understand and map as much as possible, from online intelligence, a keyword strategy and what the ranking is for. It sets the challenge and the pace for the race with the end game being thefirst page of Google.
- The Margin Review
Once the study of the competition is complete, it sets another scene for the business owner and SEO campaign. Priorities will start to shift based on what will yield sustainable profits. It may be that as a family law attorney, an investment in more specialized areas like domestic or international child custody cases yields the best ranking, resulting in focused leads, more meaningful consults, and a specialist team ready for these types of inquiries. The end result is the conversion of a lead into a paying client. The same thing applies for any business. Most business owners tend to want it all, but the marketing budget only permits a scatter gun approach. Isn’t it better to stay focused on higher margin services and products?
- The Talent you Select
SEO talent is hard to come be. Many say they can do it but what are they ranking you for what exactly? Finding an SEO person for your firm is tough because there are so many to choose from. This should be your check list of questions:
- How much time has this person spent understanding my business, my competitors and my brand?
- Do they know how to marry Brand Strategy with SEO? [Read our blog on B2B SEO HERE
- Are they focused on content rich SEO or do they keep it a secret and not explain what they’re going to be doing for you?
- How are they connecting the dots with sales?
SEO is not some magical thing that happens, but it is a process, a marketing engineering process that should be customized for your business. A good SEO person will apply the marketing planning process to create a winning outcome and rank you on Google Maps, Mobile and Desktop. If you need an audit done, let me know. My team and I can tell you right away where the pain points are; we can either be your SEO police or perform all SEO functions for you. CONTACT US HERE