Direct Human Engagement

Digital Marketing Strategy – Researching Your SEO Strategy

One of the biggest mistakes that marketers make when creating an SEO strategy is to start with the following question: ‘What keywords should we be focusing on?’

This is not a bad question. In fact it is a very good question, but it should never be the first question asked. The starting point for good SEO, as we have discussed more generally, should be creating the goals and objectives for the SEO channel (for example, will SEO be your primary channel?). Once you have covered those basics the next crucial step is a thorough understanding of your customers.

Persona Development

The best way to do this is to create audience personas. Consider the audience types you have and try to create no more than five distinct personas. This approach will help you considerably when you move to the next step of keyword research. but it is worth taking a quick look here at how personas apply to SEO. As we have already discussed, personas are a useful way of understanding the personality and potential behaviors of your customers. This becomes useful in SEO (and paid search) in predicting what the user may search for. As we move into the next phase of keyword research (below) this is extremely useful to understand.

Keyword Research

Having created personas the next job is to start to build your focus keyword list. This might seem daunting, especially as some companies have target keyword lists that run in the thousands. However, if you break down the process into the following steps the process is relatively painless:

  • Step 1: create logical segments.
  • Step 2: mine your data.
  • Step 3: mine secondary data sources.
  • Step 4: sense check.

Note that within this section we will use the term ‘keyword’ as a catch-all for search terms. While some searches are just one keyword, increasingly people use natural language and therefore longer phrases.

Technical SEO

Whilst we will not delve deep into technical SEO, in order to understand it fully you at least need to know what the main technical elements are. This section provides a high-level overview of the main technical considerations; however, it is important to know where your strengths are and to appoint an agency to assist you if you do not have deep knowledge or resource in this area.

Organizational Structure and SEO

One of the surprisingly important areas of SEO and one that is often overlooked or not implemented, due to its complexity, is organizational structure. To ensure that your SEO strategy can be fully implemented it needs buy-in and ownership from the top down. If your board of directors have the level of understanding that this section offers then you will likely be in a good place – the reason being that to do everything discussed requires multiple departments working very closely together.

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