You’re no stranger to SEO. And as any experienced marketer will tell you, it’s simply a must. Why? Because strong SEO means higher ranks in search engines, and higher ranks means more traffic. Read on to find out how you can launch and effective SEO campaign that drives 50,000 visitors a month. If you’re still on the fence about SEO, it’s important to remember that these days, search engines can make or break a business. The fact is, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 75% of users never scroll past the first page. Make sure you’re on the right side of those numbers by taking advantage of the following steps. First, Optimize Your Main Page and Service Pages for SEO Campaign Believe it or not, controversy exists even in the SEO world. One of the biggest? How to use SEO for your homepage. Some, like the author of this Yoast article, argue that homepage SEO doesn’t even exist. I disagree. Homepage SEO is different, I’ll give you that, but it does exist. The key difference? Use your homepage to target keywords related to the overall mission of your business in your main and service pages. This means you’ll be targeting terms specifically related to your target services, categories and product-specific keywords. Take Ignite Visibility. We’re a digital marketing company that specializes in SEO. Google “SEO company” and you’ll find us on the first page. We’re optimized for that keyword, and it’s exactly the service we provide. When people click on the link, it will be taken to our homepage where they can learn more about the company and our SEO specialization. But even a homepage has its limitation, and can generally only be optimized for 2 to 3 broad keywords. Luckily, pages dedicated to specific services or products are ideal for optimization. If one of your services happens to be social media marketing, give it its own page and optimize it for that specific keyword. Bonus tip: make sure you it’s clear to search engines which terms you’re trying to target on each page, and try to put them on the pages with the highest potential for conversion. For example, on a ecommerce site that’s likely your product pages, so optimize your product terms for their corresponding pages. Determine Your Personas For an SEO Campaign For a campaign to be successful, it has to reach the right people. And to reach them, you have to know who they are. That’s where your buyer persona comes in. Hubspot explains your buyer persona as “a semi-fictional representative of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” I like to call it an imaginary friend to your brand. When determining your personas, you’ll want to include: Who they are - age, gender, location, job Why are they visiting your site? What is their desired outcome? So with a persona on hand, you won’t be guessing why someone is coming to your cooking supply website. You’ll know that Carol - busy mom on-the-go - needs convenience, fast, and your avocado pitter and slicer fits the bill. Map Out Keyword Segments Around Each Persona (awareness, interest, consideration, purchase) The bigger question here is how that persona fits into your SEO plan. The answer is segmentation. By understanding your audience’s motivations, you will be better able to target them at each stage of the marketing funnel. First of all, it will help you brainstorm keywords. If you know that your customer desires specific traits or details from your product, you can include them in your target long-term keywords. Instead of just including “kitchen accessories,” brands would want to focus on key phrases like “time-saving kitchen accessories,” “easy kitchen accessories,” etc. You’ll also have an understanding of what kinds of questions they ask search engines. The answer to those questions and searches is what you’ll build your content marketing SEO around. Specifically, your blog. It’s where you’ll optimize for keywords related to your niche, even if it’s not related to a direct service or product you offer. Because even if it’s not in your direct line of business, it will attract people in your taget market to your site, expose them to your products, and help establish you as an authority figure in your niche. A few tips: Write posts that will rank for general words and terms Include long tail keywords that your competition may not be using (and compiled based on your buyer persona) Create a Content Publishing Schedule for Your SEO Campaign A content schedule is, quite simply, a marketing life saver. By mapping out your future posts and articles, you’ll save yourself the stress of having to produce last-minute-but-still-somehow-brilliant content. Which is great and all, but one of the even better benefits is that a schedule will keep you on top of your SEO game. This will again take your keyword research and buyer persona into account. Keep in mind, the competition is stiff - the Content Marketing Institute reports that 70% of B2B marketers surveyed say they are creating more content this year than they did in 2016. Which is where really knowing your niche will come in handy. While conducting your research, try to look for and target keywords that don’t necessarily get the most traffic. Instead, focus on slightly less popular keywords that you know will resonate with your niche. Once found, develop and map out content ideas around those target terms. Everything from Google Keyword Planner to tools like Soovle, which pulls keyword data from all of the major search engines, can help you find and plan your topics. Another reason a solid schedule pays off? Search engines really like fresh content. So if you want to rank higher (and who doesn’t?) then you’ll want a consistent, relevant schedule to stick to. Create a Page Refresh Schedule The fresher the content better, right? Right. But what about that blockbuster blog post your published a few months ago? Sad to say, but 74 percent of new articles hit their traffic peaks on the same day they’re published, followed by 25 percent the following day. Posts that have received good traffic in the past don’t have to be filed as yesterday’s news, especially if it’s evergreen content (marketer speak for content that always stays relevant). By periodically updating and republishing posts that have done well in the past (and including in your schedule) you can continue to reap the SEO benefits. Include any new keywords, optimize new images or include a video. Even pages from legacy websites or old pages that don’t perform well can be maximized to drive more traffic to the pages you care about. Watch this video to learn my process. Another great way of maximizing your quality content is to repurpose it. Check out this infographic I compiled of 92 ways to repurpose your old content for ideas. Develop a Linking Plan for Your SEO Campaign When it comes to SEO, there are two kinds of links: Internal - a hyperlink that directs you to a different area of the same website External (backlinks) - an incoming hyperlink from a web page to another website While backlinks usually get most of the attention, internal links are an important SEO factor in their own right. For an effective strategy, you’ll want to include links: On the category level - there should be internal links between the different categories on your site In each post - link to previous related articles or videos in each new post Your sitemap - this makes it easier for Google and other search engines to crawl your site For more detailed information on the above, check out this video I made. Backlinks are another essential SEO element, and one you’re likely familiar with. They’re so important because 1.) they bring in traffic, and 2.) they help your site rank better. While we often associate backlinks with links in posts from other people’s pages, there’s an effective way to build your own backlink strategy as well. For example, sites like YouTube, LinkedIn and Slideshare offer relatively easy ways to incorporate links. Not only is YouTube the second largest search engine in the world, but it’s owned by Google, which means links included in video descriptions are a win/win. Similarly, post relevant content with links back to your site to LinkedIn, or develop a slideshow on SlideShare with links. Other sites like Reddit, Tumblr and Flickr present great opportunities to leave links. For a full list backlinking strategies, take a look at my list here. When it comes down to it, the number one thing you can do to increase your backlinks is to produce quality content. The better the content, the more views and links it will attract. Focus on Link Building Weekly Remember, link building isn’t a one-time fix. In order for your strategy to work effectively, it needs to be ongoing. I recommend focusing on it weekly. Decide which pieces of content or pages you’d like to share and where, and spend some time publishing and linking back to those pages. Every single week. Host an Event Once a Quarter This one may not be on your SEO checklist yet, but it absolutely should be. First of all, outside of SEO events offer a simple and effective way to reach those in your community, introduce yourself and start building relationships (ie networking). But of course, you’re here for the SEO part. It’s the perfect opportunity for an event landing page, which means more opportunities to optimize for SEO. More specifically, local SEO. Even if your clientele isn’t limited to a local population, it’s still worth taking advantage of. Google has reported that 4 out of 5 use search engines to conduct local searches, meaning that any chance you get to include location-specific keywords will likely have a positive effect on your SEO. To use it properly, use your NAP (name, address, phone number) in any as many places as possible. In the case of an event, that would be your landing pages, advertisements, announcements, and social media links. Furthermore, local news or community organizations will often publish a list of upcoming events, which could provide your business with another opportunity for press and backlinks. Publish Infographics and Studies in Your SEO Campaign If you’re not using infographics, I’m afraid you’re falling behind. After all, infographics are liked and shared 3x more than other content. And because of its popularity, it’s an ideal opportunity for businesses to build backlinks. Once again, great content is more likely to be seen and linked to by influencers. When done correctly, infographics make great content - content marketing that contains visual elements can generate 95% of views as compared to plain content. To make sure yours are high quality, keep these tips in mind: Engage your audience with a unique design Keep text minimal Make it easy to understand Add share buttons Studies work similarly. A well-researched, well-developed study will be full of relevant and timely information that can be referenced in posts and articles from other influencers in your niche. Launch Your SEO Campaign As you can see, SEO’s much more than a few keywords here and a couple links there. But when the pieces come together, it’s one of the most effective ways to get your business noticed.

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