A conversation with a potential new client the other day was not unlike several others I have had with small business owners about what appears to be the mystery of SEO.
This client has a great social media presence and uses this to generate leads for her business but she’s working it every day. She realised that her online visibility was lacking and that she needed to focus on SEO, so that her website could generate leads while she slept.
Here is how the conversation went:
Client: “I need SEO services, I used to have this other company I would use every month”
Me: “What was included in your previous SEO Service?”
Client: “I don’t know, you know, SEO services….”
Me: “OK. What did they actually deliver every month?”
Client: “Uh… not sure, but they did help a little bit, they got some results for us”
Me: “Do you have a content marketing plan?”
Client: “No, do I need that for good SEO?”
Sound familiar? The answer is that SEO demands optimised and fresh content that is engaging for your website visitors and a content marketing plan delivers this.
SEO states the parameters, and your content marketing plan delivers the goods
We have many conversations with clients who have paid a lot of money for SEO services, faithfully month on month. They get a monthly report and this shows some keyword movement. This is all well and good, and focussing on keywords is today, still an important part of developing healthy organic online presence for your business.
However, many SEO services often do not have a focus on developing content for the website, and since well written and optimised content is about 70% of your SEO, it would make logical sense to have an SEO strategy that includes regular fresh content.
An SEO strategy without a content marketing plan is like having a horse ready to lead the carriage but the carriage is not ready or hooked on – so it’s not going anywhere.
The following features of your website are the 4 highest ranking metrics that improve your organic position:
- More organic visits to your website
- Time spent on your website
- Pages per session that people view
- The bounce rate
Each one of these 4 factors is addressed with a content marketing plan.
How does SEO work?
Here is a very simple description for everyday business owners who want to know some basics.
SEO or Service Engine Optimisation is work that you do on your website to meet the criteria of search engines like Google and Bing, that will help your website become more visible for your products and services online.
There are two types of SEO techniques:
Optimising each of your website pages with well-written and SEO “structurally correct” content. This content is optimised in such a way that search engine robots can find your website pages and index them correctly for the products and services you want to promote and get leads for.
This includes everything outside your website that influences its visibility. For example, your backlinks (links to your website from other websites) have a significant impact on your website authority. The reason is that the search engines assume that if your website is being linked to, and these links come from good quality websites that have good authority themselves, then you must have something worthwhile to share. And this comes back to a good content marketing plan that provides shareable and engaging content.
Other off-page SEO services include social media marketing and guest blogging that all drive visits back to your centre of the universe – your website.