SEO has evolved from a backroom tactic into a full-fledged growth channel.
And SEO rankings are no longer just about lead generation – to some extent, your website’s SEO rankings are an indication of how effective your overall marketing is.
In other words, if you think your SEO sucks, then the rest of your marketing probably sucks too.
The reason why SEO rankings – Google rankings in particular – are a great marketing KPI (key performance indicator) is because Google is now able to collect many different ranking factors about your business, brand, content, customers, social media presence and reputation, and calculate a score for your business. If all those factors above look familiar, they should, because those are many of the key components of a modern, successful digital marketing strategy.
Today’s SEO is not about randomly applied tactics, it’s about (1) knowing what all the pieces are and (2) knowing how to put them all together in a way that makes your website the hub of all of your marketing tactics.
When you randomly apply marketing tactics without an having an ‘SEO mindset’, you leave money on the table.
Here’s a perfect example: When you post great content on Facebook, it dies on Facebook. When you post that content on your website, and then share that same content via a post link on Facebook, you get the same great content on your Facebook page, while driving user’s page to your website. That visit to your website is extremely valuable in terms of SEO signals, your ability to tag the visitor for re-marketing, and the chance to convert that visit to a sale, a signup or some other conversion action.
You see? One simple tweak to your routine – which involves no extra work on your part – can result in 10x the ROI. This is what makes modern content-driven SEO so powerful and so exciting.
Now let’s get to the nitty gritty. Let’s say you want break into a new geographic territory, here’s how you can march in and make an instant impact:
Holy smack. The single biggest mistake companies make relates to local SEO for their independent locations and / or franchisees. Most of the time, individual locations get a directory style listing on the main website. What each location needs at a minimum, however, is a rich landing page with unique content for each location.
If you really want to dominate, try giving location its own mini-website. This is easy to do on a platform such as WordPress Multisite.
To really dominate at the local level, each location should have it’s own digital identity:
Here is a partial list of recommended citation’s from local SEO expert Phil Rozek:
The easiest and most effective way to do any new link building for a website or a web page is to analyze the web pages that are already ranking for the targeted websites, and they study the backlink profile.
Your immediate goal should be to create a similar profile (to the extent possible).
The is a no-brainer, and it’s pretty easy to do. You may have to invest in a premium tool like Ahrefs.com to get access to your competitions’ backlinks.
The concept is pretty easy: by breaking down the competitions backlinks, you can make a list of those that will be easy to replicate.
Now that you have leveraged the competitions’ backlink profile, you need to protect your you own back link profile.
One of the best ways to do this is by having a proactive back linking strategy. You can’t sit back and expect to get lots of online reviews (more on that next), and you cannot expect to get strong backlinks by waiting for them to get back to your website.
Consider a guest blogging campaign. Guest blogging takes effort and can result in very high quality backlinks. They are hard to get, but they are also much harder to replicate.
In our book, SEO for Growth, we call local SEO rankings coupled with a deep bench of positive reviews (especially on Google) the “Holy Grail” of search engine optimization. This pretty much sums it up. When you come up first, and your business has the highest star ratings with the largest volume of reviews, you will get the click and most likely the sale.
But just like getting high quality, relevant back links from authority websites, customer reviews are relatively hard to get. Good reviews will not fall into you lap.
If you want to know how to get Google reviews, you have to develop an easy system to collect them.
Make it easy for your clients and customer. Use a reputation management review funnel.
Here is an example:
Pure AdWords clicks can be an expensive way to enter a new market, this is a sure-fire method to start stealing market share on day 1. But there is a more cost effective way to leverage AdWords in order to get advertising exposure on top media sites for pennies on the dollar.
When a “new business” starts getting ad impressions on top media sites (think CNN, Forbes, Blomberg, etc), it add to the trust factors you are already building with organic SEO and reputation signals from review and social media sites:
In SEO for Growth, we talk about the importance of building out a custom content distribution channel for your business. We’ve already discussed several of these channel points above, but in terms of your niche and geographic territory, you really need to go the extra mile to establish as many high quality channel points as are relevant to your business.
Many local news sites offer ways to publish local news and press releases. Local lifestyle magazines offer sponsored website content. And you local chambers and community associations almost always have member news section…all great place for you to post content and get highly valuable backlinks to your local marketing page:
You can apply the above to any business that has a goal of penetrating a new marketing – but it works especially well for web designer and Internet marketers.
Are you interested in starting your own SEO business? Consider getting an SEO for Growth SEO certification (coming soon contact us for details). But make sure you read the book first!