Organic search marketing, which may also be called “SEO,” has been a Wild West of bandits, hacks and empty promises for far too long. Nowadays, no one can promise to “get you on top” of Google’s search results. At least no one who is reputable. The main reason is Google itself: Google doesn’t want organizations influencing their natural search rankings. For better or worse, they’re the Decider. To Google, if you even know what “SEO” means, you’re part of the problem.
This is not to say an organization should not engage in understanding their search rankings for potential customer search terms, or customize their website to speak to them. It just has to be done right. A long, hard slog indeed…
Knowledge is power, as the saying goes. If an organization doesn’t know which keyword terms prospects are searching for on Google, they simply can’t compete. At Concept 5 we kick off all engagements by creating a Keyword Research Report. The first step is a few discovery calls or meetings for our team to learn everything we can about your business, so we can establish what your leads and prospects are looking for.
Utilizing several different research solutions plus some proprietary tools, we uncover what phrases your prospects are using to search. We compute the volume of Google searches, a competition rating and even a value of each of your potential keyword search terms. We can then work collaboratively to focus on 8 – 14 core keywords that an organization needs to rank for. For smaller companies, these are typically highly localized search phrases: “long island plastics manufacturer.” Terms are broader for larger organizations, but, remember, broader terms, with a higher number of monthly Google searches, are always harder to rank for.
- Leadership – when a company ranks near the top in a Google search, prospects will always consider them a leader. They’re then more likely to do business.
- Sales Leads – similarly, the volume of traffic coming to a company’s website will increase as they start to rank for key terms. Assuming the website is well optimized for lead generation, high-value leads will come in with no advertising spend.
- Traffic – simple enough – the more keyword terms a company ranks well for, the more visitors their website will receive. These can then be turned into targeted sales leads.
- Branding – it’s vital to appear in search results when customers or prospects are searching for a company by name. If the name of a company is common (Acme, Inc.) this becomes a challenge, but can still be accomplished at the local level.
- Long-term Value – unlike advertising spends, which revert to 0 as they end, search optimization yields long-term results, which after the initial program set-up expenses, should cost less than traditional advertising.
- Keyword Phrase – also called “search term”, “search phrase” or “keyword phrase.” This is the word or words an individual is entering into the search bar to conduct a search: “best accountant firm” or “apparel manufacturer NY.”
- Branded Terms – keyword phrases that are the exact name of a company or its products’ names, and close derivatives: “Acme, Inc”, “Acme Hauppauge”, “Acme #5 transistor”
- Keyword Searches – the average number of times a keyword is searched for per day or per month. Ranking for keywords with a higher number of searches will result in more traffic and leads, but is usually more challenging.
- Keyword Ranking – where an organization ranks in search results for a specific Keyword Phrase. A higher ranking is always better.
- SEO Competition – the total number of webpages in the US optimized for this key phrase. Higher numbers are more difficult to achieve high organic search result rankings.
- Organic Search Traffic – the number of website visitors coming to a company’s website from organic search – typically Google, but the Yahoo/Bing search network can also be included. The more robust a company’s Organic Search Marketing program is, the higher this number.
- No Data – what are the main keyword phrases prospects are using to search for a company’s products or services? It takes time to unearth the answers, but once you’re armed with this data, there is a strong foundation on which to build.
- Lack of Optimization – do you have webpages that speak to each the top keyword phrases prospects are using? Do they rank in search results? Do you optimize these terms across PR efforts, social media, a company blog, etc?
- Keyword Stuffing – if the company handling a company’s search optimization effort is overly aggressive, Google can consider this “keyword stuffing” or “spamdexing” and may remove them from all search results. Proper search optimization is a delicate balance.
- Pay-to-Play – the practice of paying a person or “SEO firm” to buy links or take other actions in attempts to influence search rankings will do nothing, and can even hurt a company’s rankings. A strategic approach tailored to the individual organization is always required.
- Measurement & Analytics – is someone in the organization or their marketing partner looking at organic search rankings and their movements? Reporting on them? Is progress being made here?
If you have questions or would like to improve your organic search marketing performance we’re here to help!