Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a little intimidating for the non-technical person. After all, it’s a mysterious science filled with unknown algorithms, metadata, XML sitemaps, HTML tags, linking schemes, and much, much more. And to further complicate things, it’s always changing.
Then there’s the agency that is not even responsible for the client’s website. How in the world is an advertising, public relations, or marketing communications agency supposed to get involved in SEO? Actually, it’s pretty easy these days. I’ve compiled some tips to help get you started.
Take advantage of others’ SEO technology.
SEO has matured to the point that there are countless platforms optimized for search. You just have to add the content and the search engines do the rest.
- Social media sites like YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, and Merchant Circle, to name just a few, are large in size and highly optimized. Posting content on these sites will help you get listed in the search engines. Just be sure to use your keywords in the postings for the various sites. And include a keyword in the file name of any photo or video file you upload to a website too!
- Blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger are free, easy to set up, and highly optimized. However, the biggest obstacle with a blog is that it takes some time to grow the blog to a size large enough to be noticed by search engine
- Press Release wire services like PR Newswire and Business Wire provide optimization of press releases and host the release on their site. In addition, the press release is distributed to media news sites that also host a version of the release on their site. This gives one press release numerous opportunities for listings on a search engine results page (SERP).
- Lead Maverick is an SEO platform developed specifically for agencies with integrated optimization tools for content, customizable landing page designs and real-time tracking stats — all in a non-technical, user-friendly interface. Lead Maverick agency partners use the SEO platform to get their clients to the top of organic SERPs or to add additional listings so their client owns more of the SERP real estate.
Write well, rank well.
There are a number of guidelines for developing content that will enhance its findability in organic search. The goal is not to trick the search engines, but to provide quality content on a subject while following SEO best practices.
- Length of content should be at least 300 words.
- Each content posting should focus on one keyword, keyword phrase or keyword theme. Putting too many different keywords in one posting will dilute its effectiveness.
- Headline should not exceed 70 characters and should include a keyword ideally placed towards the beginning.
- Subhead should not exceed 160 characters and should include at least one keyword ideally placed closer to the beginning.
- If there is not a subhead, treat the first paragraph of the content as the subhead by making it bold, keeping it under 120 characters, and include at least one keyword.
- Emphasize a keyword by making it bold and emphasize other important points with bold or by using a bulleted list.
- Rule of thumb for keywords is one keyword for every 100 words. If you repeat a keyword more than this, the search engine may think you are keyword stuffing and not add the page to the index.
- Include at least a couple of hyperlinks to your website. Also include a link or two to a third-party website, preferably ones with good size and traffic. For example, Wikipedia is good to use for a definition.
- Link your various content pages with hyperlinks on your keywords. Be sure the page you link to discusses the keyword that is hyperlinked.
- Avoid posting duplicate content from another website by making some edits to your posting. Add a link to the page with the original content so the search engine will know that you are not trying to trick it.
Spread Keywords Across the Sales Decision Process.
One of the greatest benefits of search marketing is the ability to track responses and conversions. For that reason, many advertisers focus keywords on driving a purchase. But, searchers use the internet throughout every stage of the sales decision process. They search for information on categories at the beginning of their research, all the way through to searches on specific products to check pricing.
Be sure you focus keywords and content for every stage of the sales decision process. Just set your client’s expectations for ROI. The earlier in the sales decision process, the fewer click throughs on the landing page. Early on in the process, you are trying to educate and build awareness for a purchase down the road. And you’ll have keywords and content covering those later purchase-related stages where click-through rates and conversions will be the key success metrics.
Leverage Existing Assets.
Most companies have a wealth of information already developed about the company. In developing your online posts, leverage the existing assets that already exist, incorporating targeted keywords:
- white papers
- fact sheets
- executive bios
- advertisements (print, broadcast, etc.)
- trade show schedules
- speaking engagements
- press releases
- product photos
- how to videos
- power point presentations
This list is just the beginning. Try to identify all existing assets. Each asset represents a potential posting for a search engine. Spread the posts out across the sales decision process as mentioned above. Supplement with new content developed with your keywords in mind. Just be sure to follow the content writing guidelines above.
Get in the Search
Leave the website optimization to the
geeks experts. Now that others are taking care of the SEO part, it’s easier for agencies to get their clients to the top of organic search — with keyword strategy and content.