For a long time I have wanted to address a theme that is recurrent in the initial conversation I have with people interested in a website budget: the SEO strategy. Sometimes it happens that when you ask them if they want us to design an SEO strategy for their web project, they answer “How? But isn’t that included on the web?” And when you explain that the price is around 700 euros , many respond that they don’t need it, or “maybe we’ll do it later.”
In most businesses that want to make their way on the internet, to think that they first need a website and later their positioning strategy is to assume that first they have to put the stationery and then check if there is another one next to it, or that there is first than to put the hairdresser close to another and then decide how to compete.
What is this post talking about?
The value of an SEO strategy
Although many think they know their industry well, online marketing is a world apart. It requires an expert in online marketing, preferably a growth hacker , who thoroughly studies the sector and defines strategies to compete in it and then implement that strategy on the website. And that has practically the same economic value as many websites, since it determines that the same web development is useful for something or for nothing.
No matter how beautiful the design of a website may be, if it does not manage to climb positions in Google for words that have enough searches and an affordable competition to beat it, it will only serve to attract customers who already know of its existence, In other words, beyond congratulating us on how beautiful it is, they are not going to increase our turnover because we had already captured them before. It is a website that does not work for what it generally serves: attracting new customers. The web is full of failed deals with beautiful websites.
Today, a website manages to stand out in Google basically for its content, conceived from a previous SEO strategy, and a good user experience (fast loading, smooth navigation, etc.). Without SEO strategy, we will not climb positions in Google for the most searched words and with the most affordable competition and they will only find us, either if we invest in advertising, or if they already know us, (that is, users that you have captured elsewhere) .
Let’s take two practical examples:
- 1. The manager of a optician wanted to sell the glasses online from him. After a study of the sector, we concluded that the words “online glasses”, “online sunglasses”, “Rayban glasses”, etc., had too high competition to fight for the top positions in Google, since it required an investment too high and did not provide certainty of a medium-term result. For this reason, it was necessary to prioritize on the web (and therefore establish a certain hierarchy in it) products that the customer had not originally thought of, such as children’s glasses.
- 2. The owner of a beauty center wanted to compete on the internet for the booking of manicure, pedicure, facial and body treatment services. She had thought that only by opting for keywords such as “manicure barcelona” or “pedicure barcelona” could appear in a short time on the first page of Google when users search for those words. However, those words had too much competition, especially from adversaries with potential in the near future, such as Bucmi, which are platform as a service (PaaS) dedicated to the centralized offer of aesthetic services, which allow to compare prices, services and ratings and to book on-line. Therefore, after a detailed analysis of the sector, we determined that it was necessary to orient the services to foreign customers, in English, since this segment was the least competitive and offered a high profit margin.
SEO strategy in 6 steps
Some of the steps to follow to carry out an SEO strategy are:
STEP 1. How would we search for the company’s product or service on Google?
The first thing to do is find a list of keywords for which, if we were a user interested in the products or services offered by the company, we would search for those products or services. If we have a law firm, we should not only stick to «lawyers barcelona», because you will probably have a competition that is practically impossible to beat on the first page of Google, but rather look for words related to secondary services that we also offer, such as «lawyer laborista barcelona “or” request severance pay “, among others.
STEP 2. How competitive are those words and what potential do they have?
Once we have a long enough list of keyword combinations, we have to check our Google account for the monthly searches they have, their level of competence and their evolution over time .
If a combination of words has a lot of searches and low competition, but the search trend over the last two years has been downward, it is a sign of the potential that that combination or even that product will have. This happens, for example, when we search for “IP telephony”. We can deduce that the providers of this type of telephony could have a compromised future.
If the words have many searches but refer to very abstract ideas, perhaps many of the users who search for them are not interested in purchasing those products or services but rather getting general information about the sector, so perhaps that combination will attract many clicks but little chance of becoming customers. This could be the case, for example, of the combination “winter shoes”, which may be searched by people who want to find out about the latest trends, not interested in buying them.
There are also combinations with few searches and a sustained interest over time that many companies despise for this reason and are “orphaned”, so it may be interesting to consider them especially in sectors in which each new client can represent an increase notable turnover. This happens, for example, in businesses in the industrial sector, such as machining.
STEP 3. What is the competition offering?
Searching that list of words in Google, as if we were a user, we will check the market situation. If the pages that are well positioned for those words offer a good web design and good content, or useful applications for the user such as price calculators, customizers, comparators, image galleries or others, we will have to take note of it to try improve them on the new website.
If, on the other hand, the websites that compete for those words are obsolete and have content that can be improved, without elements that are useful for the user, we will also have to take this into account, because they will probably be easy to beat with a good page web that improves them. All this will help us to finish determining which words to choose for each page of the web.
STEP 4. Can we find any hack ?
Agencies that have growth hackers to design SEO strategies tend to find some hack or shortcut that multiplies the business options of a company. For example, perhaps a company does not initially consider offering its page in English, but the SEO strategy concludes that there is a little-exploited market niche in that language that is worth accessing.
STEP 5. What will the page tree be?
Trying to position a few pages within a web for many keywords is almost impossible. That is why the ideal is that there are as many pages as keywords with the possibility of reaching the first page of Google we have determined, and at the same time, they must coincide with the number of products, offers and different locations that the business. This will make it much easier for prospects and customers to find you on Google.
The interior pages that we have planned must be structured on the web in such a way that they are all accessible from the top menu or, exceptionally, from the menu at the foot of the page, since it is what gives a better experience to the user : the human mind needs to find things where and as its experience indicates they should be, such as an index in a book or a map of the subway lines, which mark the different contents or stops in order and how reach them, without one being able to be hidden after another.
The more rigorous and streamlined a web structure or tree, the better user experience it will confer on a web, and therefore the less incentive it will give to abandon the web without visiting more interior pages (bounce rate) and the more it will give to permanence on the page and a high number of page views per session, all of them very important metrics for Google.
And not only that: a well-made web tree is easier for Google to index , and we have more options to grant our Google result sitelinks or sitelinks, that is, hyperlinks to internal pages of websites that appear in some of the Google search results to offer a quick overview of web content without having to click on it. This is positive to filter users, causing them to enter directly into the inner page of a website that interests them the most, and therefore more predisposed to buying or requesting information on products or services.
STEP 6. What ideas will we capture in the content?
When we have decided on the web tree, we must plan what specific content each section or interior page will have.
The contents of a website must be classified into horizontal sections, in which a specific idea is transmitted. A section, for example, can be the description of the service; another, may be its advantages; another, a featured feature, etc.
We must conceive each interior page or section as an independent entity within the web, that although we can (and must) connect through links with others, it should not assume that the user will visit other pages to complement the information that is not provided there. That is why we should not be afraid to reiterate information from one section to another if we believe it necessary, as long as we do not copy ourselves literally, so that Google can penalize repetitive content.
To know how to conceive content on a website, we recommend reading our post on the subject.
It is from an idea of content that we can begin to implement SEO attributes in them.
The implementation of the SEO strategy
The implementation of an SEO strategy consists, mainly, in working the keywords chosen for each page in their SEO attributes , that is, the ‘title’, the URL, the content of the header, the reiteration in the different paragraphs and secondary titles (called ‘h2’, ‘h3’, ‘h4’, etc.), the image attribute ‘image ALT’, etc., both on web pages and in periodic posts on the blog.
We must remember that, once the contents of a website have been created, the periodic content through a blog is a way of not limiting the competition for keywords to the pages of services or products that we have created. It is necessary to use the secondary keywords that we have talked about previously in our periodic posts, to make our products or services and our sector interesting, not necessarily to potential clients but to users whose traffic will be reflected in Google’s metrics to reinforce our positioning global.
The higher, more periodic and more diversified the traffic of our website, the more shares and interactions it will generate and the greater authority it will have before Google. This will make it easier to position new content in the medium term (it is not the same what a new website publishes, it is not known if it will be inactive in a short time, than what a website with a certain reputation on the internet publishes).
A website with a 5-month-old domain, no matter how periodically it publishes content and lowers the competition, it will probably take several months to position new content. On the other hand, a website with a domain one or two years old that has published periodically throughout that period, will probably take a few weeks to position its new content.
The importance of quality in content
SEO is, therefore, a constant and long-term objective, which consists of persevering by making a constant investment, knowing our target audience and offering quality content. That is why it is a good idea to leave it in the hands of someone who knows in depth SEO techniques, chooses original themes and has creativity when writing and choosing images to illustrate the content. That is why journalists with experience in the media , in which it is required to document and develop any topic in any sector and write about it in a way that interests the audience, are an ideal creative profile for companies who want to succeed on the internet with their content.
In addition, journalists can carry out tasks that can provide a plus of authority to a web page, such as trying to get the media and influencers to mention that brand, through the writing of press releases or other actions corporate communication.
And social networks, do they help us? The social networks of a company are an interesting vehicle to achieve success in SEO, but we must remember that, as a vehicle they are, they must have something to transport. Social media accounts need content to share, otherwise no one will follow them. If a content generation is not carried out periodically enough, a community of users will not be generated that interacts with that content in a way that Google considers it interesting. Therefore, the starting point will always be the same: content, content and content. And content, always, conceived from a previous SEO strategy.