Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is becoming much more difficult to master. The biggest websites are taking the majority of the top spots on Google for the most competitive keywords. Not only that, but with Google Adwords, knowledge graphs, shopping and Wikipedia topping the first page, your website could be pushed down the rankings by several spots even if you can get it to page 1!
SEO is not just about keywords anymore. It is important to apply SEO along the whole searching process. Differentiating yourself from the crowd by targeting less competitive keywords while providing unique and relevant content is now more important than ever.
In the recent SEMrush webinar on improving your organic visibility via the customer journey analysis, Fernando Macia stated that “the right content is king!” But what is the right content and how do you present it to your customers?
How could you write content and drive potential customers to your website without knowing who they are? Put yourself in the customers shoes for a minute. You must think like the customer. You must act like the customer. You could even dress like the customer (although that is optional..)
1. Develop a Customer Persona
Firstly we need to develop a customer persona. This could include the target audience’s demographic information such as age, location, and salary, but also behavioural characteristics such as likes and dislikes, digital behaviour and so on. The idea is to build as comprehensive a profile on your ideal customer as possible to give you the basis for targeting through content and keywords.
2. Identify the Customer Journey
How does the customer find your website or offer? Google Analytics is a great tool to find out information on how your current traffic arrives.
Focus on smaller areas of the bigger picture. Do visitors find you by searching for ‘flowers?’ Probably not. If you’re ranking top for that keyword you’re already an expert! Be more specific with your keywords. For example, ‘flowers’ can become ‘buy flowers online’ which can become ‘buy bunches of flowers online’ which can become even more specific to ‘buy bunches of roses online.’ It can get even more specific to ‘buy bunches of red roses online cheap.’
The keyword branch can extend massively, and your job as the online marketer is to be aware of what your customer might search for and target those keywords.
3. Analyse your Keywords
It’s often hard to develop a keyword branch for yourself. Even if you develop a branch like the example previously mentioned, how will you know if the keywords you think customers are using as part of their journey are actually being searched to the volume you require? Google Keywords Planner can help. Sign in to Adwords and to search the keywords you have thought out into the tool to find the approximate volume of monthly searches. Usually there are big wins to be found when targeting more niche keywords rather than the one highly competitive keyword that everybody is targeting! This helps to differentiate your SEO activity.
We often recommend targeting those niche keywords with high or medium search volume, and low or medium competition, where relevant to your business, to build your keyword strategy.
4. Present your Content
Presenting your search engine optimised, keyword rich content can be difficult. There are a number of ways to do so. Firstly, it’s important to ensure your website is rich with high quality content targeting your keywords. These can be in product descriptions, landing pages, meta data or additional pages. It is highly recommended that every website has a blog page for which weekly updates can be published targeting your keywords.
Examples of well-performing blog posts includes reviews, testimonials, ‘how to’s and competitions. Other avenues which shouldn’t be neglected include social media pages. Your business pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest (to name a few) get displayed on Google well – don’t neglect them! They’re also great for sharing your blog posts for a wider reach.
SEO is becoming a more difficult task to master. Targeting highly competitive keywords to rank organically is now almost impossible without access to substantial budgets. The only way for many brands to compete for these keywords is by using paid methods.
In order to rank organically it is important to become your customer, plan out how they shop and what they search for so that you can design and implement less competitive keyword-rich and unique content in order to rank organically. SEO is a gradual process and by following the steps in this blog post you will see results long term.