And by “any search engine” we need to think outside the Google search box. Some of your prospects are starting their searches in YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. How do you know how you rank? How do you know how much work it is going to take to outrank a competitor?
What does a WPO program look like?
Business processes typically evolve and become easier to manage over time. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an exception. Two years ago a marketing department only had to worry about optimizing a corporate website for organic search results. Today a marketer has to optimize their entire web presence for organic search and figure out how to track, manage and measure their efforts.
Over the past several months, gShift has been testing the 3C’s to a Web Presence Optimization Program with hundreds of companies across North America. We want to share with you our research and the conclusion we reached about these concepts. When these 3C’s are implemented you will get these results:
- A stronger web presence
- Improved organic ranking
- Increased targeted web traffic
- Most importantly, increased conversions from organic search.
The first stage in the web presence optimization process is commitment to including SEO in your digital marketing mix and budget. With SEO being the #1 lead conversion tactic (outranking email marketing and paid search) it deserves attention.
SEO is a different beast compared to email marketing and pay-per-click marketing (PPC/AdWords) as it has so many more variables to consider which are impossible to control (i.e. Google’s ever-changing algorithm). This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank with your SEO budget, but it is a longer-term commitment that requires at least a 12-month strategy to pay off.
What does your web presence foundation look like? Is your website search engine friendly? Can search engine bots spider the content in order to index and rank it properly? If you have a blog site, is it optimized for organic search? What about press releases? And last, but not least, what does your social media presence look like?
Here’s a brief checklist to consider and complete to help you get control of your web presence:
1. Ensure your existing website is search engine friendly.
2. Install Google Analytics (or an equivalent analytics system) on every page.
3. Set up all of your social media profiles including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
4. Determine the unbranded and branded keyword phrases you believe you should be found for by your prospects.
5. Determine who your competitors are.
6. Benchmark your web presence, your organic search rank and your backlink count.
7. Track and tweak, track and tweak, track and tweak your content.
On average we’ve seen this stage take anywhere from one to three months.
For more information on this particular stage download our SEO Rockstar Playbook.
#3: Consistent Content
Stage 3 is the toughest and requires the most commitment of the three stages. This is the stage that when executed effectively can really set your web presence apart to the point where you are dominating in all search starting points (Google, YouTube, Twitter, etc.). It is also the stage that never really ends. Since content is at the core of a solid SEO strategy and Google wants to see that you are committed to consistent content, an ongoing content strategy is key.
Here’s an example of a content strategy that has worked for our clients:
1. Refine your Keyword Strategy. (Download our Keyword Workbook)
2. Ensure that every page on your website is fully optimized for one or two keyword phrases.
3. Every quarter, produce theme-based content in the form of a press release, white paper or case study. Build your keyword strategy into this content.
4. Plan where this targeted, theme-based content can be distributed.
5. Ensure proper backlinks are built into the content by building your keyword phrases into the anchor text.
6. From each press release, white paper or case study extract multiple blog posts around the same theme. Remember a blog post only has to be three or four paragraphs.
7. From each blog post, extract three or four tweets. Connect your LinkedIn account to your Twitter account so your tweets show up in your Company Profile.
8. Get comfortable with your Flip Video and start reproducing your content for YouTube. YouTube is the second busiest search engine after its parent Google. It is super easy to optimize and dominate the search results in YouTube.
9. Embed your Twitter and YouTube content into your blog posts and corporate website.
10. Track and tweak, track and tweak, track and tweak your content.
Improving your organization’s web presence won’t happen overnight. With a commitment to SEO, control of your web presence, and a consistent content strategy you will be well on your way to dominating across all search engines and reaping the benefits of increased conversions from organic search.