Just when we thought the world couldn’t become any more digital, the trend toward moving online accelerated. This means that it is critical for organizations to know how to create a strong online presence and not only win traffic, but also handle that traffic effectively. A digital world means that you must ensure the traffic you win has someplace to land and a way to move down the marketing funnel or even if your organization has the world’s best technology your traffic becomes useless.
Similarweb recently hosted a panel discussion with enterprise SEO specialists, Marshall Simmonds and the DefineMG leadership team, Adam Sherk and Shahzad Abbas, to learn about how to win and direct traffic effectively with 5 SEO essentials.
1. Build Up Brand Power
Organic traffic has been growing steadily over the years, so the most significant tip is to keep in mind that although SEO/organic traffic presents great opportunities, there is also possible risk of dependency on search engines, primarily Google. Google updates its algorithm regularly and those updates can radically impact your organic traffic share overnight. You must leverage the organic traffic you have and diversify your content portfolio to limit your dependency on the popular search engine.
The best way to leverage your enterprise’s SEO traffic is to convert portions of that non-branded, organic traffic to branded organic search, or direct traffic, to hedge your risk of having the rug pulled out from under you in case there is a change in organic trends. Counterintuitively, that means you don’t necessarily want your SEO traffic to be constantly rising. What you want to do is establish strong brand power on the best-performing keywords to help drive that conversion. Direct traffic is a precise reflection of brand strength and is the strongest mechanism for owning your audience and improving website health. Simply put, you need to know how to funnel your organic traffic into direct traffic and increase your raw numbers.
2. Localize Your SEO
Google favors local sources. This makes sense, as people usually search for resources near them. Multinational enterprises need to have localized domains, content, and target keywords that match the search intent of each region they want to target. When you create your international SEO strategy, be aware of local trends and search intent so you can pick the best keywords to target and can effectively optimize your SEO accordingly.
For a more detailed look at how to conduct research for International SEO, download SimililarWeb’s report, Creating an International SEO Strategy, written in collaboration with Strategic International SEO Senior Consultant Gianluca Fiorelli.
3. Create Quality Content
There are always ongoing questions about how to create content that ranks well for SEO. Many marketers believe it is compulsory to have an image and a video on a blog post, and that the content is less than 300 words. That isn’t the case at all, and you can still index without those components. In reality, as cliché, as it sounds, creating content that ranks well boils down to creating the best user experience. The correlation between these made-up criteria and ranking well is minimal. Instead, focus on finding good target keywords, doing the competitive analysis, and building a strong framework to create organically-engaging content.
To learn more about how to create quality content for an SEO strategy, download Similarweb’s report, How to Create a Winning Content and SEO strategy.
4. Know the Politics of SEO and Get Buy-In
SEO is a long-term (and long-tail) strategy and it can take time to see results. Because of that, it may be challenging to get the buy-in you need from your organization. Competitive analysis and data-driven research can be very strong motivators and can help alleviate that pain point, by being either the stick or the carrot. You can use your findings to demonstrate what your competitive set is doing and identify opportunities for growth by showing how your organization is performing on indirect, organic, and social channels in relation to the competition. This process is called benchmarking, and helps you to set goals for your SEO strategy. For more on that, read our blog post, The Why and How of Competitive Benchmarking.
Regardless of an organization’s size, its stakeholders must understand that there are lucrative opportunities that are currently untapped. It does take numbers and data to prove where the opportunities lie and what the potential for growth is when presenting your SEO strategy and goals. Showing that in a very clear, undeniable way can help you win the hearts and minds of management and get the buy-in you need.
5. Align with Business Objectives
SEO strategies mustn’t be built in a bubble. To be successful, they need to be closely aligned with larger business objectives. It’s best to have a full-time developer that is dedicated to helping build the SEO roadmap, and of course, to help fix ongoing error messages and keep up with changes to search engine algorithms that affect your content strategy.
From experience, it is also very impactful if SEO and product goals are closely aligned. This is so that SEO strategy can influence product decisions, and visa versa, from the very beginning. It is a proactive approach, rather a reactive one. For example, if you discover a competitor has a tool that always ranks well in SEO, you might decide to add a similar tool to your product roadmap. On the flip side, if your product team is about to roll out a new release, you may begin targeting relevant keywords in advance to support the release.
Get Your SEO Strategy Off the Ground
SEO is a very complicated and important piece of any marketing strategy. It is a tool that you can use to drive organic traffic to your website, and is crucial to building brand awareness to improve direct traffic. Watch our on-demand webinar, Take SEO by Storm with Marshall Simmonds and DefineMG, to get more insights and tips about how to beat the competition and stand out in today’s increasingly digital world.
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