SEO has a tendency to be complex. With all of the terminology and strategies out there It’s easy to get wrapped up in the details. What is sometimes missed in all of the complexity is that at it’s core, SEO can bring a number of straightforward benefits that go beyond the technical.
Creating useful content
If there is one thing that we’ve learned over the last few years with SEO, it’s that Google has clearly put the focus on content. The signal is loud and clear, and it’s more important than ever to focus on content marketing.The message is that if you build good content and structure it accordingly, you are a leg up on your competition.
So how do we optimize our content? To put it into perspective - When you have a garage sale, you mingle with your neighbors, find out what they are looking for, and if you’re lucky you finally get rid of that old teapot that’s been cluttering up your basement. The idea here is purging. Take stock of what you have on your site. If it’s valuable keep it. If not, get rid of it. It’s about streamlining your content to include the best. Ask yourself a simple question when you hit that upload button. Would I consume this? Is it valuable enough for me to go out of my way to read it? If the answer is no, then you need to work harder on that piece of content.
So how does that effect your company beyond just the web? Well over the years we have become so focused on quantity that in a lot of ways some of us have lost sight of the quality. By working through the process of SEO content tuning, you will wind up building great material that your users will find valuable. This valuable content transcends even your web site and can filter into other areas of your business, from marketing to sales and even human resources.
Learning from your users
It’s no secret that Google Analytics goes hand in hand with a good SEO strategy. You need the metrics to establish a good benchmark. However, through the process of analyzing for SEO, you can gain a wide array of great information about your users that can help to boost your overall marketing intelligence. Some of these metrics include geographic data, time on site, bounce rates, visitor flow through the site and now we even have the ability to look at age and gender demographics. It’s all good stuff, and the more you research the more you will be in tune with the wants and needs of your customers.
Making informed decisions
We all know that it’s hard enough to make decisions on key business objectives. Having that extra edge in terms of metrics in your arsenal can be the tipping point between a hunch and an informed decision. Tapping into research data about your products or services is nothing new, but looking at analytics from a behavioral perspective can help you to really understand the reality of what’s going on out there.
Of course having a good structure for this data is crucial. And setting up proper reports so that you can obtain the data quickly is also key.
Sharing the intelligence
So what good is all this data if it’s kept under lock and key? Sales can benefit from SEO based research as well. Geographic traffic, concentrations of traffic in certain product categories and even demographics data can all help the lead generation process.
It’s also useful information for your HR team, as they can benefit from watching the behavior through your recruitment or job application funnels.
Identifying your target audience and areas of interest can help you optimize for the prospects you are currently not reaching. It may be obvious to some, but one of the greatest aspects of SEO is that it can tell you things you don’t know.
Over the years, and based on working on hundreds of websites, the one thing that resonates the most with us is that there are always surprises. You can take those surprises in behavior and turn them around to your advantage, gaining access to customers that your competition may not be thinking about.
Building your brand
SEO has a tendency to make you slow down, and this helps you think about what you are doing with your brand and how it translates to the web. By putting some time into thinking about your SEO and your overall online strategy, you will concentrate more on drivers that effect brand recognition instead of merely reacting to the issues.
This process can help your entire organization to have a better handle on what you brand means to your customers, how it’s positioned in the marketplace and your vision moving forward.
One of the most important aspects of your business online is speed. Site performance effects the perception of your brand. If your website is slow and unresponsive, it’s a true reflection on how much time and effort you put into presenting yourself.
On-site SEO work is the process of fine tuning the code and underpinnings of your site. Throughout this process, you can uncover a lot of issues that you may not know exist. This opens up the door for speed increases such as fixing code issues, front and back end caching, and compression of pages. Once optimized, your site will load faster and that perception of old and slow will become a perception of quick and nimble.
The sum of all parts
With many web strategies, it’s really about the sum of all parts that makes the effort worthwhile. We are in an age where we have unprecedented access to the behavior of our prospects. With a solid team and a good online strategy in place, you too can use it to your advantage.