Every day, there are roughly 8.5 billion searches on Google. Those searches are then converted from questions to solutions with one click, providing indexed sites with a boon of highly convertible traffic.
Indeed, over 70% of all consumer purchase journeys start with a Google search, and over half of all clicks are for the top three Google search results. Knowing how to make that top three is everything, and the key to organic media engagement often comes down to using the correct keywords.
You may think of Google’s search algorithm as a black box, but Internet search engines are arguably the world’s purest example of democratized supply and demand economics — not to mention the backbone of our consumer-driven e-commerce economy. The Google algorithm simultaneously indexes and ranks websites, giving the winners a boost of highly-convertible traffic.
“Understanding Google’s best practices is paramount to optimizing for rankability, though one of the most common mistakes is believing that you can beat it,” shared Frank Sanchez, Founder and CEO of ELK Marketing.
Engagement begins with the right keyword groups. Only by understanding the methodology behind global keyword search volumes and their corresponding keyword difficulties can we prioritize which keywords to target in order to provide the highest degree of certainty in moving a client’s website to page one.
“By understanding a site’s domain authority, or rank, of a client’s website, a skilled team should be able to start seeing ranking improvements after a few months of an SEO campaign,” explained Sanchez.
Finding the strongest keywords is not luck; it’s a process. It’s why Sanchez and his team at ELK recommend performing a keyword and content gap analysis against a few direct competitors and doing a page-one keyword analysis to find potential low-hanging fruits that can bump up organic rankings quickly. These can then be tested using Google’s Paid AdWords service.
Some additional factors include prioritizing relevant keywords that are indexed just off of page one, those with strong past AdWords performance, those most relevant to the top or most profitable products or product category on the site, and keywords that directly relate to the products that our clients are selling.
Targeted keyword selection is the most important process of a successful search strategy, which ELK calls Growth SEO. Remember that just using popular keywords will not produce results; extremely competitive keywords are dominated by higher-ranking sites and will not lead to a material increase in traffic or engagement.
What Separates The Weak (Copy) from The Strong
According to Sanchez, content also matters, and should be based on a brand’s overall marketing goals and personal preferences. For example, you may want to start a podcast if you enjoy speaking with or interviewing others. Conversely, a blog may be a better choice if you want to offer important information creatively.
To create an effective content marketing strategy, you must first understand the type of customers you want to reach and orient your content toward them. Start by defining your target audience: Is it stay-at-home parents or business executives? Is it college students or people over the age of 55? Secondly, appeal to their values and interests to show you are committed to providing them with a great experience or product. In other words, address their needs and wants and give them a reason to keep visiting your website.
It’s not enough to just be present on the web — you must be present with purpose. You or your SEO agency must continuously analyze and optimize your search program to maximize on-site optimization, content generation, and off-site linking.
How brands can effectively increase their SEO
If this sounds like a lot of work, consider a few more statistics: 95% of search traffic goes to the first page of search results while more than two-thirds of all clicks on the SERPs go to the top 5 results. Moving up just one search position will boost your click-through rate by an average of 30.8%.
“Growth SEO, the process that we invented, is the practice of effectuating top-of-funnel, non-brand page one keyword growth to drive a sustainable influx of new high commercial intent-driven traffic to a target website,” said Sanchez. This practice combines traditional SEO best practices such as onsite optimization, content generation, and offsite linking with a performance methodology that utilizes keyword prioritization based on profit margin data, current indexed keyword position, and difficulty, as well as historical PPC ROAS data.
Yes, this is a mouthful. But with so much at stake, SEO cannot be left to trial and error. Instead, it must be a relentless, purposeful, and intelligent process that increases organic visibility across the web and e-commerce. Your brand’s success depends on it.