Today, organic search results drive more than 50 percent of website traffic, which is why more businesses are taking another look at search engine optimization (SEO) and SEO management for growing their revenue and company.
Whether you’re familiar or new to SEO, this post provides all the information you need to get started with building an SEO strategy or investing in professional SEO management services. Just keep reading to learn more about SEO and SEO management!
What is SEO?
SEO, also known as search engine optimization, improves your visibility in relevant search engine results pages (SERPs) on search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. It uses an umbrella of strategies and techniques to boost your visibility, which can result in increased website traffic.
In comparison to other digital marketing strategies, like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, SEO does not deliver results overnight. It can take several months for SEO to provide results. These results, however, are often worth the wait.
As an example, our clients have earned more than $1.5 billion from our strategies. Not to mention, we’ve also used SEO to generate more than 4.5 million leads, 1.8 million phone calls, and 9 million transactions for our clients — all in the past five years.
What is SEO management?
SEO management can refer to your company or your agency’s management of your SEO strategy. As a part of SEO management, your team or agency develops, leads, and modifies your strategy to maximize your results and achieve your marketing, sales, and business goals.
As many internal marketing departments handle multiple responsibilities and don’t have a background in SEO, it’s common for businesses to invest in professional SEO management services. A recent study, for example, revealed that 55 percent of companies partner with an SEO agency.
Whether your business partners with an agency or manages your strategy in-house, it’s essential to understand what SEO management includes. That way, you can build a foundation for a competitive strategy that actually drives revenue for your company.
4 steps towards successful SEO management
If you want to create a successful SEO strategy, then you need to succeed at SEO management. Even if you partner with an experienced SEO agency, like WebFX, it’s helpful to understand how SEO management works.
The four steps behind successful SEO management include:
1. AUDIENCE RESEARCH
Companies that excel at SEO have an in-depth understanding of their audience. They’ve done the research and understand what their target market wants from their business, product, or service. These companies also know the common questions and problems of their target audience.
If you want to succeed at SEO management, you need to understand your target market at this level.
Invest your time researching your target market, and answer the following questions:
- What problems does my product or service solve for users?
- What issues does my target market have with other providers?
- What demographic features define my target audience?
- Where does my target market go when they have problems or questions?
Even if you have marketing personas developed for your target audience, it helps to reevaluate your past research. Consumers can change over time. If you use outdated marketing personas, it can cause your SEO strategy to flop, which doesn’t help you or your company.
Once you have your audience researched, you can take the next step towards launching your plan.
2. COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
A competitor analysis can offer tremendous insight, which is why it’s a core part of SEO management. Whether you’re partnering with an SEO agency or leading the initiative in-house, make a competitor analysis part of your plan.
For a competitor analysis, it’s helpful to look at the following competitor types:
Direct competitors: These are businesses you compete with offline and online. You probably already have a list of direct competitors to reference. Now, you want to look at their online presence and investment in SEO.
Indirect competitors: These are companies you compete with in search results. For example, two manufacturing businesses may compete for the search term, “local manufacturing companies,” even though they produce different products.
As a part of your competitor analysis, you want to determine that organization’s SEO strategy. In some cases, you may find that a direct competitor doesn’t have an SEO strategy. That’s where indirect competitors can help as most owe their high ranking in search results to SEO.
Learn about a company’s SEO strategy by looking at the following:
- Backlink profile
- Domain age
- Optimization practices
- Traffic value
- Targeted keywords
For many businesses, this step is a challenge.
If you’re new to SEO, it introduces several aspects of technical SEO, which is where the expertise of an SEO agency like WebFX becomes valuable. With the experience of our team, we can quickly assess the status of your direct and indirect competitors.
Plus, we have access to a variety of tools to streamline this process. In comparison, in-house SEO management (and department budgets) can limit your team. These limitations can have a direct impact on the quality and results of your competitor analysis, which can influence your SEO strategy.
3. WEBSITE OPTIMIZATION
With your target market and top competitors researched, your company can begin the process of optimizing your website for search. This process can take time, so approach this task with realistic checkpoints or goals.
For example, if you have 25 pages on your site, it’s probably not feasible for your team to optimize all those pages in a month. You have additional responsibilities to manage, though some companies solve this problem by taking advantage of website SEO copywriting services.
This service, which WebFX offers, provides your business with on-brand copy optimized for SEO. Even if your company uses this service, it’s important to remember that results still take time. Publishing your optimized content sooner, however, can help you see those results earlier.
If you optimize your content in-house, focus on using your targeted keyword in a few places:
- Title tag: A title tag displays in search results. It’s the title of your page and should hook readers, encouraging them to click on your website. Your title tag should also use your targeted keyword.
- Meta description: A meta description also appears in search results. It’s the description of your page and expands on your title to motivate users to visit your site. Like your title tag, your meta description should also feature your targeted and related keywords.
- Headings: Your headings display on your page, dividing your content into organized sections. For the best results, you should use your keywords throughout your headings. In some cases, though, you may not for readability purposes.
- Images: A page should feature helpful images for users. Images can improve the readability of your page, plus reader understanding of complex topics. The image filename, as well as image alt text, should use your keyword if it makes sense.
- Content: Your page’s content provides readers with what they’re looking for, whether answers to product questions or overviews on services. Within your paragraphs, it’s crucial to use your keywords naturally for readability.
When you optimize your content, it’s essential for your team to follow SEO best practices. That means avoiding keyword stuffing, for example, and other black-hat tactics that can prevent your business from ranking at the top of search results.
4. MONTHLY REPORTING
Like other digital marketing strategies, SEO uses data. With data from your website, you can measure the success and performance of your SEO strategy. Plus, you can find areas of improvement and make data-backed decisions when it comes to your next move.
If you partner with an SEO agency, like WebFX, you can expect monthly reports from your dedicated account manager. In some cases, you may want to monitor your SEO strategy on a weekly basis, which you can with our team.
Even if you decide to bring your SEO management in-house, you want to establish a routine schedule for checking and measuring your strategy’s performance. A monthly or weekly basis is the industry’s standard, which is why many businesses follow this schedule.
As a part of your monthly reporting, try looking at increases in the following areas:
- Organic traffic
- Rankings in search results
You can use tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Ahrefs to monitor your progress.
Depending on your business, you may find it challenging to track the full results of your SEO strategy.
With professional SEO management, you can resolve this problem. WebFX, for example, features a proprietary marketing software suite, MarketingCloudFX, that includes a call tracking tool. This tool allows you to track calls generated by your website, which makes monitoring your SEO results hassle-free.
No matter how you approach reporting, whether with the expertise of an agency like WebFX or the resources of your in-house team, make reporting a part of your SEO management. It can inform and improve your strategy, as well as demonstrate its value to company decision-makers.
Simplify your SEO management
Ready to start leading and managing your SEO efforts?
If you’re overwhelmed by the idea, WebFX can help. We feature a team of more than 200 digital marketing specialists, plus more than 20 years of experience. Explore our SEO services to learn how we can help or call us at 888-601-5359 to chat with a strategist!