In 2009 Forbes’ Advertising Effectiveness Study revealed that 92% of senior marketing executives plan to maintain or increase their search engine optimization (SEO) budgets.
That’s not surprising, given that respondents ranked search engine optimization as the most effective tool for generating online conversions, followed by email marketing and pay-per-click.
As we’ve written before, it’s all about relevance, and relevance starts with keyword research.
The more relevant your website content is to a prospect’s search, the more likely they’ll be to engage with you.
Furthermore, a high search engine ranking also builds trust and credibility. If Google trusts your site, so will your prospects.
Email Marketing Critical — Especially for Lower Budgets
Another interesting finding from the study is that respondents with a marketing budget of less than $1 million found email marketing to be a more effective source of conversions than those with a budget of greater than $1 million.
This is one of the essential website elements we detail in our e-book, The 12 Essential Elements of a Lead-Generating Website.
If you can’t convince website visitors to take action and engage with you immediately, at least you can get them to join your mailing list with a compelling offer.
They’ve then given you permission to market to them over time. You’ve captured their attention. You can cultivate a relationship with them over time.
With the right marketing and offer, you should convert a healthy percentage of your database over time.
What do you think? What have you found to be the most effective digital/online marketing tools? Please share by commenting below.
Download the complete Forbes Ad Effectiveness Study here.
Want to increase your website conversion rate? Request your free website analysis now.
In this post we taught that you have to get inside your customers’ heads to meet their needs and solve their problems, rather than talking about what’s important to you.
Keyword Research: Your Key to Relevance
Simple: You perform keyword research to figure out what they search for on search engines to find your product or service.
Keyword research helps you cater your blog articles and website messages to be as relevant as possible to your prospects.
There are a variety of online tools available to perform keyword research, such as Google’s free keyword research tool.
There are also more advanced tools, such as the keyword research tool provided by SEO Moz, that provided more insights into your keyword strategy.
Hub Spot also has an excellent keyword research tool built into their inbound marketing software.
Prepare to Be Surprised
When performing your keyword research, you may be surprised to discover that what your prospects search for isn’t what your website talks about.
For example, The Bavarian Restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina may have their website content optimized for terms such as these:
- bavarian restaurant north carolina
- bavarian restaurant nc
- german restaurant north carolina
- german restaurant asheville
Trouble is, extremely few people search for Bavarian or German restaurants specifically. In other words, those terms are relevant to their prospects.
With a bit of keyword research, they’ll discover that the following terms are much more relevant to their prospects:
- restaurants asheville nc (14,800 local monthly Google searches)
- asheville north carolina restaurants (12,100 local monthly Google searches)
- asheville restaurants (22,200 local monthly Google searches)
- restaurants asheville nc downtown (800 local monthly Google searches)
Knowing that, they can integrate those more relevant keywords into their website content and blog articles.
Not only will this increase their search engine rankings, but visitors will also be more likely to stay when they read content that was relevant to their search.
Integrate Key Search Terms from Your Keyword Research Into Your Website Content
You, too, should do the same on your website.
Perform keyword research to identify not what you think is important, but what your prospects actually search for when looking for your category, industry, business, product, service.
Identify the most relevant keywords, then integrate them strategically into your website pages and blog articles.
Your search engine rankings will rise, and your visitors will stay longer and be much more likely to engaged with you.
Want help getting inside your prospects’ heads? Get your free website analysis now.
There are two separate categories of SEO:
On-page SEO pertains to how friendly your site’s content is to internet search engines. It comprises roughly 25% of how search engines score and rank your site. This is a relatively easy thing to improve.
Off-page SEO is connected to your site’s overall web “authority”. This authority is determined by what other websites say about your site. Improving your authority takes a bit more effort. We’ll cover this in greater detail in a later post.
For now, let’s focus on the basics of getting your on-page SEO squared away.
Hubspot offers a free Website Grader than will analyze your site for SEO effectiveness. The higher your score, the more effective your optimization is. Don’t be upset if your SEO score comes back lower than expected. On-page SEO is relatively easy to improve and requires much less effort to get favorable results.
Other key elements of on-page optimization include:
- Page Title-the text at the top of your browser window when viewing a web page.
- Meta Description-the brief site description in Google search.
- Headings-paragraph titles or text in larger or bold print.
- Cascading Style Sheets(CSS)-the back-end code of your website.
- Images-especially images with keywords in the file name.
- Domain Info-search engines favor sites that are registered for longer time periods.
- MOZ Rank– a general measure of your site’s online authority.
- Google Crawl Date-fresh content invites Google to crawl your site regularly.
- URL Structure-this structure is about how different URLs connect with each other.
Like the old commercial that stated “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature”, our goal isn’t to trick search engines. We’re simply creating an easier path for the search engines to find your site so they can direct more prospects to you.
By optimizing your website around the keywords most relevant to your business, you increase the likelihood of getting found by people searching with those keywords. This, in turn, drives better and higher quality traffic to your site.
Here are 3 simple keyword strategies from Hubspot to help you find the right keyword to bring customers to you:
1. Create a list of 3-5 keywords relevant to your business.
This isn’t the same thing as your brand name, it’s the words and short phrases that describe what your product or service is about. You’ll need to think like someone using a search engine to find your product.
2. Choose Keywords based on difficulty and relevance.
As a rule, very general words like “marketing” are highly competitive which makes it more difficult for you to rank well in search engine results. Your best bet is to choose less competitive keywords that are more specifically related to your business.
Fortunately, there are numerous tools like Google Keyword Tool and Keyword Grader Tool to help you determine how competitive your specific keyword is. Your terms must have relevance to your business as well as difficulty by not being too competitive.
3. Design and optimize your site around your keywords.
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your website. This will require some in-depth website optimization.
Your keyword strategy is to be ranked on the first or second page of search results. Any further back and it’s like you’re not there at all. For this reason, short search phrases are better.