Take These 10 Actions Now To Increase Search Visibility
1. Keyword Discovery
Invest the time and money to figure out what words people are using to find your:
- management team (in case they want to fund you)
- customer support
2. Competitive Analysis
Identify your ‘search’ competitors.
These may be different from your sales competitors in the sense that these are companies that compete with you for visibility on the web.
Understanding what your search competitors are doing on the web provides insights into how you too could achieve higher search visibility, and gain more traffic. See Competitive Analysis for more information about WebMama.com’s answer to this Action.
3. Yes, Text!
Put the keywords that are of importance to your company and customers on the home page of your corporate website. IN TEXT. IN INK EVERYONE CAN SEE. IN REGULAR SIZED FONT. Please don’t ask if it can be in white font color on a white background. This is a basic, basic optimization tactics that should not have to be discussed as it should be part of any web home page design. Please …
Make sure there is a description of your company and product on the product/services page of LinkedIn. Make sure it uses some of the keywords from #1. Here are a few quotes to help with the ‘selling’ of this action item.
“65% of B2B companies report that they have acquired a customer through LinkedIn.” HubSpot January 2012.
“On January 11 2013 LinkedIn announced it had reached 200 Million members. New members continue to join LinkedIn at a rate of 2/second.”
Some people ask us whether Google + is important. We think it is.
Use your company’s Google+ page, to put out regular messages about the industry and your products/company on Google+ (this implies you have a Google+ entry for your company).
If you don’t have a Google+ page for your company – get one. If you don’t have a Google +1 button on your website that let’s people ‘like’ your Google+ page, you should do both. It changes their search results to give them more information about your company – right in their face – which leads to more exposure for your company’s email address and status reports.
6. Connect Google Tools
There is great value in connecting the two powerful, free tools from Google. Most importantly is ‘trend’ analysis: The art of eyeballing to see if something is going wrong. WebMaster Tools is accessible through Analytics removing the need to login to the two tools separately for this check. Of course, this assumes you are up on running on Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools and have these set up correctly.
The search query report will show you if search impressions have dropped off for major keywords. Look at the search queries report every few days (or weeks depending on urgency and obsessiveness levels) to get an idea of where you may be losing ground with search visibility.
7. Spread the Word(s)
Make all people in the company who touch any web-based public media (any!) memorize the keyword list. Having a short video available to explain why the list is important can help with adoption and usage. I suggest laminating the final list of 10-20 keywords/phrases on a 4×6 card and giving everyone a push pin.
Clearly your keyword list needs to be dynamic not static but luckily in most businesses the basic set of words does not change with the whim of corporate marketing’s messaging.
Do NOT trust rankings. See Rankings in the Methodology section for more on the personalization and diminishing value of rankings as a metric.
Just because you rank #1 or are on page 1 for a handful of terms does not mean your company is easy to find when it matters to customers. This is especially true since not everyone is looking for your products/services on Google.
We know this isn’t an action but it is an important piece of wisdom (at least we think it is).
9. Legacy Keywords
Don’t abandon your “legacy keywords” prematurely. Part of marketing is to convert people from the old ways to the new ways. If you are trying to establish a new industry then you are trying to introduce a ‘new way’ which is just another way of saying ‘new words’.
People will continue to search on the old words – the legacy words – for a very long time.
Legacy keywords should remain on your website and in your content; and they should always remain in your paid search campaigns as it costs you nothing to leave them there and it is a mighty valuable lead if someone clicks on it. (Remind your CEO of this when he or she goes on a rant.)
Think of it this way. If Matt Damon never appears in another “Bourne” movie, there will still be a significant number of people who search for movies in the franchise using his name for the foreseeable future. Don’t you want to find the real Matt Damon?
10. Do Not Bank On SEO Only
Do not bank your company on only ‘Google SEO’ marketing activities.
Today, depending on the category there may be only 1-2 organic listings available above the fold. And you and every other company in your category is competing for these 1-2 listings. Here are a number of examples that show what is up with organic. I see 1 organic result above the fold – and yes Wikipedia still holds top billing in so many non-branded searches! Light box examples to follow
Of course, if Google has their way, soon there will be NO organic opportunities above the fold. So when you see functionality like “new example needed” on a search-engine results page like this, that’s what’s going on here.