Most people don’t look past the first page of search results. According to our 2015 Digital Marketing Survey, 72.09% of the buyers we surveyed don’t explore past the first page either.
Ok, let me say firstly that yes, it’s important to get on the first page of search results BUT only for the right keywords. Secondly, it is not an insurmountable task to get your site on Page One if you invest a significant amount of time and effort, and focus those efforts on keywords that will actually drive the right kind of traffic to your website.
So, how can you improve your search ranking? The short answer is: by implementing the right keyword strategy.
7 Steps to implementing the RIGHT Keyword Strategy
Step 1 – Identify what your best customer is trying to fix in their business
Not sure who your best customers are? Download our Customer Scorecard template to help you identify who they are.
Step 2 – Confirm your buyer personas
A buyer persona doesn’t only identify who your buyer is, it also identifies the buyer’s:
- Desired outcomes
- Perceived barriers or obstacles
- Decision criteria
- Steps taken during the buyer journey
Step 3 – Analyze your Google data to find your seed keywords
Review your Google data to determine:
- Which keywords drive traffic to your site today.
- How people got to your site. For example: direct (type your URL in search bar), organic search, referral site, social media, email campaign etc.
- What people do on your site. For example: which pages they are visiting, what they’re downloading and what forms they are filling out.
- How long they stay on your site.
- Which content is most popular.
- Month over month changes.
Step 4 – Brainstorm to create an initial list
Create your initial keyword list based on:
- Buyer problems (as identified in Step 2)
- Buyer priorities (as identified in Step 2)
- Buyer obstacles (as identified in Step 2)
- Your brand
- Your product categories
Step 5 – Test with prospects
Ask prospects that have the same business problems as your best customers:
- How did you find us?
- Where did you conduct your search? Search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo), YouTube, LinkedIn etc.?
- What words did you or would you search to find a solution for your business problems?
- What questions are you looking to have answered online?
Step 6 – Build your initial list based on competition, volume and convert-ability
Develop your list further by using the following criteria:
- Relevancy: Highly relevant to your business and your customers’ goals
- Convert-ability: Able to convert someone into a lead and sales opportunity.
Analyze the following using keyword research tools:
- Volume: Significant amount of searches in the country you are trying to rank high in.
- Competitiveness: Not impossible to compete for the keywords.
Map your keyword list back to:
- Your customers’ business goals.
- Your buyer personas.
- How your potential customers describe a problem and search for answers.
Step 7 – Optimize current pages on your website using your list, publish new content using your keywords, then track, measure and evolve
Use your keyword list to determine:
- Are these keywords on your website’s pages and if not, can you add them to existing pages without making the content sound awkward?
- What are the Top 10 questions your prospects ask in the buying process? Create this list and build content around the questions, weaving in keywords.
- Once you have optimized content on your website with your new keyword list, start pushing optimized content online via blogs, emails, videos, etc, and see how it performs.