In the digital marketing industry, we often get caught up telling businesses and others marketers what they need to do instead of showing them how to do it. Depending on the type of content and the intended audience, both showing and telling have a place - but how about both? In this post you'll get the best of both worlds as we show and tell you how to build an AdaptiveSEO™ strategy for your business.
Tell (The Why?)
To the easy part! There are many benefits to building an AdaptiveSEO™ strategy, but here are the ones we think are most valuable:
1. It will help you do better marketing
Because of Google's crackdown on all games and tricks that used to help websites rank better in search engines, businesses and marketers are now staring down the barrel of real marketing. Wait...isn't that a good thing? In theory, yes, but to all the companies that must now invest more time, energy and resources into marketing, it can be daunting. Real marketing means being genuine, honest and transparent with customers in order to bring them more value. Isn't that something all companies should want?
2. It will last longer
Using tactics that have the potential to go from helping your website rank to significantly penalizing it on the same day isn't a very stable strategy. And trying to keep up with which dicey tactic will be targeted next is a bandaid, not a solution. With AdaptiveSEO™ you get a long-term solution that eliminates the problem by focusing on the real customer and how they're thinking and searching instead of appealing to an algorithm.
3. It will bring success
ASEO might be harder and take longer to get results, but when everything finally kicks into place, it'll bring the success along with it. Not only that, but you'll get results for a longer period of time, even after you stop doing active work!
Show (The How)
Now for the hard part - but a promise is a promise - so here goes! The following is WSI's own AdaptiveSEO™ strategy (or at least as much as we're allowed to divulge to those of you without proper security clearance). It doesn't entirely cover everything we're doing so there are some gaps, but we think we're giving you enough information about our ASEO process to help you begin to build your own.
Keyword and Competitive Research
This level makes up 25% of your ASEO efforts and focuses on finding the organic keywords searchers are using to look for the answers you're providing with your content. It's about getting Google to recognize you as the source of those answers at the highest frequency possible. The competitive research aspects involves trying to figure out what keywords your competitors are targeting (or said another way, what keywords they are using to attract customers that could be yours).
What we've done
Hey wait, you don't have security clearance! We don't want to divulge too much information here, but it can't hurt too much to take you through the process we may or may not go through when determining the value of potential keywords. Since much of our AdaptiveSEO™ strategy focuses on bringing value to you guys through resources, let's take a look at some keyword ideas around the phrase "digital marketing resources."
Keyword research: using Ubersuggest we generated a slightly larger list of keywords to consider. They are:
digital marketing resources
best digital marketing resources
free digital marketing resources
digital marketing human resources
digital marketing teaching resources
digital marketing online resources
digital marketing resource center
resources for digital marketing
Next, we ran this list through Google's Keyword Planner to get more ideas:
We can already see the fruits of our work as it appears that marketing plan, marketing plan template, digital marketing plan and marketing strategy are keywords that we can add to the list. Now that we've got a few targets, it's time to assess the competition for those target keywords, which we can do using something like Moz's Keyword Difficulty tool or even just by eyeballing the SERPs. Here's a look at the basic Keyword Difficulty Report:
The difficulty score for digital marketing plan is 54%, which means it'll take a lot of work and some great content to rank for. Further, by looking at the SERPs, we can try to decipher whether the top results are optimized for the keyword, are generating links for the keyword and are generally strong, valuable pieces of content. If you think you can create a more valuable and better optimized piece, then you may be able to rank. For our chosen keyword, there appears to be some decent pages ranking, but it's not out of the realm of possibility for us to get onto the first page if we really got after it and created something exceptional. We'll see what the future holds!
For the purposes of our little experiment, these are the most reasonable keyword targets:
free digital marketing plan
best digital marketing plan
free digital marketing strategy
free digital marketing strategy 2014
marketing plan template
free marketing plan template
best marketing plan template
marketing plan template 2014
digital marketing resource center
resources for digital marketing 2014
Technical SEO Fundamentals and Foundation
You can't build a structure of any kind without a solid base and that's where some trusty old traditional SEO tactic come into play. Technical SEO Fundamentals and Foundation should make up 15% of your ASEO efforts.
What we've done
On-page SEO: back when we relaunched this WSIWorld site we made sure that we implemented proper 301 redirects, meta descriptions, and title and h1 tags. We also keep an eye on our crawl diagnostics to ensure that we fix any errors that may pop up. If your site has a lot of pages or especially if there's more than one person contributing to and editing pages, you'd be surprised at how often unintentional errors and mix-ups are made. For example, based on the diagnostic results for this month, we've got some work to do in that area! It's okay if you have small, relatively easy-to-fix errors like this - you just need to make sure you're checking for (and fixing) them at least once a month.
Social sharing: we've implemented (and highly encourage you to use - hint, hint, nudge, nudge, know what I mean??) social sharing buttons that make it easy for our readers to share our content across the most popular social platforms.
Site speed: this one is a bit of a work in progress, but site speed definitely improves user experience and that's ultimately what we're trying to do at the foundational level of our sites. You can easily analyze your website's speed (and get suggested improvements!) with Google's PageSpeed Insights tool.
Optimized Content Marketing Plan
At 45%, an optimized content marketing plan should make up the biggest chunk of your ASEO efforts. Everything in this section of the WSI AdaptiveSEO™ methodology is geared toward bringing value to your potential customers by creating content that goes above and beyond most of your competitors. This definitely rings true for us as a huge part of our ASEO efforts are focused on an optimized content marketing plan.
What we've done
Webinars: each month we host a FREE 60-minute webinar aimed at educating clients, potential clients and other marketers on a specific digital marketing topic. We call the webinars our Digital Power Hour series. This month's webinar is on - you guessed it - AdaptiveSEO™.
Marketing Guides: each monthly client webinar is accompanied by a one-page marketing guide which gives attendees a quick summary of some of the key tips and tricks discussed during the webinar. Check out some of our past marketing guides!
Inside Edge Newsletter: the WSI Inside Edge is an email newsletter that anybody can subscribe to! The newsletter includes 2-3 short articles on a specific digital marketing topic, as well as some digital marketing stats, a frequently asked question and a marketing video.
Digital Marketing Videos: our digital marketing videos are a short and sweet introduction to the monthly topic that we'll be focusing on with our resources. They are quick, informative and provide us with a great way to update you on what we'll be talking about over the course of each month. Check out some of our videos.
Whitepapers: every month, we we release an in-depth, 8-10 page whitepaper on the topic of the month. The whitepapers are our deepest, most educational resource, so take a look if you appreciate longer-form resources.
Infographics: beginning in 2014, we've included infographics as part of our monthly resource package. Take a look at our first and second attempts (and stay tuned for our upcoming ASEO infographic).
Blog: and finally, our blog. Yes, what you're reading right now is a huge part of our optimized content marketing plan.
Publish, Socialize and Share
Content isn't much good if it's not being read, so 10% of your ASEO efforts should be spent sharing your content as many places as you can. The goal is maximum outreach and amplification of your messages.
What we've done
Social Media: all the content we create around the monthly topics (webinar, marketing guide, whitepaper, etc) is syndicated through WSI World social media channels; specifically, this blog and our WSI World Facebook and Twitter profiles (follow and like our pages if you haven't already!). The goal with these channels is to help generate more content around the WSI brand on the digital marketing services we offer and to assist in our optimization for branded keywords as well as highly competitive (non-regional) industry terms.
Measure and Improve
The final level of our ASEO process is small but very important. At 5% of your efforts, measuring and improving the entire process is vital to longterm success.
What we've done
We currently measure many metrics via different methods, but we'll go through a very simple one that indicates what we're doing is working. In 2014, we revamped our content marketing strategy and added a number of new components. Take a quick look at our top 5 traffic channels during the 61 days of November and December 2013, paying specific attention to the organic and social numbers:
Now here are the same stats, except this time for the 61 days between January 14 and March 15, 2014:
As you can see, our overall website traffic increased by 5000 visits (or 82 visitors per day). More importantly, the two channels that are directly affected by our AdaptiveSEO™ strategy increased by 3% each. And that's just in the first two months! Of course we have other indicators that we're on a successful course (such as more impressions, conversions and clickthroughs) but sometimes a look at simple metrics is all the motivation you need.
We hope you enjoyed the exclusive peek under the hood of our AdaptiveSEO™ Methodology! Many of our other resources are geared towards telling you how and why you need to invest in ASEO. But with this post, we hope that showing you the nuts and bolts of our very own secret stuff will help you build and implement your own successful strategy.