Three Timeless SEO Strategies and the Tactics to Boost Performance
This is a guest post by Ryan Woolley, Vice President of Client Services, Response Mine Interactive.
It has been submitted to SEO 2.0 already several months ago and was never published due to some issues I encountered with it. As the techniques described here are “timeless” I think it’s not too late to post it even now. I added some emphasis and text decoration here and there.
We’ve reached our 10-year mark at RMI and it’s hard to believe that many of us at the company have been entrenched in SEO for equally as long.
SEO is a fascinating space to work in.
So dynamic, it feels like things are constantly shifting and evolving – and indeed they are. I have found however that while the tactics and the weight of their impact do change frequently, there are still some things that haven’t changed in 10 years.
This article explores both the tactical changes that occur, and well as the approaches that have been fairly constant for some time now. As far as the tactical side of SEO, we thought it would be an interesting exercise to illustrate the many tactics of SEO that we apply on a regular basis.
We rounded up our best thinkers on the subject and produced the SEO Tactics Chart. It might not capture the entire minutia, but it’s pretty close. While these tactics increase and decrease in terms of importance over time, it serves as a good snapshot of what is working for us right now.
Tactics are useless without smart strategy behind it though, and there have been a few things that have simply worked, and for a long time now. I don’t see these approaches going anywhere anytime soon. So if we are sharing the tactics, it’s only responsible to talk about some cool strategies that help ensure great performance. We’ve got lots of them, but here are three of my favorites:
1. Focus on Incremental Organic Revenue/Leads and Margin
Stop focusing so much on your rankings report. Most client ranking reports that I have seen over the past few years, well . . . suck. They are normally only a sample of what is actually ranking, and they take no consideration of the things that ultimately matter to a business. I stress the word “incremental” in this point as well, because
all too often I’ve seen SEOs take credit for things that they did not directly impact.
Seasonal lifts, or increases in brand term revenue are not mentioned – only the fact that overall revenue is up. Want to add real value to your program? Measure and show the year-over-year incremental lift in revenue, leads, and profit that you are driving. It’s amazing how quickly people stop being fixated on the rankings where they see the added revenue that is being driven.
2. Concentrate on Positions 11 through 15
I’ve seen click through rates increase 3X by moving sets of keywords only a handful of positions. Who goes to page two in the SERP anymore? Most people are refining their search if they don’t like what they see on page one. But this doesn’t mean that your page two rankings are trash. It’s actually quite the opposite.
Depending on the size of your site, the #11 to #15 approach can drive some pretty awesome impact.
We’ve worked with multiple sites that had hundreds or thousands of keywords ranking in positions 11 through 15. Solid terms too, ones that have high average monthly search volumes and strong conversion. Get to know these terms, and focus your attention on them. It will take little work to move them to page one, and the volume lift will be well worth the time it takes to move them just a few positions.
3. Put on Your Direct Response Marketing Hat
One of the best things I’ve ever done to improve my ability to think strategically about SEO was embracing paid search. To be successful in paid search, you have to get granular with the data, analyze at the keyword level, and test the hell out of things. These disciplines completely apply to SEO. In your Title and Description tags, add price points, percentages off, calls to actions, and create a sense of urgency. The impact is great.
We often see above average CTRs given the position we are ranking in when we change up our Title tag to be more direct response focused. And don’t stop with the T&Ds.
Be deliberate about what landing pages you are ranking for.
Take the time to map out your high priority keywords with the page that will have the best chance for conversion when a prospect lands there. The home page is not where you should be sending non-branded traffic.
Get consumers to the product page as quickly as you can and you’ll see the lift in sales. By combining the tactics within the SEO Tactics Chart with some of the strategies listed here, we have been able to drive amazing organic performance to sites that we work with. If you are not trying these yet it’s worth your time to test them.
About the Author: Ryan Woolley is vice president of client services for RMI, an award-winning digital agency that helps companies acquire more customers using lead generation programs. For more than a decade, RMI has generated billions of dollars in revenue for world-renowned brands in the b2b, healthcare, travel, and home services channels using its strategic customer acquisition approaches.