When the pandemic lock-down spread across the world a few months ago, hordes of office workers grabbed their laptops and commuted home with a sense of uncertainty and doom. Public school students across the world abruptly adjusted their routine and pivoted to remote learning. Friends and colleagues had internet happy hours, eCommerce orders skyrocketed, and screen time was at an all-time high.
This moved digital marketers into the forefront of marketing. Businesses and organizations worldwide needed to remotely ensure their SEO was prioritized and working as effectively (and efficiently) as possible. Today, we must embrace the new normal, and any organization that wants to have an online presence must assess and improve their SEO.
From non-profit organizations looking to help communities during the pandemic, to governments alerting their citizens about available resources, to individual bloggers hoping to share their insight – without good SEO practices, your message will not travel far.
Your Customer’s Experience
Customer needs have changed, and it is crucial to understand how your organization can meet those pain points. Create your SEO strategy around your client or audience perspective. How would they look up your organization? Email your clients and post surveys and blogs and allow comments and discussion. Understanding how your clients (and prospects) think and what they desire will allow you to tailor your keywords to align with their needs.
Know Your Organization
You must understand your business, brand, culture, and how it is organized. Knowing the different programs and niches of your organization will create a strategy that can reach beyond the standard searches. For example, if you are an environmental organization and you have a thrift store program where people can donate unwanted furniture and other items for you to sell — you need to highlight that. The keywords you would use are “thrift,” “furniture,” “donate furniture,” “secondhand furniture,” and so on. This drives new people to your site beyond those individuals that searched for “environmental” “climate change” or “eco-impact.”
Study the Data
Data and analytics are like having a seat at your customer’s table. There are many analytics you can use to benchmark your marketing strategy. Google can provide analytics if you use their advertising platform and other services. Most website builders and hosting companies provide stats and data. You can purchase a license to software like SEMrush and many others that give you insights about your clients and the SEO strategy you are using. A few points to look at include bounce rate, organic traffic that shows your organic search engine placement (SERP), click-through-rates, local visibility, conversion rate — and key word tracking. Each of these points can show you how to adjust your SEO strategy — and/or update your website.
Change is inevitable; things that seemed impossible in January are now an everyday occurrence. You need to evaluate and pivot your SEO strategy often, because the search engine algorithms are constantly changing. Keeping your organization at the top of searches through an evolving strategy is imperative and an unwillingness to change will leave your organization behind. This is a combination of science and art. Hire someone with the knowledge and experience to be able to do this for you if you or your team lacks the knowledge.
Stay Current on Trends and Technology
As noted in our previous post, Google makes thousands of updates to its search algorithms every year. The recent digital wave of remote workers has advanced certain technologies: automation, artificial intelligence, voice optimization, and the use of local SEO. Being aware of new technologies is critical to evolving your SEO strategy, and these technologies may increase your ROI. A few tools to start with are Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Keyword Rank Checker, SEMrush, and RankBrain. Again, many website hosting and online content management systems (CMS) have some good SEO tools “baked into” the platform. WordPress, for example, has many SEO features to assist the lone blogger to huge businesses. You might need to invest a little for a WordPress.com business plan to get premium SEO plugins like Yoast — or transfer your WordPress site to another hosting platform.
Content is King
The root of any effective SEO strategy is content; quality content that customers find valuable and engaging. You can have the best SEO in the world: if your content is recycled cow manure that provides zero value, it will often do the opposite than what it is intended for: attract zero prospects and, in some cases, repel would-be clients away in disgust.
Content should be new and unique with the best meta descriptions, title tags, hashtags, and alt descriptions — so that search engines can easily identify your content and rank it. Make sure to update your content consistently. Posting timely and well-written content with interesting images that is easily shared across multiple social media platforms is the best strategy. Take advantage of the free SEO tools your platform provides — and hire a full-time traditional/digital marketing expert if you can. If your budget does not allow for that like most small businesses and non-profits, hire a service part time to assist your organization with SEO, keywords, metadata, descriptions, tags, keywords, and research. More importantly, hire good writers that can write engaging content targeted for your ideal audience.
If you do not have good content, your SEO strategy will not matter. Differentiate your business with great content and effective SEO!
Consider hiring Paradigm Content Solutions for all your content, copywriting, digital marketing, and editorial needs. We work with ethical organizations and businesses that are working for the social good and contributing to the world in a positive way. We prefer to work with educational, non-profit, small businesses, community organizations, NGOs and individuals that are helping to solve societal problems rather than ignore or contribute to them. We write for the social good!