When you start working with a new client, it is common for the company to ask how long an SEO strategy will take. Instead of breaking the bad news that SEO requires constant effort, give your clients the good news: over time, results will increase for the same amount of work. With a scalable strategy, SEO enables a company to keep growing and become more competitive.
How Does Scalable SEO Work?
SEO leads to increases in client acquisitions, web traffic, and positive interactions with the company and its website. In turn, all these provide more SEO, through natural link building, more traffic signals to Google that the website is a valuable source of information, good reviews, and social media mentions.
To gain all these positive impacts, you need to go beyond offering basic SEO — you need to implement a strategy that will provide long-term results. There are several ways to achieve this.
1. Adapt Your Approach to Keywords
You already know that long-tail keywords are far better for ranking purposes than short-tail terms. The problem is, the longer a keyword gets, the more difficult it is to research in terms of competition, ranking, and performance.
One solution to this problem is to focus less on gaining a position at the top of SERP and more on creating quality content that will be useful and interesting to the target audience. This will enable you to develop a backlog of content that covers numerous terms. Over time, Google will then see that the site is an authoritative website, which carries more weight than a single, highly-optimized, new piece of content.
2. Create Customized 404 Error Pages
As the site grows, so do the number of 404 errors. These are unavoidable, as at times you will need to remove pages and change URLs. However, you can take action to keep users on the site, simply by changing the default error page to a customized design that matches the brand image. This increases the chance that users stick around to look for relevant content and reduces bounce rates.
Furthermore, customized 404 error pages can contribute to SEO. Include in the design links to between 25 to 50 random internal pages that change automatically every time the 404 error page appears. This will increase the number of indexed pages on the website, improving the amount of traffic the site receives from Google.
3. Align SEO with PPC
Clients may feel more attracted to SEO than PPC, as, on the surface, SEO would appear to be the free option. However, there is nothing cheap about creating content, optimizing a website, and building links. Plus, SEO requires much more time than PPC.
By no means does this suggest that you should substitute SEO for PPC — the best marketing strategy uses both and aligns them for top results. BoostU has more tips on combining SEO and PPC strategies.
Use the same keywords
You’ve already done keyword research for organic content; you’ll save time and effort if you use these same terms for your ads. Besides, if you succeed in reaching the top position in a SERP with organic results, there will still be other pages above yours in the paid results. By using the same keywords in ads and organic content, you can dominate a SERP.
When creating content for a business that is just starting out, link building is particularly difficult. Instead of just relying on organic methods, use targeted ads to help content reach industry influencers and bloggers.
Nurture past visitors
You can also use targeting to find users who previously interacted the business. This is especially important when working with B2B companies, as customers will require extra nurturing before they are ready to purchase.
Test your ideas
Ads take effect much sooner than SEO. This makes them ideal for testing out ideas you are considering for your organic content. For instance, you can find out what keywords drive clicks, what content generates interest, and which pages have high bounce rates or long time-on-page rates.
4. Find Creative Ways to Index Pages
You can boost SEO permanently by increasing the number of indexed pages on a website. An easy way to do this is by automatically generating links to different pages.
One popular idea for e-commerce sites has been to create product showdowns. These display different products every time a page loads, giving visitors the opportunity to vote for the one they like most. The results are unimportant; what matters is that you increase the number of internal pages being indexed and therefore the amount of traffic to the site.
5. Focus on Site Structure
Search engines look at more than just content when deciding the value of a website. Changing site structure is a one-time tactic that has an impact on every new piece of content you create.
To examine the structure of a site, run an audit. Use the audit to find out how well search engines are able to read the site and make appropriate changes to overcome any problems.
You should also use the audit to identify pages that are negatively impacting SEO. This includes “contact us” pages, other pages with very little content, and pages with duplicate content (like category and tag archives, common on WordPress sites). Add “noindex” code to all these pages to tell search engines to ignore them.
6. Develop Better Buyer Personas
As your SEO strategy progresses, you will have the opportunity to gain more information about the target audience. Ads (particularly social media ads) are especially rich in data. You can also gather information from Google Analytics, about users interacting with organic content. Use all the data to better define your buyer personas.
A better understanding of target users will not only help you speak to your audience, it will also reduce traffic from users who will never convert. This means fewer wasted resources on unqualified leads and more time to spend on nurturing leads that matter.
7. Optimize On-page Elements
Content itself is just one feature that contributes to on-page SEO. You also need to optimize other elements of the page. Your strategy going forward should including optimizing title tags, URLs, and image alt text. If you have already created content without attending to these elements, going back to optimize will improve the SEO of the site as a whole.
8. Take a Break from Creating Content
Whereas a site always needs fresh content, it is not always necessary for you to create the content yourself. Once you have established the business as a good source of information and built up a strong follower base, you are in the ideal situation to borrow content from others.
Infographics are perfect for this purpose, as you can lead in with unique text to avoid duplication issues. Simply take an infographic someone else created, post it on your client’s website, and leave a link to the original source to give credit. This tactic is beneficial for everyone — your client receives more visibility and the original creator receives a backlink.
9. Speed Up the Website
Google takes into account load speed when determining page rankings. If a site is slow to load, content will never rank high, no matter the quality and optimization. Plus, if pages take too long to load, users are far more likely to navigate away from the site.
You can check the speed of your clients’ websites by using one of many available tools, including PageSpeed Insights from Google. The best tools will give you reasons for a slow speed and tell you how to make lasting improvements.
10. Edit Old Content
A few years ago, the widespread belief was that Internet users have short attention spans and that quick reads are best. Since then, research has shown that people prefer in-depth content. Google took notice and now ranks longer pieces higher on SERPs, giving particular preference to pages containing 2000 words or more.
If a site has existed for several years, it may have many pieces of short-form content that are contributing minimally to SEO. By going back and editing these posts, you can improve SEO. Plus, half the work is done — you already have the basis for the topic; you just need to expand on the ideas. Focus on evergreen pieces that have seen a good level of engagement.
11. Offer Free Tools
Link building is one of the most important ways to improve SEO. Unfortunately, it is difficult to gain links organically and it is dangerous to purchase links — you are more likely to see your site penalized than improve optimization. Most businesses focus on creating content that they hope others will want to share. Whereas this is a good tactic most of the time, there is another way to gain external links: by offering a free tool.
Free tools are shared even more than content. When you create a free tool with buyer personas in mind, you also drive qualified traffic and increase conversions. This method is only suitable for some businesses, but if you think a simple tool could work for any of your clients’ brands, it is a tactic worth utilizing.
You can never stop working on SEO, but when you employ scalable tactics, the same amount of work will increase results. As well as providing your clients with more business, such a strategy will allow you to expand SEO and marketing into new areas.
More questions on selling SEO to clients? Why not partner with Boostability?
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