How to Create a Strategic SEO Foundation
As explained in my last blog post on overcoming the challenges of being the SEO “middle man,” user generated content and link building are both crucial to improving search visibility and market share.
But, before you begin, you need to address some foundational research and strategic decisions.
1. Identify the Opportunity.
You need to identify where the opportunity lies and establish your goals based on that opportunity. This begins by understanding the customer’s needs. There is always a sword fight when it comes to what a customer needs. Merchants and marketers assuming they know enough about their product or service to market it, vs. what customer research says about how people are behaving and what they are looking for. When we look at user behaviors, we associate these behaviors to a funnel. Whether it’s sales or marketing, it doesn’t matter. Our goal is to provide a deeper level of detail that builds upon the positioning and or the information for a product/service or that totally shifts the direction to ensure we meet the demands of the customer.
2. Map the Opportunity to your Conversion Funnel.
The next level of analysis required is to identify which part of the funnel and, therefore, personas/users, we are targeting as the middle man. Typically, the middle man’s goals are sales, so the focus should be towards the bottom of the funnel. By breaking up the funnel into thirds or quarters, depending upon your marketing or buying cycle, you can clearly identify a short list of head terms and associated modifiers of those head terms that will drive your business. You will be much more efficient with your SEO resources/budgets with a laser focused approach, as opposed to a wide net.
The investment of time and resources in establishing a solid foundation for your SEO strategy at the start will allow you to maximize the effectiveness of your future efforts and pay off in the long run.