SEO is No Longer a Checklist
A savvy, sought-after digital marketing professional in the Atlanta market was doing well providing digital marketing. She specialized in WordPress website design, social media, and content development services for small business service providers.
This consultant approached me because more and more she was getting questions about how SEO played a part in the work she did. While she was fairly educated about SEO, she didn’t understand many of the tactical finer points – especially around selecting strategic keywords. She hired me to not only train her on SEO, but to optimize one of her largest medical clients during a site redesign (that alas, is another case study for another time).
The main services I provided for my savvy consultant colleague were:
- SEO overall training
- Keyword Research & Identification work for clients
- Customized client recommendations
“How do I know which word to pick?” “How many is too many for a website?” “What is your process?” These were a few of the questions the digital marketing pro had out of the gate. After I went through the questions she had, I outlined for her the process I have used successfully to optimize clients’ sites. I gave her tips such as:
- Write copy first, THEN go back and add in keywords
- Using the company name at the beginning of title tags is wasted real estate
- Identifying “hidden gem” keywords is critical for a successful SEO strategy
- What are “good” keywords and how to pick the best ones in a sea of endless keyword choices
- How to start with the right mindset for a solid keyword strategy
- While multiple keywords might work, you have to PRIORITIZE
- It’s hard to know right away if you made the best decision…accept the fact that it’s something that requires refinement
And my most important tip: SEO is no longer a checklist. It’s different for each business and requires careful analysis. While it’s not rocket science, solid marketing 101 play a part. There’s a process and there are ways to increase the likelihood of getting positive results.
At the end of our training, this freelancer and small business consultant felt much more confident about SEO and providing basic recommendations for her clients. She sent me a very nice follow-up note:
“Thank you so much for meeting with me yesterday to walk through your step-by-step process for selecting keywords for on-page SEO. My primary frustration with SEO was understanding how to select the ultimate, most perfect, fail-proof keywords for every page of my site the first time. As we discussed, the more realistic approach is to go through the steps, take the plunge using the keywords your research deems are most likely good options, monitor your traffic for a couple of months, and optimize continually based on learnings. I knew, of course, that SEO was an ongoing process, but our meeting further reinforced that fact and I left feeling even more confident about diving in. Thank you!”
My two cents: at some point you have to pull the trigger on your best faith effort. Make your changes, check Google analytics weekly, and let data accumulate. Set it and forget it…for 2-3 months, and then re-evaluate. That’s the ultimate message. Get over the uncomfortable feeling of moving forward with keywords.