Having a search engine optimization strategy, or SEO, is important to support lead generation for ad agency new business.
Most agency business development directors have a marketing strategy and are becoming competent with an inbound lead generation strategy that has as its centerpiece – content marketing. Understanding search engines is an important part to content marketing and blogging. Therefore, it is important for business development directors to become familiar with how search engines work and keep up with what is going on.
Recent changes to Google’s search engine ranking algorithms are already having an impact. Google’s own site, www.blogger.com, has seen a 20% drop in search traffic.
How do you become more knowledgeable, reduce the impact of these inevitable changes and create an SEO strategy for new business?
1. By understanding Google’s bottom line. It is important that you be natural and authentic so you will be less likely affected by Google’s ongoing improvements to its algorithms.
Over 90 % of all Internet users are using search engines and they are the main sources of online traffic. The primary search engine is Google. Google’s goal is, they want their users to find specifically what they are looking for because if they don’t, they will be looking for alternatives.
“The perfect search engine would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want,” Google’s cofounder and CEO, Larry Page
2. You can also decrease the impact of these inevitable changes, as Google strives to get better, by focusing your content marketing efforts on the basic elements of SEO. These are the key elements of SEO that also will be less likely affected by Google’s changes.
Here are some basic blog SEO tips to help get you started:
- Start with a benchmark. Know what your current page rank is and continue to monitor it with tools like Alexa and the Google toolbar.
- Your blog’s theme/template can help or hurt your SEO, so review and choose carefully. Most designers are more concerned with good design and less concerned about SEO. The navigation structure of your blog’s template plays a critical role in how it is indexed and crawled by the search engines. Use a navigation structure that enables every page reached within three clicks.
- Check your blog’s referer log regularly to track where your visitors are coming from and the search terms they are using to find your site.
- Find your ‘niche’ key words. Choosing the most popular search terms will make it nearly impossible to get to the top spot in search. Instead use niche key words that are relevant to your target audience. Place these keywords throughout your blog site: your titles, content, URLs, and image names. Note: the title tag and page header are the two most important spots to put keywords. You can use Google keyword tool to find keywords relevant to your blog. Just be sure not to overdo by stuffing key words, a Black Hat SEO technique that search engines do not approve and will get your site penalized.
- You should make it standard to build internal links back to your archives when creating new content. I invite readers to check other articles that might be of interest, at the bottom of almost every post article that I write. Also remember to always link back to sources cited in your post articles as it is bad etiquette not to do so. You will build quality ‘back-links’ by creating link-worthy content.
- Choose a meaningful title and add a descriptor statement that is included in the metadata and under the description title. Mine is “Fueling ad agency new business through social media.”
- Pick the right domain name. Try to pick a domain name that says something about your blog site’s content.
- The single most important thing you can do is to consistently provide high-quality content on your blog. Google has become good at weeding out poor quality web pages.
- Add URL to Google. Improve your site’s visibility in Google search results. It’s free. To get started, simply add and verify your site and you’ll start to see information right away.
- Be sure and send a Sitemap using Google Webmaster Tools. A site map is a page listing and linking to all the other major pages on your site and makes it easier for spiders to search your site.
- Make your URLs more search-engine friendly by naming them with clear keywords.
- Be sure to include the alternative text descriptions for all photos, images and videos. Spiders can only search text, not text in your images. Start with your image names: adding an “ALT” tag allows you to include a keyword-rich description for every image on your site.
- Take the time to include blog post tags. Tags are one or two words that briefly describe what your article is all about. I also include any person, entity or publication mentioned in a post. Search engines use tags to index and find your posts faster.
- SEO and social media marketing have become intrinsically intertwined so be sure you are utilizing social media. You should grow your social media community and using social media platforms and tools to ‘push-out’ new content and pull-in website traffic.
- Your content should be fresh. Updating your content regularly and often is crucial for increasing traffic. The more recent Google update, dubbed the “Freshness” update, designed to rank newer content higher in search results.
- Google has started adding Google+ brand pages in search results and some predict that Google will make it harder to do SEO without Google + . I would recommend that you get started by setting up your Google + account and take part.
It would be helpful for you to know how Google finds web pages matching a search query and determines the order of the results.
How does Google find web pages matching your query, and decides the order of search results? Check out this helpful summary of Google Basics. Another helpful resource is Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to help Google find, index, and rank your site. Here’s also a handy, downloadable Search Engine Optimization Startet Guide. Look up unfamiliar SEO terms using the Search Engine Marketing Glossary
This is an excellent guide for WordPress bloggers: Must See SEO Guide for All WordPress Bloggers
Additional articles that might be of interest:
- 8 SEO Writing Tips to Help Prospects Find Your Ad Agency
- Ten Toughest Content Marketing Challenges for Ad Agency New Business
- The 2011 State of Inbound Marketing for Ad Agency New Business
- Report: Inbound Marketing Channels More Cost-Effective for Ad Agency New Business
- 10 Idea Starters to Keep Fresh Content Churning
- 2011 Trends: Content Marketing Is Critical to Ad Agency New Business
- Study: 69% of Businesses Increased New Business Leads Through Blogging