Ranking dashboards. Algorithms. A/B testing. Trial and error. Navigating the intricate web of SEO often leaves you more confused than before you ever decided to fire up Google Analytics. While powerful and successful SEO strategies have existed and evolved for many years now, it still remains a complicated thing to nail down.
But luckily for us, highly-advanced digital marketing technology is here to help us streamline our SEO playbook.
What exactly are the benefits of a well-thought-out SEO and digital marketing strategy?
- Improved search visibility on Google, both locally and internationally (if that’s what you’re optimizing for).
- Increased credibility and a competitive edge. (The first page of Google search results gets 90% of the traffic. So it pays off to try to get a leg up on your competitors.)
- Higher emphasis on quality content.
- Increased engagement and conversion rates.
Nowadays, no marketer can get away with not having a foolproof SEO plan. But you don’t have to go at it alone.
How SEO and Digital Marketing Play Well Together
Put simply: There really is no strong digital marketing strategy without SEO.
One really shouldn’t exist without the other. Sure, you can create the best digital marketing strategy, but without nailing at least the SEO basics, it will likely fall flat. A cohesive, complete digital marketing strategy includes everything from paid and earned media, blogs or articles, social media advertising, free educational resources, and of course, search engine optimization for your digital content. SEO helps get the right eyes in front of all the hard work you put into your digital marketing strategy. That being said, when creating an all-encompassing plan, it’s imperative to also include an SEO playbook.
But before diving in head first, ask yourself these questions when shaping your SEO and digital marketing strategy:
- Whom am I selling to? Do I have a solid customer persona(s) in place?
- What are the top three to four keywords I want to optimize?
- Is there a strong content marketing plan in place?
- What are the main platforms and channels I want to use? (Desktop, mobile apps, social-first, etc.)
As we now rely on data more than ever before, it’s important to understand how to use data to create an effective SEO and digital marketing strategy that will help your business grow. Let’s dive in.
Setting Yourself Up for SEO Success: Where Data Comes In
Any business looking to succeed with SEO and digital marketing needs to start with a strong foundation: Data. And luckily for us, several tools and platforms exist to help us incorporate data into every SEO decision we would need to make.
The first step in using data to empower your SEO and digital marketing strategy is to understand your audience.
Who are you trying to reach? What needs do they have that your product or service can address? What are their pain points?
Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, you can begin to collect data that will help you reach them more effectively. How? Google Analytics offers a myriad of insights into your existing audience. Deep dive into age, gender, interests, geographical location, most-used devices, and so much more. This information can also help shape or fine-tune your customer persona.
Want to know that your audience would respond well to your copy? Use Anyword’s Predictive Performance Score and the accompanying Score Panel to determine how well a piece of content would resonate with your customer base.
This panel shows you the demographics regarding age and gender, as well as the main emotion that the copy conveys and a score predicting the copy’s performance. Use Anyword’s Predictive Performance Score as a guiding light when crafting and choosing the right copy for your campaigns. And leave the guesswork behind while you’re at it.
Your Core Keywords
After you’ve identified your target market, it’s time to research which keywords they are using to search for businesses like yours. You could have already had a few keywords in mind, but use what you learned from your audience analysis to hone in on the most important ones.
A mix of general, branded, long-tail, and local keywords will help you reach the widest audience possible. Make sure you also identify your striking distance keywords, which are your keywords that have the potential to make it to page one on Google. Take these keywords and add internal and external links to any of your relevant content pages.
The Importance of Intent in SEO
It’s also important to note how intent comes into play with your keywords. Copy stating “What is a [your chosen keyword]?” implies informational intent and is well-suited for blog and longer-form, instructional content. In comparison, the keyword by itself or “[your chosen keyword’ near me” implies a more transactional intent. Who searches keywords like this? Users looking to buy products or services.
So why does understanding this kind of intent matter? Not all traffic provides the same value (ex. Not all visitors to your site are looking to make a purchase), so knowing the difference plays an important role in your SEO strategy.
And with SEMrush, you can also look up the main keywords you plan to use and look at their reach and difficulty level. Here, we show the results for the keyword “copywriting”:
And while SEO is all about trackable Keywords, here at Anyword, we have also found that including certain words in ad and content copy can further help organically boost performance. What are some top keywords to include in your text?
Here, we take a look at top words to weave into your marketing content and the average CTR of the content that had these words in it.
And how does CTR come into play when we’re talking about SEO? Frequently, title tags and meta descriptions are optimized with CTR in mind. For meta descriptions, CTR remains the top priority, as these descriptions don’t influence keyword ranking.
So while you’re looking for ways to incorporate your main SEO keywords into your copy (and boost CTR that way), it might also be a good idea to get the best of both worlds and use some of these specific words as well.
Know Your Rankings (And Your Competitors’)
Checking your website’s ranking is the first step to understanding how well your site is performing in search. But don’t stop there – take a look at your competitors’ rankings too. This will give you a good idea of where you stand in the search landscape and help you identify areas in which you can improve your own SEO and digital marketing strategy.
Use tools like SEMrush to conduct a page and backlink analysis of your competitors’ sites and use your findings to shape your next steps.
Have Your Dashboards in Place
Before you can even begin to make data-driven decisions for your SEO and digital marketing strategy, you need to have the right tools in place. That means having dashboards set up for the metrics that matter most to your business. And luckily for you, there are several different tools to help you stay organized.
These dashboards help you keep track of:
- Keyword rankings and fluctuations.
- Relevant KPIs (site sessions, clicks, impressions, conversions, etc.).
- Audience demographics.
- Attribution (meaning where is your audience coming from and what pages are they looking at the most).
- Traffic volume trends (which pages are going up or down in terms of performance).
What are some of the top dashboards and tools to have in place? Here, we briefly run through the most important for any marketer to know (and know well).
The go-to for SEO experts and novices alike, Google Analytics helps you better understand your site users and provides a myriad of insights on content and products. Use this data to update existing and shape new content, as well get a better idea of who is visiting your site, when, and how.
Google DataStudio is a free, powerful dashboard with built-in connectors for Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other third-party tools. With this tool, you can turn your data into interactive charts, tables, and graphs to make it easier for you to contextualize and share results.
Another free tool, Google Search Console provides users with tools and reports that help you measure your site’s Search traffic and performance. It also helps you understand your rankings and identifies any issues that may need to be addressed. You’ll see clicks, impressions, average positions (rank) for keywords, and CTR data on the keyword and URL level. And all of this information can be broken down by country, device, and more.
Mentioned above, SEMrush hosts an SEO toolkit with a slew of features for anyone looking to boost their search optimization journey. This toolkit allows you to uncover both local and national keywords, analyze the backlink profile of any domain, run SEO audits, as well as tracking the all-important SERP positions.
Optimize New & Existing Content
If you want to improve your website’s ranking in search results, start by optimizing your existing content. Review each piece of content for potential keyword opportunities, update the copy to include relevant keywords, and add new titles and meta descriptions. When going through this process, it’s also important to keep in mind all of the key page elements that play an important SEO role. Here are the elements to have in line:
- Title Tag
- H1 (the most important of the H’s)
- H2s (the second-most important of the H’s)
- Body Copy
- Image Alt Tags
Using the data you can find in your dashboard will help shape your content marketing strategy. Knowing which pages get the most attention (and which could use a little boost) guides your future content plans, as well as directs you as to which ones could use updating or tweaking.
Keep Your Keywords on Track with Anyword
So you’ve done all the prep work, analysis, and research for your SEO strategy but still aren’t sure exactly how to implement your keywords? Let Anyword help with that.
Anyword’s Blog Wizard tool not only lets you create an entire blog post from start to finish, but it also allows you to easily include SEO keywords in your copy. Create your blog post using two different types of keywords:
- Target Keywords (which describe what your post would be about)
- Related Keywords (supporting keywords directly related to your post).
And as you build your post, keep track of where and how often Anyword has used your keywords with the Keywords Panel.
Now, you don’t have to worry about wondering where to put your SEO keywords. And if you are using the right ones. The results? Watch your SEO keywords outrank your competitors, with all the heavy lifting done by Anyword’s powerful AI.
To learn more about how Anyword helps marketers shape fine-tune their content to fit their digital strategies, book a demo today and get started!