Whether you’re running a small online business, or a small bricks and mortar business – to stand any chance of generating a significant amount of traffic – and sales online, you need an effective online marketing strategy. This even holds true for large corporations as well.
This article is going to give you an overview of a super effective SEO strategy which incorporates content, SEO and relationship building – sometimes termed a “Content Marketing Strategy.”
Step One – Your on-Page SEO
Now whether you do this in-house and get a more experienced hand to do this, it doesn’t have to be over complicated.
It definitely should not be ignored completely though. As, once you’ve done this part right, you’re giving the signal to search engines like Google that – “these are the types of keywords I should rank for”.
So make sure you are using the right keywords in the right places on your website – i.e. it should be in the title of the page, the heading and sporadically (but not too often) within the content.
You also want to make sure the pages are interlinked properly, just to make sure that when you do start to rank, that the authority flows through the whole site – and the entire site will be pushed up the rankings.
Step 2 – Create Amazing Content
This is the key factor behind an effective content marketing strategy. And most businesses do not implement this part properly – ensuring the entire strategy falls flat on its face.
Make sure any content you make on your website is one of (or a mixture of) – useful, informative, ground-breaking, funny, interesting.
And you could make infographics, articles, videos, podcasts or whatever.
The key thing is that the content needs to actually be useful to your audience. Something that people want to read and will be actively engage with. I.e. please don’t make it overly salesy or advertorial.
Now, there is no hard and fast rule with coming up with content ideas. However, you could get some inspiration from looking at successful competitors in your industry, or maybe even successful versions of your business, who operate in another city.
You could even browse forums in your industry, do some networking, talk to customers and try to understand problems which they have within the industry, subjects they’re interested in around it or anything else which is related.
Just make sure you create your content with passion and enthusiasm and you’ll be 90% of the way there!
Step 3 – Building Links
Here’s where you really capitalize on the content you’ve created.
Link building is essentially the art of getting links (or backlinks) on other high quality websites or blogs. Is it completely possible to build links naturally – i.e. over time people will find your website and insert a link on their own website.
However, actively doing link building can fast forward this process many times over – and fast track your results as well.
The way this works is to find websites or blogs that are related to your website and its content, and with some personal, targeted email outreach, ask them to link to your content piece.
For example: A law firm that specialises in immigration, could for instance create a super useful ultimate guide to a particular visa type. And then they could reach out to a number of travel blogs where there’s some overlap in the content (either discussing visas or travelling to that country) and politely ask them for a link. It won’t work 100% of the time, but if the content is truly useful to someone’s audience, they may be very grateful for your sharing the link and won’t see a reason not to.
Now in order to really build a lot of direct traffic, you could continue building content and links in this manner. Every time you create content on a new subject, you just adapt the sites you are targeting to ask for a link. To do this correctly there will be a lot of manual work and human input – so you’ll either need to hire a reputable link building company, or create your own team to do this.
Anyway, the whole point of the strategy is to create traffic. And by improving your link profile, by securing some relevant, contextual backlinks on other high quality websites, it’ll improve how your site looks, in the eyes of search engines like Google.
You’ll get the benefit of:
- Driving referral traffic – as I said, people clicking directly on the link onto yours. If they find it truly useful and relevant, they could even become a customer.
- Driving organic search traffic – by having more and more links which are high quality, it’ll transfer something termed “link juice”. In other words, those links will make your website seem more “authorities”. Almost like a signal to Google to say “hey, you need to push this site up the rankings, everyone else seems to love this!” So if you’ve targeted your keywords effectively enough in Step 1, you’ll get the benefit of very targeted organic search traffic.
- Brand awareness – more of a long term benefit, but after some time, as you extend your reach, are featured in industry blogs, etc. you’ll then start to increase the reach of your brand/product.
- Intangibles – hard to measure or track, but as you start to build relationships across your industry and related niches, you’ll start to build a rolodex of organisations and people. While not every opportunity will turn into a direct link, it could open up some other opportunity. Whether that’s to be a vendor, an affiliate or some other business collaboration. Think of this part as networking on steroids!
This is just a brief overview of an effective strategy and there are so many specifics we could get into. But, I just want to focus on the fact that this doesn’t have to be over-complicated. The key thing is to provide true value for your audience, retain your passion when creating content and to build links and relationships with the right people. Whether that’s within your own niche, or in other adjacent industries. And when you do that correctly, you’ll drive up your online traffic and sales. If you do it consistently and long enough – then you’ll be able to create a constant stream of customers for your business for years down the line.