3 Unique Tips for Building Your SEO Strategy
Updated: Feb 15
There are many guides about "How to improve your site's ranking", "Beginner guide to SEO in 2021,2022, or 2023", and more. Yet, the importance of Strategy is so underrated. Sometimes, it's not about the "Know-How"; many marketing agencies focus on this part too much and lack flexibility and customized service when they handle their clients' projects. If you're an in-house marketer and looking to outsource the SEO task to agencies, this guide for "Know-Why" is exactly what you need.
1. Goal Identification
Goal identification should be your first step if you want to build a successful SEO strategy, and this is where people usually have done wrong because most people just skip this and build their target keyword lists. Yes, keywords are basically what SEO is all about, but the truth is, you would have made the wrong keyword list if you had not identified your goal.
So, what goal can you aim for? It depends, a lot. It depends on your industry's nature, business model, target consumer behavior, organizational structure, and even the current macroeconomic situation.
With all these variable factors, you can now identify your goal. Are you looking for a boost in total impressions so your business's credibility can grow over time? Or do you want more new leads right now and get the sales growth? In simple words, it's about Awareness or Conversion.
After you have identified your primary goal, then we can now talk about KPIs, like page 1 search volume, CTR, conversion rate, etc.
2. What Keywords to Target
Since this guide is not about the "Know-How", and we are not talking about search volume, keyword research, etc. Well, we don't want to bore you; hence, this part is more about "why you should/should not target these keywords".
After you have identified those variable factors in Step 1, you can now ask yourself what your potential clients will type in the search bar when they are looking up our products/services.
Still thinking it's complicated? Here are two examples:
Peter is a moderately-priced Chinese restaurant owner in Causeway Bay, and he wants more walk-in customers, simple like that. So it makes a lot of sense if he targets long-tail keywords like "Best Chinese Restaurant in Causeway Bay". People do believe the search result and are unlikely to do further research because the meal eventually might just cost them around HKD350. That long-tail keyword easily converses to sales, but it does not apply to all cases.
On the other hand, Tom is a marketer in a Hong Kong-based packaging service company, and he's now looking for new clients that would outsource the packaging process to them consistently.
So now, we can get to the point mentioned above, would Tom's clients search for "Best Packaging Company in Hong Kong"? Well, they might search for it. Would the clients make the call right away and place the order because Tom's company shows up on page 1? Very unlikely. The purchasing order might cost them HKD150,000; people do not spend their money like that, unless their clients are trying to get fired and get some compensation from the company; otherwise, NO, things do not work like that.
The key points of these examples show how business nature and model affect your SEO strategy planning. Digital marketing is more than just a number game; you should always keep that in mind when building your SEO strategy.
3. Get Your Mindset Right
People always get confused with the relationship between traditional marketing and digital marketing. Most people would think digital marketing is a replacement for traditional marketing, and I can tell you this is the most common misconception in the marketing world.
"Digital marketing is the new mindset and channel that creates synergic effect with traditional marketing."
So, NO, digital marketing is only a new component of so-called 'traditional marketing'. Please bear in mind that you should always assess your marketing campaign with the most traditional KPI, the growth of leads and/or sales.
People focus on the SERP ranking and website traffic so much and forget about their initial (and also ultimate) goal for these campaigns, they want to grow the business. Many data analytics tools allow marketers to assess the campaign in different ways, but agencies and even in-house marketers always see things in the way they would like to see, intentionally and/or unintentionally.
OK, your SEO/SEM campaign gets the website traffic boost. Are your sales growing then? If not, try to think about the bounce rate, maybe? Are your visitors really interested in your websites? Why? Why Not? Is your website too ugly to look at? Are you expressing your brand image in the way you expect your audiences receive it?
There's no formula for success in digital marketing, data analytics provide you the insight to think, to plan, but at the end of the day, your mindset (or your agency's mindset) is the deciding factor to your success.