When it comes to marketing channels, organic traffic is generally your lowest cost and highest converting source of traffic. This is what makes SEO such an attractive marketing strategy.
However, once you start practicing SEO you quickly find that it entails many different components to make up a successful strategy.
Most business owners drown in details trying to perform SEO themselves and often times either:
- don’t get results
- get a penalty from Google
- give up before they start reaping the benefits
None of which were the business goals when deciding to invest in SEO.
Today I want to share 3 strategies that business owners can learn and implement to scale their SEO efforts so that they aren’t using up their resources without achieving results. And I’m not just talking about upgrading your coffee.
Although some of these efforts may require additional budget spend, they will scale your efforts which is what many business owners need to learn to do in order to get positive results from SEO investments.
Once you start achieving positive results, in the form of a steady stream of inbound leads, you can start converting more customers, generating more revenue, and continuing to scale your SEO efforts. After all, this was your plan from the beginning when you first decided that you should invest in SEO.
Ok, let’s jump right in and see which strategies we can use to manage and scale our SEO efforts to achieve more success.
1.) Get organized and create a plan
One of the most common problems that entrepreneurs, startups, and small business owners all share is disorganization.
Hey, I’m not putting anyone down here, we all suffer from it. But let’s be honest, these 3 categories of businesses are bootstrapped on funding, people, and time. Period.
If you aren’t working based on a very organized SEO plan, then don’t even bother.
I’ve watched too many businesses think they can spend 5 minutes brainstorming a blog post topic and 30 minutes creating it, publishing it on the fly and then moving onto something else, only to fall flat on their faces.
Don’t be this business. Get organized, prepare an SEO plan, be consistent and stick to it.
Here is what an organized SEO process should include:
Strategy and Planning: Determine your SEO budget first and list out all of your internal resources such as content writers and people who can reach out to other companies. Research your buyers, create buyer personas, perform keyword research, and plan content ideas. Make sure to attach a timeline to all of your SEO activities and a timeframe for results.
On-Site Audit: Perform an on-site audit using screaming frog or another SEO audit tool. Analyze the results and prioritize the on-site changes you are going to invest your resources into making. Align your content ideas with what you’ve learned in the on-site audit and incorporate them into your site changes and updates
Outreach Strategy: Now you need to plan which pages on your site you will promote and how you will promote them. In other words, which pages of your content are link-worthy and who should you reach out to in order to request a link? You may be adding a partners page and reaching out to partner businesses to link to the page, or perhaps you’ve added a scholarship page and are reaching our to organizations to link and share your scholarship program, maybe you’ve invested in the ultimate guide or white paper for your industry and now it is time to share it with influencers. Develop a clear plan of what you are going to promote, to who, and how you will go about it.
Delegate Resources and Implement: Now that you have all of your SEO tasks, budget, resources, and timeline start attributing your resources to the different components of your SEO plan and get the ball rolling. Remember, it is not a sprint it is a marathon, and you will be performing a few tasks a day consistently during your SEO campaigns.
With patience and diligence, an SEO plan containing the above elements will succeed.
2.) Outsource if you don’t have the team
I have one full-time employee, plus my dog works 24/7. Seriously, she is a beast, she wakes me up at 5am every day to make sure I’m not slacking. There is no better boss than her.
But even with a tiny team, I run an SEO agency that serves dozens of major colleges and universities, start-ups, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and some medium size businesses doing 10M+ revenue.
And again, my agency consists of me and one employee (plus my dog).
No, I don’t do meth and yes, I have a somewhat normal life (but who really likes normal anyway?).
Over the years I have learned how to delegate and outsource. I’ve found the best sources of affordable labor that I can train for the long haul and basically contract pieces of SEO plans out too.
If you don’t have a big team of people to divvy up tasks from your SEO plan, then you should be looking to outsource as well.
Trust me, you won’t have time to do all this stuff yourself. I don’t and I’ve been called an internet ninja by many.
Here are a few great outsourcing strategies that I’ve used and you can try too:
- Setup internships for local college students interested in your line of business OR marketing in general. These students are a cheap source of high-quality labor and are usually really hungry to jump into their careers.
- Hire folks in other markets that require less pay. I’ve worked with Real Estate Agents all over the country and what I’ve learned is that they have a widespread earning potential. The average home price in Indiana is way less than in California and thus agents in Indiana earn much less. If you can find folks in your industry that don’t compete in your regional market and earn less in their market, then try offering them compensation to help with your marketing. After all, they won’t require as much pay as a professional that is in your same market earning the same amount as you.
- Hire offshore, seriously you don’t have to be Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs, to outsource parts of your business to off-shore labor. But if you’re smart you’ll follow their lead. Any good business person understands that keeping costs down are vital to achieving an ROI. The trick here is finding the right pieces of your SEO plan that can be outsourced and the right contractors for the job. I recommend UpWork.com for finding these contractors.
- Partner with related businesses to work together on content and promotion, the two biggest pieces of your SEO plan. Now, it probably doesn’t make sense to go to your direct competitors for this. But say you’re in Real Estate and you work closely with a Mortgage Lender, you guys should be working together to promote each other’s social media posts and blog posts. Reach out to any related businesses similar to this example and discuss how you can help each other grow your businesses together.
When outsourcing work, here are a few important tips to make sure you receive good value and high-quality work for your investment:
- Interview and screen all candidates personally to ensure you know who you are working with. Skype is great for connecting with folks all over the world, so is Google Hangouts.
- Set max limits on hours if you pay hourly, or set a flat rate for a project to avoid going over your budget.
- Set specific goals and results that must be attained by the contractor.
- Read reviews on anyone you hire and avoid working with anyone who has received negative feedback.
- Train the contractor! It isn’t their job to develop your strategy and plan, you should have done this before reaching out. You need to provide them with very specific training material so that they understand exactly how you want things done and don’t go astray in their efforts.
3.) Track and measure your results
Many business owners that I’ve worked with are solely focused on keyword rankings as being their “SEO results”.
Um, sorry but I don’t care where your site ranks in Google, if your SEO isn’t bringing in hot leads that you can convert, then achieving 1,000 #1 keyword rankings in Google is worthless.
Don’t focus solely on keyword rankings, instead focus on a set of the most important key performance indicators (KPIs).
Here are the KPIs that you should measure and focus on for your SEO campaign:
- Organic traffic increase
- Organic page view increase
- Non-branded search traffic increase
- Organic conversion increase %
- Organic traffic increase by region
- Inbound lead increase
By analyzing and improving the above KPIs you will always know how your investment in SEO is impacting your business. You can better tie your efforts directly to your sales revenue and find opportunities to further optimize your marketing and SEO strategy.
Over to you
Alright, now you know the 3 most essential strategies for you to start scaling your SEO efforts and actually achieving the results you set out to achieve.
More traffic, leads, and sales.
After all, why drown in the details and get frustrated with all the technical work only to fail and never grow your business? That would be a waste of time and resources.
As a quick recap, you can avoid this nightmare and get great SEO results by:
- Getting organized and creating a specific SEO plan with budget and timeline attached
- Leveraging your resources and outsourcing to others when you don’t have the team
- Measuring your primary SEO KPIs and constantly optimizing and improving your SEO efforts
Ok, now it is time to get those hands dirty. Good luck implementing these strategies and crushing your next SEO campaign.
Not sure where to start? Leave a comment below right now and I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction!Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community