Artificial Intelligence, data sets and software have allowed our agency to gain incredible insights into weaknesses and opportunities for clients. While all major and minor problems will be solved with a large degree of autonomy, humans are incredibly great at understanding complex problems, and what another human must see in order to attract and convert. Love is often thrown around term, but when a consultant or agency has someone’s best interest at heart, you no longer do the “top 5 optimizations” based on a predetermined algorithm sheet. You start to dive deeper into page focuses, both for humans and search engines, website hierarchy, schema, page speed, conversion – all done through actually bothering to look deeper with your own eyes.
We use Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster tools, SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner and reverse engineering what is already working (competitors), as well as asking the client for an extensive full list of what services and subset of their services they offer. Keywords can often be over analyzed. Do you have a revenue producing good or service? Great, what is it, and what problem does it solve. This then, allows us to not only have an intelligent keyword, but an enticing call to action through the headline to increase CTR (Click Through Rate).
Keyword Rank Tracking:
We use the same products for rank tracking as we do keyword research because SEO has changed dramatically over the years. No longer should you focus on “X” keyword, but rather a wholistic approach to becoming an authority, and trusting Google is smart enough to know what you want to rank for, without bombarding it with keywords. Google Analytics / Search Console and SEMrush are great to see if clients are trending in the right direction. If a keyword was on page 1, and now is on page 2, chances are Google did not feel the resulting landing page was as good a fit as competitors, leveraging user signals of CTR and time on website.
We use Google Page Speed Insights Tool because website speed is very important now, in this “fast food” culture, everyone wants something right NOW! AMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages / Instant is also the now and possible future if Google continues to support it because it’s caching your entire website for instant results, rather than loading the website completely from scratch every time – a brilliant concept and product by them. We also use Google Structured Data Testing Tool; all websites can have better open communication with search engines. This allows local businesses, or brands to help search engines “see” what a page or business is all about, on a more precise, complete level without hindering the human experience.
Google Search Console and SEMrush are great resources to analyze a client’s backlinks on the web. Much like the meme of “winners focus on winning, and losers focus on winning” we don’t obsess over competitor’s backlinks. While we could reverse engineer, and attempt to recreate the same profile, we take the approach of garnering new link acquisitions based on bloggers in the area (if a local business), influencers (social media), and big wins either through extremely difficult website mentions (from highly editorial sources) or low hanging fruit which won’t risk going against Google’s guidelines for keeping best SEO / Internet Marketing practices.
Picking up the phone, cold calling and cold emailing. It’s incredibly time consuming, but it’s been one of the most rewarding campaigns. For example, on NJ SEO you should be able to see the Soccer Centers success story. We literally called up soccer websites in New Jersey, and got them placed not on 1, but 2 competitors! Outreach is all about value added. While content is great, money talks. You have to respect the blogger/website owner enough for their time to edit and look over what you send. Asking for links today has become SEO / Online marketing prostitution and it’s disgusting. If your client financially benefits, you (the agency) financially benefits, then there should be a monetary exchange either in the medium of cash or barter (content which will actually help the business owner, not just your client).
SEO and Online marketing is certainly an investment, but with anything, we need to have mini wins. This is why increasing conversion rate is one of the best tactics you can use, not only for search engines, but for humans. We’ve been adding mobile call options and exit videos to all client’s websites, which has exponentially increased inbound calls, contact form submissions, while drastically reducing bounce rates, and increasing time on webpage, consuming your client’s media. Many assume SEO lives in a vacuum; this was true in 2006 when I first started. Today, traffic and user experience are critical. You can make your life much easier, and Google/Bing/Youtube/Facebook/Twitter by sending real PPC (Pay Per Click) traffic based on keywords and landing pages. If you’ve done everything right, the combination of “free” (earned organic investment would be more accurate) and paid creates a scenario where search engines know, trust, and like your website…. humanity based marketing comes full circle in a world of spreadsheets and tools.
Matt Anton is the former head of online marketing for Liberty Travel, where he helped achieve #1 rankings for Travel Agency in a hyper competitive billion-dollar industry. Today he is partnered at several leading SEO / Internet Marketing agencies, primarily NJ SEO and Atlanta SEO where he is responsible for client strategy and execution.