In the Survivor series, contestants have said over and over again, “It is a game of strategy.” From the very first day on the island up to the last tribal council (if ever they reach that part), they strategize how to outwit, outplay, and outlast each other. However, a strategy is only as good as it lasts. The digital marketing industry can somehow be likened to the reality show.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been one of the long-standing digital marketing strategies ever known, although it is highly dynamic because sticking to one strategy won’t last. It is important to regularly check and update which ones are working and which ones are not.
SEO strategies are vital to your business for many reasons. First, most people don’t click on ads and instead prefer to skip down to the organic section of the search results. According to a study by BannerSnack, 54% of users don’t click on banner ads primarily because they don’t trust it. Second, SEO traffic tends to convert at a high rate. If someone is looking for your product or service, they need to find you!
With enough observation, you would know where, when, and how to address the weakest link in your digital marketing strategy. Here are some signs that it’s time to evaluate your SEO strategy.
1. Decrease in revenue-generating customers from organic traffic
While a drop in organic traffic is a sign of a struggling SEO, a drop in the number of customers you acquire from organic traffic is something you need to pay more attention to. Consider this as your primary metric when evaluating an SEO strategy. A decrease in revenue-generating customers from organic traffic is a sign that you are not attracting right type of visitors that would most likely convert.
Track which leads turn into customers so you can attribute your best customers to the source. Is the customer generated through your SEO efforts? Did your customer learn about you through organic search?
It is important that you integrate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in this. By attributing the source of your revenue-generating customers, you’ll most likely improve business relationships with customers, assist in customer retention, and ultimately drive sales growth.
2. Drop in SEO Traffic
There are other ways to drive traffic to your site like organic promotions and emails. But when your SEO traffic goes down, it’s time to re-evaluate. This can be caused by a drop in keyword rankings, seasonality in search volumes, and a new SEO/SEM entrant with a great Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that is absorbing most of the clicks.
3. Drop in ranking for primary keywords
Is your website still ranking for your primary keywords? If not, your previously set up primary keywords can be tracked if you’re running AdWords SEM marketing programs. Keep an eye on the keywords that generate visits and leads, so you could focus on them. However, always remember that bottleneck keywords are hard to rank for because you’re competing with other sites.
Use Google Web Toolkit (GWT) to know the rank of your primary keywords. Right off the bat, the GWT Dashboard shows a quick overview of the keywords you’re ranking for and how much traffic they’re generating. This tool also suggests the right keywords related to your website.
4. Drop in SEO conversion rates
Having a good day because your website traffic just experienced an all-time high? Great. Now, check if you’re converting. If your conversion rate is stale or worse, going low, chances are you’re attracting the wrong type of audience.
Take note, though, that blog traffic is an entirely different thing and don’t get blindsided by an increase in it. This might be hiding a drop in revenue-generating keywords. The people who come to your blog are still at the top of the funnel, which you can turn into a lead by getting their contact information, using a retargeting and remarketing strategy, and finally, pushing them further down the funnel.
5. Not gaining traffic through link building
The best links are earned through editorial placements via email outreach. These links, either re-posted or guest posted, are read by a large number of audience and should help you increase your visitors, leads, and customers.
6. You are not prioritizing your efforts
Focus your efforts on the keywords and landing pages that bring in your best customers. If you are just starting, you might want to consider using AdWords as initial guidance to help you prioritize. Adwords has “Landing page experience” which checks the ad relevance to the landing page. Remember that the landing page should match with the ad your customer sees and not a misdirection to any other page of your website. This affects your Ad Rank, CPC, and position in the bid auction.
Aside from landing pages, prioritize keywords that match well with what your customers are searching for. Instead of aiming for several keywords and spreading your ad presence in multiple searches, try focusing on effective keywords of two to three words as suggested by Google. For example, instead of going for the keyword “shoe,” try long tail keywords like “black Nike Zoom 2016” for a less tight keyword which would give you a better keyword and SEO ranking.
You should prioritize keywords and landing pages because they both affect your Quality Score. It is based on ad relevance, landing page experience, and expected click through rate. Lower costs and better ad positions can be achieved with a high quality score.
After knowing the tell-tale signs, start addressing them. You have a lot of options on how to bring back your SEO strategies to a healthy state. From there, start aiming to gain those leads your business has always deserved. Eventually, you’ll find the rhythm to survive the game and outrank everyone.