You’ve probably heard about “customer value” or “added value” and may have wondered what they actually are.
They, indeed, sound very important, but in case you have noticed yourself wondering about how to translate that value into something actionable, here’s a tool that may help: Critical To Quality tree (CTQ).
CTQ comes from Six Sigma and provides you a way to break down how you can actually generate value for your customer in terms that you both can measure.
Let’s take an example from something that we all can relate to: a coffee break, and let the break represent the value that your customer is looking for.
Take a pen, sticky notes and your colleagues and you may come to more or less the below kind of definitions:
First, you define what the Need is.
Here, we can say that to stay productive at work, we need “nice coffee breaks”.
That Need is then impacted by Drivers.
Because we are talking about coffee breaks, we might agree that the drivers include the coffee itself and the atmosphere of the break.
You may come to some other conclusion when you start breaking down your need, but for now, let’s settle for this.
Drivers, in turn, have Requirements.
Your requirements for coffee could be Taste, Temperature and the Time it takes for you to realize you need a break to when it actually starts.
Again, there might be more, but let’s settle for these now for the sake of the exercise.
Last, you need to define the qualities of Taste in terms of Metrics that can be given Target values, and there you have it.
Let’s say that an ideal cup of coffee for you is certain amount of coffee of a certain brand with a combination of extras.
So, to measure whether your ideal coffee break was reached in terms of the coffee itself, you conclude that an ideal cup of coffee is two decilitres (+/- 2 centilitres), by either brand X, Y or Z and with 2 centilitres (+/- 2 millilitres) of milk and one teaspoon of white sugar.
There you go. That’s the first Requirement of the first Driver broken down into items that can be measured.
Then, break down the rest of your Drivers into their Requirements, Metrics and Targets and you can actually start measuring the performance of a “nice coffee break”, which, until this point, may have been just a vague idea that sometimes is realized and sometimes not.
And, if you now continue measuring the individual factors, you can start agreeing with your customer, over a period of time, whether you managed to generate value or not.
The value is not a vague idea anymore. It is something that can be proven, because it can be measured.
Your customer’s value?
So, what are the words your customers keep describing their perceived value and how could you break them down into the above five elements?
Why? Because nowadays there are multiple ways to set up channels that can generate you additional income, and any of us could certainly use some to fund our hobbies, for example.
There’s the initial effort (and sometimes cost) to set them up, of course, but done the right way, these Residual Income or Smart Passive Income channels can work for you 24/7 with you checking their performance only once per day or even a week.
After talking with industry experts and trying several ourselves, here’s a shortlist of what we know and what people say is working today.
Each of us has some degree of expertise in a subject matter.
You may have gained it through education, work or life experience, does not matter.
But what matters is for you to realize that even if you think your experience or knowledge does not amount to much, there’s always someone out there, who knows even less.
And those are the ones that could benefit from what you can tell.
And while you learn more yourself, you’ll continuously get opportunities to update your offering.
You can try public speaking, of course, but the best way to reach a potentially unlimited number of potential people is through paid video i.e. online videos, webinars and online courses.
Webinars can be delivered live or you can record yourself first and then put the content behind a paywall.
Try this search for the best resources out there and do let us know if you have any questions, for example by booking a free consulting call with us through this link.
Let’s say Sam has written a book.
He’s agreed with an online book store that the price is 100 dollars.
If Sam or the store has an affiliate program, you can make an affiliate marketing agreement with them.
Then, you go an create a Facebook ad that advertises Sam’s book.
If Dean clicks your ad and buys a copy of Sam’s book, Sam gets 90 dollars and you get ten.
That’s affiliate marketing.
There are variants of the routine and commissions up to 100%, but what affiliate marketing basically is is you advertising someone else’s products or services to people online, and getting a commission when they buy.
You can google suitable affiliate programs with this search and if you want to know more, do book a free consulting call with us through this link, or talk with the contact that introduced this page to you.
Setting up an e-commerce store online gets easier every year, but unless you want to build one yourself, you can replicate your own just by registering in one or more of the so-called Multi-Level Marketing or Network Marketing services.
Marketing Automation is about automating marketing actions through software.
Repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions have already been automated by many marketing departments. The technology of marketing automation is a great way to make these tasks more simple.
Since the advent of social media, it has been virtually impossible for marketers to be constantly productive to providing services for over 200 networks and billions of users worldwide. Things have simply spiraled out of control.
It’s a full-time job that takes time and energy trying to maintain one social network.
How do you keep up with your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media networks, all at once?
The answer to curbing and solving this global issue is “Marketing Automation”!
In this post we’ll show you what marketing automation is. You will also get to know how to get it started and grow your followership, traffic and leads on autopilot.
The first step to take right now is to look at what marketing automation really means.
Definition of marketing automation
Some say marketing automation is same as tactics, others speak of marketing automation software, while some more call it a subset of customer relationship management.
We keep it simple. Looking at the term “Marketing Automation”, you must have guessed what it means: you automate your marketing.
Automation requires technology and that is a key part of the process.
Therefore, in all simplicity, here’s how we can define marketing automation:
Marketing automation is the process of using software and technology to optimize, automate and measure repetitive online marketing tasks.
A very simple definition if you ask us. A task that occurs and reoccurs should alert you that there is a way to automate it.
This will allow optimization of tasks done and also create a way to measure the performance of the task continuously.
Marketing automation has a single and unique goal: make you a better marketer, by allowing you spend more time on important tasks.
Marketing automation overview
Three big areas of online marketing can be automated to a certain extent.
Email Marketing is the first. Events can be triggered when you use software to automatically have certain emails sent through opting for a sign-up form. One way to automate your mails is through delivery, distribution is another.
Your email list can also be segmented automatically depending on who opted in and from where. Finally, another great way to automate sales with email is through autoresponders.
Secondly, there’s social media. Currently, there are hundreds of third-party software tools that allow you to automate distributing across other social media platforms. Your social media growth can also be automated by automatically engaging with followers and leads.
Check these posts for more information about social media automation:
Practice it: create your first automated WordPress-to-social-media distribution routine with these instructions!
Landing pages is the third big sector of automation. Once, it took really long time to code them manually through HTML and CSS. It is different now as you can use templates and copy the same designs over and over again.
The Copy of your landing pages to some extent can be automated with the help of A/B testing.
If you want to learn more about automating landing pages, check these useful resources:
We have completed and have also given a detailed explanation of what marketing automation is. We want to give you a few tips to help guide you as you think about implementing a new platform into your process. We will outline what you should and should not be doing with your marketing automation.
DON’T just automate your current process without revisiting your goals
Since marketing automation makes lives easier for marketers, the first step to take when you integrate this into your strategy is to automate everything you already do. Even though it looks easy and is the right thing to do, revisit your goals before you get started.
The above is stated so as to prevent us allowing marketing automation lead us into executing strategies that doesn’t make sense to our customers or prospects. We don’t want to return to the ways of not listening to our customers’ needs or what they are asking of us.
DO integrate marketing automation with your inbound marketing strategy
Providing valuable content that aligns with your customer’s needs and interests is known as inbound. You shouldn’t change this when you start using marketing automation. Instead, this should enhance communication that will lead to providing contents needed and at the exact time it is needed.
DON’T just broadcast or blast general messages
General and broad messages tend to get marked as spam or deleted when it is not relevant. Avoid this when using marketing automation.
DO send highly-targeted and specific content to a narrowed audience
Always provide content that people are looking for. This can be achieved when you put yourself in the customer’s shoes. It doesn’t “taste nice in the mouth” when after downloading and reading a content related to what you asked for and loving it, you suddenly get another email that is totally unrelated and of a different topic from what you just read. You end up buy from another company that sets a chain of the topic you are interested in. With marketing automation, you can do exactly this.
DON’T forget your customers
It is sheer hard work to sell new business and close contracts. This has pushed companies into focusing on generating new revenue thereby forgetting their old customers. This group of people already have an affinity to what the company is selling and most likely want to buy more.
DO keep your current customers happy and returning for more by setting up customer engagement campaigns
It isn’t about the money but this remains the truth: it’s much easier to sell to someone that has purchased from you before. Keeping your customers engaged with content marketing is an essential piece of growing your company. Make sure you keep Building and nurturing these relationships by sending segmented contents specific for your customers that will educate and encourage them to keep coming back to your company for tough leadership and expertise.
Once your traffic passes a certain point, it is almost impossible to talk to all your customers personally. Accept this as the truth.
Marketing automation used in an ethical and good way enables you to build great relationships that you can continue in person later, and provide value to more people.
Don’t abuse this by sending spam emails. Your customer will see through this scam, right away.
Let your customers follow a constant stream of value by using this marketing automation guide on what you don’t have time for.
The single, pressing question is this: what’s the first thing you will automate?
Blogging can play a huge role in your overall business growth, because it is a great way to clarify your thoughts and even “productize” your know-how: if you can put your thoughts in words, chances are that a lead might understand what you are offering, and even buy.
You should start a blog if
You have the capacity to produce content regularly. Weekly, bi-weekly, once a month, does not matter, but it has to be regular.
You can write about the fundamental topics in your industry and build a library of articles that you continually improve. Even better, you can re-define the fundamental topics in your industry for others to consider.
You know how to deconstruct your expertise into 500-2000 word articles. Today, people look for information, instructions, how-to type of articles and testimonials about products and services. If you simply flaunt about how great and innovative you are, it’s not helping anyone. But, if you help people understand your industry and how your products and services help them, you have a chance to attract ideal customers.
In this post, Steve Napier, a veteran SEO consultant explains how creating more content for your blog will lead to an increase in sales. But how do you actually generate more leads using your blog?
There are a few different ways that you can do this.
Having spent valuable time writing your content will mean nothing if you don’t actually include any of the keywords that people are actively searching for.
Google offers a wide range of tools to help you ensure you are using the right keywords.
Be sure to check out Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner to make sure you pack your content with relevant keywords. If you rank on Google for these keywords, people who search them will land on your articles. If done correctly and consistently, this will help you drive a lot of traffic that you can later convert into leads.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to include a call to action on every piece of content you create.
Without them, people will just simply read your content and move on.
A call to action can be a button to buy, a link that’s inviting to learn more or a form to fill in to provide more information, and all of these will are ways for potential customers to dig deeper into what you have to offer.
If you are struggling to generate results, you may want to consider these instructions:
Facebook lead generation
Facebook has released lead generation as an advertising objective, helping to greatly improve any campaigns that you may could run. This feature enables the gathering of information from people who are or may be interested in your organization, products or serviecs, and all of this can be done via the Facebook mobile app as well as at a desktop.
Information gathered this way can help you know where to target your efforts to get those all-important leads. Here’s a step by step guide by SocialMediaExaminer on how to create a Facebook lead generation campaign: How to Use Facebook Lead Ads.
Some social media platforms now allow users to make use of a feature called buyable pins.
The pins allow users to purchase your products directly through the social media app.
If a user likes what they see, they simply click on the “buy it” button and they are prompted to enter their personal as well as payment details just as they would with any other online purchase. Talk about a short sales funnel!
Facebook is leading the way in increasing lead generation by offering a shop feature. This tool allows you to offer your products directly for sale via the Facebook app, which means users will not get directed away from Facebook should they show interest in your product, which can be highly frustrating.
Should this fit in with your needs then a shop is super easy to set up and really will give your customers a streamlined and fast process for buying your products.
If your organization is already using some form of marketing automation process and this is not currently successful in generating leads for you, then read on as it certainly should be.
Once you have successfully defined and separated out your various audience markets, you can effectively target them using an email drip campaign.
This method of marketing automation sees potential customers being emailed in a scheduled timeframe and allows you to spread information giving over a set time period hopefully ending in a crescendo of sales. If you opt for this method be sure to track responses to each individual email message to measure effectiveness.
A/B testing is a simpleprocess of testing one campaign against another to see which has more success.
Whether it be using slightly different wording in your call to action, or use completely different content altogether, A/B testing allows you to see successes or failures of certain campaigns in real-time.
When A/B testing, you direct a portion of your potential customers to your secondary testing page to see how they fare against the current campaign. Going with the better performing campaign should, in turn, increase your lead generation.
Cold calling and emailing are quite possibly the most dreaded methods for generating leads but done properly, they can be extremely effective methods for generating those all-important leads.
With this method, you are able to contact potential customers directly and really put your best efforts into convincing them to make a sale. But before you jump in head first consider these points:
Write a script
If you are new to the whole cold-calling game, chances are that as soon as the customer answers the phone you will freeze and completely fall over your words. It will make things a whole lot easier, and you will come across way more professional if you spend some time composing a script to follow during your phone calls. Be sure to include key messages and be clear and concise on what you have to offer.
Practice makes perfect, with a perfectly polished script you will be way more likely to generate those leads. Spend some time going over your script either alone or with a friend or colleague to ensure you are comfortable and at ease ready for the calling process ahead.
Speaking to a potential new customer over the phone, or indeed by email, can lead to spontaneous small talk about their company or a barrage of questions. In researching your prospective new customers prior to contact, you can be sure to have all of their company information and current activity at hand should they throw you a curveball. Being prepared in this way will bring a greater element of trust and therefore improve lead generation possibilities.
If you spend a little time getting to grips with the system, tools like Google Analytics can be a key player in your lead generation plan.
Analytics tools are able to offer you a huge amount of data which in turn you can use to really target your efforts and analyze where your true sales potential lies. Key data to monitor in any tool that you choose should be your conversion rates.
Landing page conversion
Always keep a close eye on your landing page stats. These figures will allow you to see which of your landing pages are performing successfully and which are not. Having this important information at your fingertips allows you to make decisions on which landing pages to carry on running and which to scrap.
Most lead generation campaigns will see you using various sources to obtain new customers. Whether you have campaigns on Facebook, Instagram or various blogs, using source conversion you are able to monitor which method is pulling in most interest. Knowing this will allow you to focus efforts on these areas with the hope to increase leads.
So, whether you are new to the game, or are struggling with a certain aspect of lead generation, we hope you found these tips useful. It is safe to say, that whatever your situation, having a multi-channel lead generation plan is going to give you the best chances of succeeding in those all-important sales goals.
Link building refers to the creation of backlinks = links pointing to your site from elsewhere on the internet.
Backlinks are a form of off-page SEO. Off-page SEO, in turn, refers to search engine optimization. SEO consists of building quality signals for Google to determine the relevance and quality of your website and its pages.
Those signals include links from other websites that point back to your website. People sharing your content on Facebook, Twitter, Google and other social networks also work as backlinks.
Indeed, even though this research has found that “backlinks no longer primarily determine search engine rankings”, a handful of quality backlinks will benefit your website much more than a thousand social shares.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks, also known as incoming links, are simply links from websites that point at your own website or web page from another website. Backlinks are used as quality signals by Google.
Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B.
The more votes (backlinks) your website/pages receive has a large influence on your website’s search engine ranking, popularity, and importance. However, not all backlinks are equal: some carry more weight than others.
Understanding Google PageRank
PageRank is Google’s link analysis algorithm, named after one of Google’s co-founders Larry Page. It assigns a numerical weighting (from 0 to 10) to pages on the web based on hundreds of different signals. Don’t confuse PageRank with your search ranking positions, it’s not the same. PageRank (PR) is simply a means of identifying a page’s relevance, quality, importance, and authority. The higher the PR number of a page, the more authority that page carries.
Backlinks from web pages with high PR, preferably higher than the PR of your own website are the most beneficial for your website. One backlink from a PR3 page is worth thousands of PR1 page backlinks. But often the higher the PR, the harder the links are to obtain.
Backlinks and anchor text
Anchor text is one of the most powerful SEO signals. It provides a message to Google regarding the content of a page. For example, if your website sells red widgets and the backlinks pointing at your website’s pages include red widgets’ in the anchor text, then this is a vote from another website that is independent to yours that says: “this website is all about red widgets”.
In turn, Google increases the visibility of your page in the search results, because if users are searching for red widgets, this is what Google wants to give them.
However, you should not abuse the use of anchor texts, because it will not improve your rankings. It would instead land your site with a penalty for trying to manipulate the search results.
When building links, it needs to look natural. The should be built, or they should look like having been built by people genuinely linking to your website, and not by you building them yourself or buying them.
For example: if one hundred people linked to your website about red widgets, it’s highly unlikely that they would all choose to use the same anchor text. Examples of anchor text used might include: “click here”, “cheap red widgets”, “Bob’s red widgets”, “awesome widgets” etc.
So, if you are building links, it is very important to use different anchor text for your backlinks.
Follow and nofollow backlinks
Adding “nofollow” to the links of pages that you link out to is like saying that you don’t want to give your vote to this page, although you are still happy to link to it. So if someone links to a page on your website but adds the “nofollow” attribute, then you will not benefit from this, at least not as much as you would if they left off the “nofollow” attribute which means it’s a dofollow link.
It is good to have a mix of both nofollow and dofollow backlinks. This looks a lot more natural than if all links were to be dofollow. However, the number of nofollow links that are pointing at your site are generally significantly lower than dofollow, often only 10% of total links.
How and where to obtain backlinks
If you follow Google’s advice to obtain backlinks, then they basically just say that if you create amazing content the backlinks will come automatically. This, however, is rarely the case, and you are going to have to go out there and build them yourself if you want your site to rank well.
Ideally, you will want to obtain backlinks from high-quality websites, and also websites that are in a similar niche to your own. But there are literally hundreds if not thousands of different places on the web where you can potentially get backlinks from, some of these include: other websites, blogs, forum profiles/signatures, directories, comments, social bookmarking, YouTube etc…
Anyway, you can search for page ranking services with this search.
Checking your competitors’ backlinks
One of the best ways to discover where to try and obtain backlinks from is directly from your competitors. You simply look at their own backlink profiles to see where they are getting their links from, then try to duplicate them for your own site.
There are a number of tools available that do exactly this for you, and a whole lot more. Majestic, Ahrefs and Moz’s Open Site Explorer are the big three. These are paid services, but they also provide a limited free version which can still prove very useful.
Build backlinks slowly and avoid spam
So, it’s important that everything looks as natural as possible when building backlinks. If you have a new website with a clean backlink profile and you build thousands of links in a very short time, this will raise a red flag or two with Google that may result in a penalty.
Also, you should never consider buying backlinks from people offering link building services. These will do your website more harm than good. If it’s very easy to obtain, then it’s unlikely going to be a good quality link. You should check every single link that you build, and always ensure that you have the possibility to update or remove the links if you need to in the future.
Keep track of backlinks
It’s important to keep track of the backlinks that you build because doing so will allow you to easily carry out a backlink audit if your rankings suddenly drop. You can then find the offending link and remove it. We recommend creating a spreadsheet that contains all of your links, including the date obtained, the PageRank of the page they are on, anchor text, and a contact to update or remove the link.
Actively monitoring your backlinks will also allow you to spot if your competitors are performing what’s called negative SEO. This is basically building lots of spammy links to your website that can potentially result in a penalty for you.
Finally, if you try to remove links that you believe are harming your site, but for whatever reason are unable to, then the Google disavowtool can be used to disavow these links.
Backlinks library: our top 10 articles
Why re-invent the wheel when there are so many great articles out there about backlink building? Check out these backlink building articles from the industry’s leading experts.
The author claims this is the most complete list of link building tactics on the Web. It certainly is comprehensive and includes actionable items that you can execute right now as well as others that take several weeks to complete. A good guide to start off with.
Fractl combed through the 26000 links they built over the years and found out that high Domain Authority sites don’t necessarily attract a lot of social engagement, most sites don’t consistently use the same types of links and certain publisher verticals are more likely to feature a lot of visual assets.
Customer Journey is the path your site visitors proceed from obscurity to becoming your brand ambassador.
In between you’ll find different stages, and also different information needs per stage.
A person just having realized he needs something goes online and looks for providers.
Once found, he digs deeper and looks for product specifications so that he can compare the options.
After having chosen and bought, he’ll look for further instructions.
What this all means is that you need to provide different kinds of content for those different phases because the customer needs to make different kind of decisions in different phases. One general type of blog post won’t serve everyone at every stage.
A customer journey usually consists of three stages
The stages in the customer journey are usually called Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
Here, the customer does not yet recognize he has a need or recognizes it and becomes aware of the fact that a product or a service might satisfy that need.
In this stage, people look for answers, general information, education, research data, opinions, and insights.
They do Google searches, quickly browse through providers and earmark those, whose titles, descriptions, URLs, and copy are the most understandable.
At this stage, the value of the visitors as leads is low, because there’s no guarantee that any action will lead to an actual buy.
However, those that find a good match between what they searched for and where they ended up may move on to the next stage.
To serve people at this stage,
Perform keyword research on your industry, on your area of expertise as well as on the products and services that you provide.
Select the keywords that match your specific offerings and create optimized blog posts that address each keyword in a high-value way. Share the posts in social media to make yourself known.
Create advertising campaigns that target the specific segment.
Other content that works well include checklists, how-to videos, ebooks, courses, whitepapers, and webinars.
From there, point the visitor to a landing page that includes a short description of what it is that you are offering and a Call To Action, that is, a button to subscribe to a newsletter or to download more detailed eBook, for example. This way, you can acquire the customer’s email address and can begin to address him/her personally. Live chat also works well, and we have the data to prove it.
Here, the customer recognizes the solution to his problem i.e. his need might be satisfied by a product or service that you, too, provide. They are trying to figure out which of the providers are and aren’t suitable for him/her and clarify whether your product/service, in particular, is the best fit for them.
At this stage, you also need to determine which of the leads is and isn’t a good fit for you. An ideal customer is one that can provide great lifetime value to you and you to him/her. To do so, you need to be prepared to engage customers in social media and other channels to determine where your and his/her objectives might match.
Support this process by providing case studies, product webinars, samples, FAQ pages, data sheets and demo videos as well as testimonials, existing customer interviews, and articles. These need to help the leads compare your products and services with those of the other providers and display what purposes exactly are the product/services suitable for.
Finally, it is likely that the customer will also check discussion forums for user experiences of those having already bought and used your product/service. You may want to participate in the discussion, but the correct way is only to correct false information and provide links to the correct one, not to manipulate the free sharing of information.
The customer is considering just before the final buying decision
This is a great opportunity to provide a free gift for the ones still hesitating. It could be a free guide, a special offer, a trial period or a product/service presentation at your or the customer’s premises.
Also, in this stage, the customer may have to convince another person (a spouse, a superior, top management). To help him/her do so, provide clear numerical content that describes the benefit or the return on investment in a presentation, white paper, price list or flowchart format. User guides and manuals are often sought in this phase. You could also provide a free consultation, a live demo or allow the customer to observe the product/service in action.
Customer journey does not end with the latest purchase
What else can you offer for the one already bought? After sales content will help your customers extract even more value from your product/service. Also, content related to your other products and services might help him/her to embark on another journey.
As you see, it’s not at all insignificant what kind of content you provide in each phase of the Customer Journey. Producing all of this may look like a huge task, but remember that you do not have to create all at once. It all starts with you identifying your ideal customer in the form of the Buyer Persona.
The web analytics data should always be used to measure the goals of your website.
For instance, if the objective of a web page is to convert visitors to newsletter subscribers, the analytics would highlight this by showing how many completed this task, and which pages they used to arrive to the actual subscription page.
Web analytics also enable the management of eCommerce sites to determine how many people visited the site in general, what were the most popular products on the site based on the number of visits or clicks, what was the average age of the visitors to the page, and many other demographical information of these visitors.
Types of web analytics techniques
There are generally three main types of web analytics based mainly on the scope of the data being collected:
On-site web analytics tools are generally designed to measure the various variables of web users once they log in into the specific website under analysis.
Therefore, this type of web analytics can be seen as being internal and focused on the data once a user logs into a specific website.
This refers to analytical tools that provide the general analysis of the users of the internet.
In this case, these tools provide an analysis of website usage despite the fact that you own the website or not.
This is generally important especially while the owner of a website is targeting a particular market niche or target group in the internet. It helps researchers to identify potential opportunities and the general trend of internet users.
How do web analytics tools access information from a website?
There are generally two ways:
Analysis of log files
Web servers always create a log of all the interactions of the page. Web analytics can read these interactions and get the specific data required for the analysis.
Usually, web analytics tools capture the number of request to the server by clients to view the pages of the websites. This method of access to web analytics information was effective in the past when webpages consisted of simple HTML files. However, when images and other media files became integrated into webpage codes this system was deemed ineffective.
This refers to tools that incorporate both page tagging and log files as sources for data. This is a more robust and accurate method of carrying out web analytics since it taps into the advantages presented by both methods of data access.
Other methods of data analysis
Click analytics: by monitoring the number of clicks and the specific pages, links, images or content within a website, the web analytics tools is able to identify a certain aspect of the webpage usage. Moreover, this type of analytics enables for a real-time analysis of the user behavior and in the long terms be able to determine certain meaningful behaviors of the customers.
Internet Protocol address: IP address can be used to determine the location of the various users who log into a website. This can provide important information concerning the countries, regions, cities and postcode of the visitors of a website and therefore help in creating the demographics that are critical in web analytics.
Customer behavior analytics: this type of analysis ties all the various aspects of the analysis such as the number of clicks, page views, IP addresses to a particular customer. When these customers visit the web again, a cycle is developed and analyzed. This helps in understanding the needs of the customers, web optimization and funnel marketing strategies.
Advantages of web analytics
Marketing: One of the most expensive costs for any organization is marketing. Running advertisements on mainstream media is expensive and therefore all effort must be put in place to ensure that marketing ventures are as effective as possible. The only way to have effective marketing strategies is by having accurate and relevant information about the target audience. Web analytics provides information about the target audience and therefore enhances the marketing process.
Web analytics also provides an analysis of other companies or organizations providing the same services. Therefore, the management is able to compare and learn from the experiences of other market players and formulate strategies that are best suited for best results.
Knowing one’s customers is also another advantage of web analytics. Once the management is aware of the preferences and needs of their customers, they can align their production goals to those of the customers and be able to make more profit.
Web analytics provides insights that indicate the areas that the organization is not performing well and therefore provide an opportunity to make the necessary corrections.
Through web analytics, the management is able to forecast based on current trends. This is helpful in aligning organizational change to impending shifts in business and also minimizing future risks to the organization.
Web analytics enables management to identify key performance indicators that can be used to monitor and evaluate the general performance of the organization. For instance, key indicators can include data such as the number of new customers, amount of revenue generated, losses incurred, and the number of items sold online. These performance indicators can be evaluated in relations to the goals and objectives of the organization.
Web analytics terminology
Visitor: refers to an individual user that logs in to a website. However, there are other codes that access a page and it is imperative that a web analytics tools establishes that the visitor is actually human. Some web pages have verification codes to ascertain that a visitor is actually a person.
Session: refers to the duration that a visitor spends on the website in question. It reflects the entire period from the time the visitor logged into the website to the time he/she logged out.
Page View: this refers to a successful request made by the visitor to view a web page from the server. A page view does not count the other elements on the page such as images or content but counts the entire page as a single view.
Hits: refers to the successful request of an element of the web page such as an image from the server. Mostly, many managers place a lot of importance to the number of hits, however, most I experts in web analytics agree that hits are not as valuable in terms of determining the success or otherwise of a website. The reason for this is based on the fact that a lot of hits can be generated from a single webpage and this undermines the actual popularity of the website. Page views are a more preferred aspect of determining the performance of a website.
Session summary: provides a summary of the activities of the various visitors of a website. The information provided includes total sessions, total page views, total hits and the average of these various pieces of data.
Referrals: refers to the geographical information about the main source of traffic to the websites and also traffic that was generated from other websites. For instance, the web analytical website can indicate that 20% of traffic to the website was from Google Search.
Keywords: web analytics also provides a report detailing the most used keywords in relation to the Meta tags used by your website. This is very important since it provides the owners of the website to align their keywords with that most commonly used by search engines and therefore generate more traffic to the website.
Keyword searches: This is a report provided by website analytics sites outlining the actual keywords that were used by users to get referred to the website. This report includes all search engines that the customers used.
Top entry page: refers to the first page that was viewed by customers. It is not always that the home page of a website is the one viewed first. Web analytics provides data on the number of top entrances in ascending or descending order. This is critical in determining which pages on the website were most appealing to the customers.
Web analytics is a must
Web analytics is crucial to ensure the success of web-based business and organizations.
Web analytics is a tool that enables the website experience to be driven by information and therefore to become more enhanced.
Operating a website without web analytics is like driving with your eyes closed, so get yours activated today.
Keyword research is one of the most critical stages of your inbound marketing journey.
Fail this one and you’ll be creating content for keywords that do not match with what your actual and potential customers are looking for.
Do keyword research right and you’ll have an actual chance to meet the needs of your customers.
Now, this is not rocket science, but you have to be systematic.
That’s why we’ve created a three-step method of our own, which consists of
We’ve come up with this keyword research method by having read tons of articles by the leading SEO experts and having tested the ideas in our client projects ourselves. In our method,
You first produce a long list of Keyword Ideas,
Then you evaluate the usefulness of each one
And select the ones that are the most useful for your purposes.
The first part is about creativity, not criticism. Just list down whatever you think may serve your purpose and move on. The weeding out part comes in evaluation phase and there you instead should be ruthless.
So let’s dive in.
To start with, think about your Buyer Personas: who are they, what do they regularly look for and which words and phrases do they use to look for that information?
The Expert type of persona performs general types of searches,
While his Manager usually wants product details for comparison.
The Top Management, instead, is interested in the long-term investment-related content.
You may have your industry-specific variations of these personas, but whoever they are, the different personas will use different keywords to search for things. When you take a look at your Buyer Persona document, you should already see a few ideas there.
Types of search intent
Now, the first thing to focus on is the search intent. Traditionally (although that is changing), three main search intents have been recognized:
Navigational intent is about the user wanting to end up on a website, but not necessarily to buy or know anything.
Informational intent is about the user wanting to know something specific about the keyword he’s using in the search (for example: “what is <keyword>”, or “how to <keyword>”).
Transactional is about the user wanting to interact with something related to the keyword, e.g. register, download or buy.
In this article, we mainly focus on the buying intent.
Keywords for the two other intents should also be researched, but our first focus here is about the buying intent.
Core terms and modifiers
To begin the actual research, take those first transactional ideas as core terms (or seed terms or head terms).
The core terms are also keywords that look obvious: that you may want to rank at #1, but you know that too many sites already share the same desire so competing with them may not be feasible at all.
That’s why you should add modifiers.
These are associated with your core terms and they make up longer phrases that are usually easier to rank for (because not as many sites want to compete with you for those rankings).
For example, if a British client was interested in video production services,
The keyword research could begin with “video production” as a core term. Even ”video” only might be interesting to look at just to see what all the topics are that are associated just with the word “video”. At this stage the intent is only navigational: the user wants to end up on a specific site and get information.
Since the persona here is interested in specific services in a specific geographical area, it makes sense to set “video production” as the core term and persona-specific modifiers to create the initial list. For example
the Expert in that company might be looking for “video production company in London”,
his Manager might be interested in “video production rates in the UK” and
the Top Management probably wants to hear about “video marketing ROI (or return on investment)” as compiled by specific research and/or consulting organizations throughout the globe.
Finally: you can, of course, use your imagination to come up with the persona specific keyword ideas, but rather than assuming, just ask your customers directly to verify your own thoughts. What words did they use when they first landed on your site?
Now, open a spreadsheet and note these Buyer Persona specific core term plus modifier combos down as Keyword Ideas (KI:s). Do it by persona, so
in the first column, note the persona name
and in the second column the keyword idea.
Put different keywords in separate rows.
Third, create a “Status” column and earmark each keyword as an “idea”
Then, check your website analytics: which pages are the most popular? Are there any words that appear in the titles or addresses of the pages that look like keywords? Add them to the KI list with “Analytics” as the Source.
Put your KIs in thesaurus.com and check what synonyms are related to each. Pick the most relevant and note “Thesaurus” as the Source.
Put each of the KIs in Google, scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says “Searches related to <your keyword>”. This is a very important one because compared to just plain ideas and synonyms, related searches are ones that Google users have actually performed. Check what’s behind each related search by clicking on each link and pick the ones that display results among which you would like to rank.
(The reason that I’m seeing the monthly volume and the Pay Per Click rate here is that I’m using Chrome and a plugin called “Keywords Everywhere”)
Go to Wikipedia and search for articles with your keywords. The “Contents” section may already give you another set of ideas, but do check out the whole page and its sections.
Think about what internet forums might be relevant for your purposes. Some of the global ones include Reddit and Quora. Also, you may find your industry-specific forums by searching for “<your keyword> discussion forum”. If you are operating locally, do a similar search with your native language.
In the forum, do a keyword research and consider how the topic is being addressed in the results. It’s important to understand what choice of words people are actually making when discussing your type of services and products.
Finally, browse through the categories and consider using some of the words and word pairs being used in the thread headlines.
Next, go to keywordshitter.com and paste your (selected) words in the search box and hit the “Start job” button. This one’s really abundant so first try with one keyword only and see what it comes up with, and then give it a go with word pairs and groups.
Finally, you may want to try out some of the professional keyword research tools out there. Those include Semrush, Ahrefs and Keyword Explorer, which will all produce you very informative results. They basically behave in a similar fashion, i.e. they find you variations of your keyword ideas.
The second good thing is that they also immediately display a monthly keyword search volume, competition, difficulty, opportunity or another attribute, which you can all copy-paste or export-import to your list.
If you decide to use them, keep two things in mind:
Their data samples are different. This means that you may get different results for the same keywords from different tools. That’s why you should check out at least a few tools to see their results variation.
There may not be a free version available or if there is, the free version only allows you to perform a few research rounds per day. The paid plans, in turn, start from around 100 euros a month, though you might want to first test their free trials.
By the end of this phase you will have a long list of KI:s to choose from and it’s time to narrow them down.
Before proceeding, however, remove the duplicates by using the “Remove Duplicates” function in your spreadsheet.
Now is the time to evaluate, valuate, criticize, prune and debate. By the end of this phase, you should have a short list of a few dozen or so keywords to choose from your final list.
First, review the list and change the status to “Exclude” for the ones that you definitely know are not appropriate for your purposes. Filter them out and continue with the rest.
Next, add a column called “Volume“. To get the figures, create an account (unless you already have one) in Google Keyword Planner.
If this is your first time using GKP or you have no Google ad running, a red bar will appear on the top of the page. This can be ignored. It’s just Google’s way of encouraging you to spend money on it.
Click on “Get search volume data and trends“, paste the keyword idea list in the search field, hit the “Get search volume” and copy-paste the range figure from the “Avg. monthly searches” in your “Volume” column. There is also a Download button if you want to export the information.
Alternatively, you can outsource the whole phase to a virtual assistant, because admittedly this is very labor intensive.
Here, there’s a catch: Keyword Explorer only allows you to perform a few searches per day for free. So, unless you do not want to pay, this phase will take some time. Alternatively, this is another reason to outsource the work to a virtual assistant.
Third, research the Click Through Rate. You can get this also from Keyword Explorer as it is indicated by their Opportunity value. Here, the higher the value is to 100, the easier it is to get traffic.
Finally, on your own, record your own “Importance“. Regardless of what the tools say, you know your industry and your customers the best, which is why you may also know those keywords that work or don’t.
It’s up to you what grading you want to use (1-2 or 1-3-9 or 25-50-75-100) as long as you give appropriate weight to each keyword.
By now, you list should begin to look like this:
Now it’s time to choose. There are different methods here.
First, by using the spreadsheet filters, identify your HLSI keywords. They are those that are often looked for (High volume), where difficulty is Low, that have a Strong CTR opportunity, and that are Important for you.
Try to find at least one per persona, so you have an actual keyword to address them with.
Then, you should strive to identify at least a few per each of your Customer Journey phase.
First, pick those that associate your products, services or organization with what people look for early on in their Customer Journey.
Here, they are just starting to look around, finding information, but have no intention to buy yet. These keywords are more informational and navigational, i.e. they point the user to a direction, but will not result in a purchase.
In our example, an Expert might get online and look for “video production companies in <target area>”, “best video marketing campaigns of <previous year> or “how to buy video production services”.
Then, strive to identify whether any of the keywords are related to the consideration phase, where the customer wants to compare his options. These should be the same or similar to your competitors’ keywords so that the customer can compare apples to apples.
Third, consider which are the ones meant for conversions. These are the closest to making a sale or ones which people use to actually buy something up front.
In our “video production” example, they might be cameras, their accessories or research reports that people want to buy from research organizations to organize their buying process or to evaluate their ROI afterward. Pick the ones where your offerings actually meet a purchase intent.
Decision phase keywords are usually related to your specific product or service offerings. The monthly volume might be small, but these are strong candidates to consider because if a customer happens to use them, it means he/she is checking out whether you specifically have an offer, a trial, demo or similar available.
Thus, you could use them for example on a landing page. They might also be ones, where the core term is your or your organization’s name plus a modifier, for example, “feedback about <your company>” or “<your service> experiences”. People love social proof and these might lead the visitor to your testimonials (I hope you have one!) or Facebook page.
Fourth, you might also want to factor in a certain type of well-known industry individuals, who have a strong online presence and who you may want to influence. These are thought leaders, influencers and star performers in your global and/or local industry. They may recommend services and products out of free will or have an agreement with one of the suppliers or an affiliate program that brings them advertising income. They may use specific language and use a certain choice of words to express themselves.
The influencer section also includes the related competitions in your field where your colleagues, competitors and other experts participate. They have a “language” of their own, which may include some of your keywords. The competition organizers are an interesting reference, because their events generate a lot of traffic through their website and in social media. By using the same keywords you can “join” that traffic.
If you still have several options left, you can consider the Purpose.
Head keywords: these are the ones that work well in a headline. They are usually single-word keywords with huge search volume, like “videos” or “services”. Due to the volume, they rarely convert well, but you absolutely need to use them in your content headlines.
Body keywords: these are the 2-3 word combinations that are more specific and convert better, such as “video production” and “service processes”.
Long Tail Keywords: these are the ones you found through Google’s Related Searches, but they are also the longer phrases you may want to pick from your long list of ideas. An LTK might be “video production rates in London” and “service process maturity level definitions”.
While you work on your keyword research list, keep changing the “Status” value for which you set a column in the beginning. Leave ideas as “Idea”:s, and label serious candidates with e.g. “Consider” and the final selections as “Agreed”, or whatever values work for you.
Last: increase relevance
PHEW! So that’s our keyword research method.
Now all you really have left to do is to either
Optimize your existing pages to match the newly selected keywords or
Create new content that matches the keywords you do not yet rank for.
The optimization instructions are available in here.
The justification for creating Buyer Personas is that you do not want to market and sell to the whole world because that is a waste of your resources.
Instead, you want to know who exactly is your ideal customer – the ones that are the most receptive to your products and services right now. Those people you can describe as Buyer Personas.
Persona-based marketing may seriously boost your metrics. For example, Marketing Sherpa reports that Persona-based websites have seen 210% increase in website traffic, 97% increase in website generated leads, 124% increase in website generated sales.
Here’s the homework:
Buyer Persona in practice
The Buyer Persona is a document, where you record the characteristics of your ideal customer. If you have several different ideal customer types, you need one for each persona.
The information should include things such as age, title, position objectives, his/her superior and subordinates, but also how he/she behaves when he/she buys and makes decisions, and especially where he/she goes to look for information.
Typical buyer personas include the Expert, The Superior, and The Top Management, but you may very well have your business specific variations of these.
The buyer persona is an imaginary character because it sums up the characteristics of a group of people into one, and as such it generalizes human behavior.
However, it definitely must be based on researched facts about the group (and not on beliefs, assumptions or opinions). Thus, the document describes your typical, real customer. Further, when you want to address new, potential customers, you need to create a separate buyer persona for each of them and plan your marketing activities with them in mind.
Create the buyer persona from actual customer data
Record the basics
A well-documented buyer persona is not just a list of characteristics but reveals the way of thinking of the persona, the way they want to develop their work and make decisions. At the minimum, include the following:
His/her title, his superior’s title and the titles of his subordinates
The industry he’s working in and the size of the organization
His responsibilities, objectives, measures of success and typical challenges at work
How and from where does he gather information to support decision making
How does he communicate to other when he’s promoting his ideas
Add an imaginary name and picture for the persona
Include actual customer testimonials, because they make the persona come alive through feedback that you know someone actually gave.
You can find additional questions to ask in here and here.
Base the buyer persona on actual customer data
You can do your first buyer persona exercise on the fly, but as soon as you can, you need to adjust it with facts. You will get these or example from
researching your own customer database
by interviewing your customers
from customer feedback
by observing your customers’ behavior
How does he/she make decisions?
Take a step further and describe how he makes decisions. You’ll get valuable insight for the persona when you interview your real customers, such as
His priorities: is your product or service among the first to be acquired or is your turn after something else?
Success factors: what does the customer hope to achieve by buying your product or service?
Challenges: why does the customer not see your product or service as his best choice?
The customer journey: has he just started looking for information, is he comparing options or is he only missing one last piece of information so that he can decide?
What are the criteria based on which he’ll buy? Who’ll make the buying decision?
Describe the channel, the messages and the tone of voice needed to address each buyer persona. The Expert, The Superior and The Top Management all have distinct styles.
A complete buyer persona helps you deliver the right message to the right people
When you have perfected your buyer persona, you will be able to conclude
Who you still need to talk to
What information they are still looking or
When is the right time to deliver the information and in what format, and
What kind of arguments do you need to justify your message with?
Here is also a very thorough introduction by Moosend to buyer personas and their creation.
You can then document your first buyer persona just with a simple text editor by brainstorming with your colleagues, no fancy tools are really needed.
However, makemypersona.com by HubSpot is available, which will guide you step by step and produce a simple persona based on the answers you give. Or, use my template to record details in whichever order you want.
You may want to incorporate online surveys into your processes to gather persona data regularly.
SEO, i.e. Search Engine Optimization, is about creating web pages that are favorable to search engine evaluations.
Technically, what the search engines want to know is what your site and pages are about.
This is needed so that the engines can display the most valuable pages to people when they search for information.
So ultimately, SEO serves the search intent of your actual and potential customers.
For example, if your page is about cast iron frying pans, you, of course, write about cast iron frying pans in the page copy.
But in SEO you don’t leave it at that.
You need to know what places exactly do the search engines check when analyzing your site, and make sure “cast iron frying pans” is mentioned in all of those places.
If you do this well, your site will have chances to rank high on their search results page (SERP).
I say “will”, because several other factors affect ranking, too. The rules also change several times a year so you need to make SEO a continuous activity.
Here’s a good summary of SEO basics:
How to start with SEO?
The actual optimization begins by identifying the keywords that the people you want to attract to your site actually use, and then adjusting your website to match those keywords.
You can increase this relevance by doing technical, on-page and off-page SEO improvements.
That is the basic level.
On a level that actually makes a difference nowadays, you need to deliver real value continuously to your customers. You also need to build digital relationships i.e. links between your site and other quality sites. They, in turn increase your Domain Authority.
If not for anything else, then do SEO to stand out just due to this sheer volume, because there is a lot of noise out there and you want your signal to be heard.
Search engine optimization is mostly optimizing for Google
Although both Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and the rest all have their internal search functionalities, optimizing a web page is in practice optimizing for Google, because it is the most popular search engine in the western world.
And when you optimize, you need to take into account Google’s algorithm, the set of rules they use to valuate a site.
Rather than taking it as an annoyance, do consider the algorithm as your friend, because it also makes sure that when you search for cast iron frying pans, your search results will include links to websites about cast iron frying pans and not cat videos.
For the same reason, the most popular results appear at the top of the list and the less relevant on the following pages. This usually means that the ones appearing at the top have done their SEO and the others have not.
The search result page (SERP) of Google consists of the advertisements at the top and the so-called organic results below them.
You can buy advertisement space at the top as a temporary means to increase your visibility, but you have no business among the top organic search results unless you keep doing your SEO. SEO affects especially these organic results.
Still, until you yourself have proven facts (through your analytics) that an element has an impact on your ranking or it doesn’t, my suggestion is to follow the basic SEO rules and then start testing them one by one to see what makes a difference in your case. Each audience is different.
It may sound obvious, but create a page title that describes the page content. Take no artistic freedoms here. One day, Google’s artificial intelligence will be able to interpret sarcasm, poetry, and meaning in high context cultures. Until that, keep it simple.
Place your target keyword at the beginning of the title or as close to the beginning as possible. This is important due to the SEO rules, but also because humans skim internet content in a so-called F-pattern, where the top left area of the screen gets the most attention.
Keep the title length between six words or 150 characters. This is the amount that Google shows in its search results page.
Make sure the title is in between the H1 tags.
Clear content structure: title, paragraph, level 2 headline, another paragraph, CTA, conclusion, another CTA is the rough pattern here.
Your target keyword among the first 100 words.
You may have heard about an optimal keyword density, but as long as you keep the text flowing naturally, you don’t need to do keyword stuffing or calculate the keyword frequencies.
Longer content tends to be better. For example, according to this research, the average length of the best articles out there is nowadays approaching 2000 words. If that sounds like a lot, you can very well start with 500 and keep increasing the length later. But it really depends on the keywords, industry and your audience.
Pages with images in them tend to rank higher than those without.
However, more pictures does not automatically equal better ranking. Valuable content dictates success.
Make sure you have your target keyword in the image ALT text. This is because the search engines do not yet understand image contents well so the ALT text tells them what the image is about.
Brian explains on-page SEO well in his video:
Page address (URL)
Avoid these: sitename.com/p=123 and sitename.com/blog/2017-03-12/article-title-and-then-some. Content management system IDs and other fluff do not help here.
sitename.com/your-keyword is the best format.
The title is the blue link and text that Google shows about your article or page in its search results. The title is also shown in the tab names when several browser tabs are open.
You can help the reader decide whether your page is what he/she is looking for by creating titles that are to the point.
Google shows the Description of your page in the description section in its search results. Together with the title and address, the Description is the three elements that help the reader to decide whether your page is what he/she is looking for. That’s why keep all of them very informative. You can simulate all of them with portent.com/serp-preview-tool.
Keep the Description between 115 and 155 characters (due to mobile and other device limitations).
If you manage your website with a content management system (e.g. Squarespace or WordPress), you may not be able to edit the three elements directly. But, for example in WordPress there is a very handy plugin called Yoast SEO that guides you in creating optimal titles, addresses and Descriptions.
Links from other pages
Now, this is one of the factors really making a difference in today’s SEO. It means the number and quality of the links pointing to your site and to your pages from other internet pages.
You can strive to create a lot of links, but even one link from a high quality (=with a high domain authority) can bring you a lot of valuable traffic.
You can create links for example by guest blogging, but the best method for link creation is to simply create great content that people will want to link to. What is great really depends on your industry and your specific audience.
The page and site loading speeds are related to the general usability of your content. Other factors include typography, visual imagery, overall design, and navigation. The speed is one of the most important SEO factors because the human attention span has decreased to eight seconds due to the usage of the modern digital devices.
You can check your site speed for example with GTMetrix. They produce a very detailed and free report that you can use to improve your site’s performance.
If you are operating in a specific geographical area, it really pays off to complete Google’s local SEO process.
CTR (Click through rate)
CTR is a measure that tells you how many people that saw your content clicked the page link. By improving your CTR, you can significantly improve your site ranking.
You can improve your CTR by writing better and more informative page titles and Descriptions and by using certain expressions in them. Here’s a list of things that you can check out:
Go to Medium.com and check out their “Top stories” to see what kind of headlines the best writers out there have recently used.
Even if your CTR is high, it does not automatically mean a high ranking. The reason might be your high bounce rate. BR is the number of people that left your site or page immediately (=after less than thirty seconds) after landing on it (out of all people that visited your site per month).
There might be several reasons for a high bounce rate, but most often it is because your content did not match what the visitor was looking for (=their search intent). That might be, because your Title, URL, and Description were not really informative or did not match what your page was about.
You can decrease your bounce rate by creating longer content. Another great tool is video. Both of these keep users engaged longer than great design or short articles.
SEO in short
The following picture describes in a nutshell what SEO is about (thank you Moz for the idea!). In short
A thorough article by Ahrefs providing original research about keyword dependent SEO (including keyword in domain name, URL, Title, Meta Description, Headline, Subheading, Content, in the first 100 words and in image ALT tags), general on-page SEO (age of the page, HTTP vs HTTPS, page load time, content length, URL length, outbound links, broken links and social shares) as well as relevance & exact match keyword optimization.
A 21-point list of actions you can take elsewhere to optimize your page. These include posting stuff and engaging people on other sites, forums and social media.
Other proven techniques
A 16-point How-to type of article including most of what Ahrefs discussed plus a few more. The page begins with a nice infographic about on-page SEO factors that you can use as a checklist.
Two long, but very actionable lists by Brian Dean about advanced SEO techniques: one and two.
A long article by Matthew Barby about various SEO techniques.
Not convinced? There are opposing views to SEO, indeed
You need to deserve a high ranking, not perform tips and tricks to get poor content up there. I agree. Overpromising and underdelivering will only increase your bounce rate when they realize your content is in the wrong company.
Google is optimizing for users. That includes you, too. That’s why, SEO must be about optimizing your presence across the web for where the users are. So, understand first who your target audience is and where they spend their time, then optimize for those platforms and build organic presence.
How to measure SEO success
Planning to embark on an SEO journey? Great! Set a goal first. Here are some ideas:
Not the rank only
A simplistic way to measure SEO success used to be your page rank in search engine results page (SERP).
However, today it may not be relevant because no position is static. Quite the contrary, there are several factors making the rankings dynamic:
First of all, Google keeps changing their algorithm several times a year. What works today may not work tomorrow.
Also, Google is getting increasingly sophisticated in interpreting what you actually want and how to personalize the results just for you. Based on my recent projects I can confirm this myself: a customer of mine sees a different ranking for his website than I do. He’s using desktop and IE, I’m using Safari and iPhone. We are 40 kilometers apart. That matters today.
Third, you probably have more than one Buyer Persona and they have different needs depending on whether they have just become aware of their need, whether they are comparing options or have decided to buy. Thus, their first search might be about “widgets”, their second about “green widgets” and the last about “best <location X> green widgets”. Finally, they might look for “experiences with <location X> green widgets by <your company>”. Thus, you must not strive for one keyword, but manage several of them as a long-term investment portfolio.
Instead: traffic, CRO & keyword portfolio
“But I want to measure my success!”
Sure! Do this:
Traffic: measure the increase in organic traffic compared e.g. to the year before and/or last month.
Conversion rates: how many visitors downloaded gated content and ended up buying?
Ranking: create a ranking index for the keywords and manage them like an investment portfolio.
CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost): calculate how much does the acquisition of a new customer cost you?
These should get you started.
In any case, absolutely search engine optimize.
But first, create great content.
You might also need to pay for ads in the beginning to gain visibility.
Every now and then you can do an SEO audit to check the health of your website.
And do consider your whole digital presence.
How long does it take for SEO to have an effect?
In our experience, it takes about ten weeks for your website to start improving its ranking.