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Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of growing both the quality and quantity of visitors to your website through different techniques and tactics. SEO is the practice of optimizing your on-site content (website) and off-site appearances (press releases, directory listings) so it reflects the keywords and phrases that you want your website to rank for in search engines. Engaging in an SEO strategy is worthwhile to increase search engine authority, visibility and website traffic.

Some companies may think their efforts are not working if they do not see results right away. A business may even choose to cease SEO altogether, which is a big mistake. There are no shortcuts to ranking high in the natural listings of a search engine results page.

Estimated Timeframe

Your digital marketing strategy needs to directly correlate to your sales & marketing goals. You must first decide what you want to accomplish with your marketing efforts, and in what timeframe. Your goals and timeline expectations will drive the marketing tactics ultimately employed. If you want your website to attract and convert qualified new customers, but you aren’t in a mad rush to generate those sales – then an SEO program makes sense.

An on-going SEO program will gradually position your website as the go-to source of information. Both for search engines and for your end-users. While you may see an increase in your search engine rankings and website traffic in 6 months, it can take 12-18 months to realize a return on your marketing investment.

While 1-2 years may seem like too long of a time period, the results are well worth the wait. Plus, there is a lot of work that goes into getting the results you want.

Measure of Success

Everyone’s measure of success is different. That is why it is imperative to have specific goals. We work with our clients to identify the unique KPIs that matter to them. We then create plans that work toward those performance goals.

For the B2B customers we work with – most are looking to improve their online visibility. They are looking to increase their company’s website rankings in search engines, get found by the right audience, increase their site traffic and encourage that audience to take some action on their site (subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a guide, requesting a quote).

While SEO is a long-term effort, there are ways to speed up or slow down your results as needed. If a company is in a big hurry to get their brand recognition out there and their sales leads increased, they may need to pay-to-play to complement their SEO efforts. We recommend they invest in some form of paid advertising or paid search.

On the flipside, if you are not producing enough quality content, this will lower your ranking. It is not enough to create 8 pages of content every month if they are too short or too similar to each other. In fact, creating duplicate content can actually hinder your SEO performance because search engines do not know which version to put in its results.

Tips for Success

To get the most from your SEO strategy, it’s important to conduct a keyword research analysis. There are keywords that may seem like no-brainers, but when it comes to the biggest reward for your efforts, they may not be. For instance, you may want to rank for “manufacturing.” However, broader keywords will be more competitive, and possibly drive unqualified traffic to your website. Using more descriptive, longer-tail keywords will enhance your position.

In years past, your content marketing strategy may have been solely-focused on using keywords to rank. However, Google and other search engines have gotten smarter and can interpret your text better. So, while keywords are still important, you need to produce information that is relevant to your audience and that people actually want to read. The user experience is just as important as your keywords.

The backend of your website matters to SEO as well. You may realize you need to overhaul your website for maximum success. Or that you need to write more pages of content explaining what you do. We work with our clients every step of the way, from website construction to creating the keyword-focused content.

SEO is not an exact science. There are many factors that can change your ranking. Here is a fantastic infographic by Search Engine Land:

(Click to enlarge)

Reasons Why It’s Worth the Wait

When you have a successful SEO campaign, you rank higher, have more visitors to your site and increase your brand recognition. While it takes time and effort, the ROI is worth it.

Here are some reasons why:

• It is cost effective
• Brings business traffic
• Local search optimization is becoming more prevalent
• More users are on searching mobile every day
• Relevant information is not just beneficial to SEO, but to your audience
• Your competitors are doing it

Could SEO be the right lead generating strategy for your business? Let us help.

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Beth is our VP of Digital Marketing Strategy who, besides drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, helps clients generate more business. Whether they’ve partnered with Proximity Marketing for a decade or just joined the family, Beth helps clients achieve success and achieve measurable results.

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