Afairly typical case that we have often seen: a potential client wants a Social Media Marketing strategy to increase the visibility of his communication, but above all of his products / services.
Given some observations and suggestions on the importance of a totally revisited website, the true focus of marketing and communication strategy (not Social, which is one of which in most cases), the customer cuts short: ” no thanks I only want Socials “.
This is a typical misunderstanding , the result of an approach that totally overcomes the real needs and the state of the art of promotion through social networks.
In many cases the right thing to do would be to “close the Social” (I mean: ignore them for a moment or put them in the background) and start from scratch :
(re) think of a website that talks about problems and solutions, that tells about the experience of the company or freelance, that talks about people and approaches to projects. Setting up a communication strategy, regardless of fashion tools.
This first step is very well combined with everything that falls under the halo of SEO . But what is SEO? The classic definition is: ” acronym of Search Engine Optimization, which translated into Italian means optimization for search engines. This word is used to indicate all the necessary works in terms of site speed, structure, code and contents ”
The unstructured definition, for me, could be:
“effective communication that you can do with a website.”
From this point of view, even without huge budgets, the SEO is born directly in the company , be it a tiny reality with few employees or even a single professional. This is because SEO is communication and therefore it is content marketing . This is why in my opinion “having an approach always oriented to SEO” means having “the fixed nail” for the production of an effective and quality communication.
If we look at it this way, anyone can say to “do SEO” day by day . Here’s how any small business with a website and the willingness to intercept online customers can “do SEO” with simplicity, effectiveness and even low budget.
Start a continuous “in-house” SEO project for small and medium-sized businesses
The more easily Google understands what your site is talking about, the better the ranking. A site must be clear to consult as a book : that is, with contents organized according to a logical thread, divided into chapters, sub-chapters, paragraphs.
In a site this corresponds to main pages, secondary pages, articles (if you have a news area – but they are always web pages), in turn organized into categories and grouped transversally – if necessary – in tags if you use CMS that provide them.
The site easy to use is that site that has a simple and hierarchically organized content structure, with a layout that is as ” horizontal ” as possible. To be clear, look at the image.
Content easy to find and logical for the user, usually also for the Google spiders who have to scan your site without getting lost in its meanders. A quick scan allows Google to identify all of its pages, the relationships between the pages, the topics of the pages and – consequently – of the site.
The tree of a fictitious site above is an example: you have to know well your target user and have clear what you want to tell him, what is important to tell him before, what is accessory or secondary. So even what you put first in the menu is significant.
On the sidelines: the URL structure is also relevant: short URLs should be preferred, easier to read by users and summarize the topic of the web page. I will not dwell on this theme, since there is an article by Tagliaerbe that explains perfectly everything you need to know:
Closely related to the architectural theme, there is the internal link issue. Google bots – as well as users – follow the internal links of your site to explore new pages . When you link another page of your site, then, you must do well knowing that you are suggesting to Google bots and users a path to follow. But how to structure internal links? The right answer is always “with simplicity and rationality”, so for example:
Structuring an easy and evident navigation : from every page it must be clear how to return to the page or category hierarchically superior; in a blog news the other categories of the blog must be visible, the related articles, any tags, the other posts that run out of the topic or that deal with close, related issues; in a product page of an e-commerce you must link other related products (cross-selling), any pages related to shipments or return information; and so on.
Preparing a simple main navigation menu , also (and above all) from mobile: it must be tested and re-tested, to find any problems or improvements.
By inserting “aid” to navigation such as breadcrumbs , ie a very simple communication that explains to the user where it is within the site navigation, also giving the possibility to move forward or backward in the hierarchy of pages. [ Yes, we have yet to add them to the site, but we are providing!
Linking mainly and in the best positions – at the top of the page or in any case in the most visited positions or in the pages with the most traffic – the main pages, the most important ones for your objectives . For example, the central pages for your purposes must be reached super visibly even from the Home Page.
And finally … Contents!
If the previous points are good practices that require above all an initial effort, the contents instead require a continuous and demanding effort in terms of man-hours . But also very rewarding : having a constant production of new contents that continuously update the user on topics of interest, guarantees enormous advantages:
Progressively increase the chances of having more visibility on search engines along an increasing number of keywords.
Communicate to users that yours is a constantly updated site, well manned, always “on the piece” about the topics covered. From the point of view of perception – which is a key factor in marketing and sales – it is a factor of great value.
Treating frequently the central topics of your business, grabbing them from different points of view or facets, allows you to fill the semantic field of topics and topics covered: this brings us back to the advantage of point 1.
But how to create content? Where to start?
A famous case is that of RiverPool, an American company that installs swimming pools. In 2008, with the real estate crisis, the company was in difficulty and now close to closure due to lack of orders.
Marcus Sheridan, the owner, decides to follow some online tips about the production of content and immediately takes the right path: draws up a list of 100 questions that the potential customers commonly asked. For each question, publish a post on the company website: the question is the title of the post itself, the detailed answer is the content.
Consciously or not, it begins to respond online to the doubts that so many users were placing in the pre-purchase information phase: these articles intercept the queries directed to Google by users and Marcus is full of requests and visits to the company.
These quality content bring positive effects:
The visits to the website increased; it also increases the time spent on the site (from a few seconds to about 30 minutes)
Increase inbound links to the company site, another central aspect of SEO: blogs and external sites of producers link the blog of RiverPool for insights on common doubts. This very natural activity of link building further strengthens the positioning of the articles.
The perceived authoritativeness of the site increases dramatically : RiverPool becomes an online reference, an expert site on the theme of the installation of swimming pools.
Google’s robots identify your site as a frequently updated virtual place , with new and probably authoritative content (if well done): this gives further input to a good positioning.
What do we learn from this case study?
– You do not necessarily need to be SEO experts or writing online to communicate effectively online, even from an SEO perspective.
– The customer (the user) is at the center of any SEO strategy, with his doubts and needs.
– A company blog can increase the number of customers; certainly the number of visits.
– It is a formidable channel of communication – it improves your dialectic and commercial approach.
– It gives incredible support to the credibility and credibility of your company (and to the fame on the market). You can show that you know a great sector in a big way!
– Allows you to find new ideas and trigger a dialogue with customers.
– Humanize a company, when you put your face on it.
– The corporate blog allows you to attract users who are not yet consumers of a certain market, but will become so. Moreover, it lowers the natural defenses of the potential client.
– It becomes a natural way to tell even your products / services.
– A passionate communication on the site and blog connects a company and a freelancer to their “tribes” of fans of a sector.
– Constantly writing content or updating old content “forces” to study and keep up-to-date.
– It eliminates the physical boundaries of a company: from the point of view of the user target, from the commercial point of view, from the point of view of brand awareness.
With today’s article we have just scratched the surface of the SEO activities that can be undertaken. And we have not dealt with much more technical SEO matters in the slightest.
But that’s okay: it is not the purpose of this post to investigate the 360 ° SEO. The purpose of this article is to make it clear that the activity of improving visibility on search engines (and therefore of increasing the commercial visibility) always starts from a communication effort that arises within the company itself .
Then you can also rely on external professionals, but effective communication is a choice – a commitment – that must sprout directly into the company (or freelance) strategy.