Whatever the specifics of your marketing strategy, it probably includes “Grow my organic search traffic and leads through SEO.”
And why not? Organic traffic offers super high ROI, which is excellent for small business budgets. But, how do you do it? Well first, let’s cover the two most easily identifiable ways you can boost traffic from organic search, and why on their own, they’re not always enough.
On-site SEO: Ranks your offerings & locations. Good start but hard to scale.
Search engines will rank your site higher if your pages and content are neatly organized to match a user’s search. Also, your website content needs to be legitimately helpful. No fluff. By following best practices for web design and structuring your website content, you’re putting your best foot forward in terms of getting found for your businesses main offerings in the locations where you serve your customers. Many business owners think there are a lot of opportunities to scale traffic by tweaking their site’s primary services and solutions pages. They are unfortunately wrong. For most businesses, there is a relatively small and finite number of people searching for exactly what your company offers where you offer it.
Off-Site SEO: Boosts your domain authority. High potential but takes effort.
Search engines will rank you higher if quality third-party sites link to you. These links to your site demonstrate to engines like Google that your domain has authority on a particular topic. More links, more authority, higher rankings. So how do you get these links? Do case studies with your vendors, guest post on other sites, and get links from your local affiliations like the Chamber of Commerce. Sound like a lot of work? It is. Building more and more links to boost your domain authority, rankings, and traffic takes constant effort in building relationships with other sites. Businesses may try this on their own, but unless you have a marketing person dedicated to link-building, you’re going to need to need a specialized SEO vendor.
Blogging: The biggest bang for your buck in growing organic search traffic
People researching business solutions often start on a general topic: “How much should I pay for IT support?” not “IT Support Pricing.” Writing blogs that directly answer these common, generalized questions is a great way to get ranked highly. These simple Q&A blogs can be one of your most reliable sources of organic traffic, and because you’re catching people early in the research process, you’re establishing brand recognition before they start shopping individual vendors. Blogging, for the most part, involves a one-time investment (either you or an outside writer) in writing good content. For that, you can receive months or even years worth of organic search traffic as a result. No proactive link building required. Need proof?These are our top landing pages for organic search for the last six months (August 2018 – January 2019). Organic traffic to these ten pages accounted for ~60% of all the traffic to Prontomarketing.com in this period. Eight of the ten pages are blogs. Only two main website pages, our homepage, and flagship service offering make the top ten. Put plainly; we owe a massive chunk of our website traffic to our blogs attracting organic visitors. When you consider that it takes between $1 and $17 to bring one new visitor to our website through paid advertising, you could say that these organic web visitors could otherwise have cost tens to hundreds of thousands of ad dollars. Most of these blogs took a few days to a few weeks of work to produce, so in terms of ROI on time/effort, that’s pretty darn good.
What drives a blog to organic search superstardom?
Why did these eight blogs take off and get a bunch of traffic? Primarily because the blog content answered a specific question that a lot of people were asking. Google matched the content with the queries people were typing into the search bar. As people spent time on the site reading the advice, as opposed to bouncing off and continuing their search, Google determined our blogs were genuinely helpful, and that boosted our rankings further. As third-party sites began to see our blogs in search results, they linked to them as references in their blogs. These no effort, unsolicited links boosted our domain authority and drove even higher rankings and even more traffic.
Consistent writing is key. Most of your blogs aren’t going to be winners.
Sadly, most of your blogs are going to be duds, at least from an organic search perspective. Blogs can undoubtedly serve your marketing strategy in many other ways. We could not have predicted that “13 Tips for Effective Email Marketing” was going to be such a hit. We wrote “How to Use Facebook Ads to Generate Leads,” and despite high hopes, nobody read it except our friends and family out of obligation. So, on the one hand, ¯_(ツ)_/¯ but on the other, it’s all about consistently producing blogs that are answering the questions your customers are out there asking online. A straightforward plan for writing blogs that are likely winners is to come up with a list of FAQs you hear from new customers or on sales calls. Each question is a blog topic, and your answer is the content. On an ongoing basis, have your sales or customer support teams keep a shared Google doc of common questions and continue to pull your blog ideas from here. It’s a simple yet effective way of maintaining a content calendar that’s bound to be valuable to your audience.If you keep at it and give each one your best shot, good things will happen. You’ll get one, then two, then a few blogs that bring a constant volume of new visitors to your site that you can retarget, opt-in, nurture, and convert into customers. Don’t have time to think, let alone write new blogs each week? We can help with that, too. Pronto offers custom blogging services for any industry. Just contact us so we can get to know your business and we’ll tell you how our blogging service works.
As the Director of Client Marketing Services at Pronto, Tim works closely with our clients to help them build and strengthen their online presence through a wide range of digital marketing channels.