Posted on: Sep 11, 2020 | Written by:
Brad Shorr, Straight North
Like any marketing campaign, SEO can never be a slam dunk. No matter how talented the agency, no matter how big the budget, many things have to fall in place for SEO to succeed. Here is a checklist of success factors for SEO. How many of these apply to your organization?
Strategic SEO Success Factors
- A clear goal defined in terms of sales lead generation or e-commerce revenue.
- A clear way to measure progress toward the goal.
- A timeline to achieve results.
- A budget adequate to meet the campaign goal and timeline.
Competitive SEO Success Factors
- A market in which keyword volume can generate a critical mass of sales leads or e-commerce revenue.
- A market that is not dominated by large organizations with SEO budgets that make the cost of SEO prohibitive.
Website SEO Success Factors
- A strong mobile-friendly website.
- A website platform that is SEO-friendly (that is, configured to support technical SEO navigation, meta data, URL structures and so forth).
- Intuitive navigation.
- Site pages targeted for SEO — usually product/service pages with a high probability of converting organic traffic.
- A coherent internal linking system with the majority of links pointing to targeted SEO pages.
- Reliable hosting with fast page loading.
- High-quality, unique, relevant and engaging content, especially on the homepage and targeted SEO pages.
- Strong calls to action to encourage conversions (keeping in mind that conversions, sales leads or online orders, are the ultimate goal of SEO).
- Site design that maximizes the user experience, both desktop and mobile, again to encourage conversions.
- The absence of technical problems that interfere with Google’s ability to crawl and index website content (duplicate content issues, improper use of robots.txt files, etc.).
Campaign SEO Success Factors
- Selecting the right basket of SEO keywords — that is, keywords with a high probability of conversion, with enough collective volume to generate ROI, and not so competitive as to exceed the limits of the SEO budget.
- Granular lead or revenue tracking, to make sure all, or nearly all, SEO-generated conversions are measured.
- Lead validation, to separate true sales leads from non-leads such as spam or misdials. Lead validation supports rapid campaign improvement and clear measurement of ROI.
- An effective strategy for link building that follows SEO best practices.
- An effective process and talented team for creating on-site and off-site SEO content, and for marketing off-site content (for the purpose of link building).
- Ongoing campaign analysis to continually improve on-site and off-site campaign activities.
- A documented process for campaign execution that ensures all necessary tasks are completed on time and in the proper sequence.
Agency SEO Success Factors
- A comfortable and collaborative business relationship with the agency.
- A single point of contact at the agency for day-to-day campaign activities and issue resolution.
- Clear and relevant monthly reporting.
- An agency with a full-time staff rather than one that relies on a loose network of freelancers.
- An agency team adept in all facets of SEO, which includes strategy, tactical execution, campaign management, copywriting, web design, graphic design, web development and analytics.
- An agency with a track record in campaigns similar to yours (in terms of scope and goals, not necessarily in terms of industry).
To discuss an SEO campaign in more detail, please contact us now.
About the author:
Brad Shorr brings decades of marketing, sales and management experience to the Straight North team as Director of B2B Marketing. With a lifelong passion for reading and writing, he has been an active and respected blogger since 2005. His firm, Word Sell, Inc. — acquired by Straight North in 2010 — was among the first to bring social media marketing concepts and strategies to the business community. A graduate of Northwestern University, Brad is a skilled SEO copywriter, social media marketer and content strategist.