Research & Analysis
by R.E.S. Martina
A fundamental component in Search Engine Optimization is understanding your market and your competitors. From an SEO perspective, market research primarily consists of analyzing the volume of search terms, the competitiveness of the individual terms and identifying alternative terms that provide a better return on investment.
In our previous article, SEO Basics: Before You Get Started, we discussed this foundational principle of SEO and mention some of the other important evaluations, research and analysis one should undergo before diving into any concerted Search Engine Optimization efforts. In this blog post, we’ll go into a little more detail about the specifics of these efforts and their benefits.
If you’re new to the Search Engine Optimization field, or this is the first blog post you’ve come across on the subject, our SEO Basics series is here to help! Check out our first blog post in the series, SEO Basics: The Terminology, to get started!
Research, Analysis and Audits
As Matey E, the Founder of and CEO of Marketing Strategy at elative.io, mentions in his Youtube Video, SEO for Beginners in 2021 | A Simple Explanation of How Search Engine Optimization Actually Works, site performance is surprisingly one of the metrics taken into account within Google’s algorithm. When we talk about site performance, we’re essentially talking about the speed at which your site loads at. But within this, there are subsidiary factors like broken links, improper or under-optimized schema and even bandwidth provided by the hosting service. A Site Performance Audit can reveal opportunities for improvements in a variety of these types of areas.
Onsite optimization is in regards to the more typical understanding of SEO – how well is the website optimized to rank for relevant keywords? An Onsite Optimization Audit can show a company opportunities for improvement and is generally preceded by Keyword Research.
Keyword research is another essential component of Search Engine Optimization. During Keyword Research, a team of digital marketing experts and SEO analysts, like the one at elative.io, use a variety of tools and techniques to find out what terms relevant to your company are being searched, how often and how competitive they are. We discuss Keyword Research at greater length in our previous blog post, SEO Basics: Before You Get Started.
Competitive Market Insights
An analysis of your competitors and their SEO efforts is another fundamental part of SEO. When coupled with Keyword Research, Competitive Market Insights show organizations the ideal opportunities to create relevant, high-ranking web pages.
An Inbound Links Audit will show your organization how many links exist from other websites to your website. While this might seem trivial, the amount of inbound links is actually an extremely valuable metric in the eyes of Google. This is because the fact that websites are linking to your website shows Google that your website has relevant content that other websites find valuable. We will discuss this in greater terms later on in the SEO Basics series, but if you’re interested in learning more about how inbound links affect website ranking, you can view one of our previous articles on the subject: SEO in the Sustainability Sector: Understanding and Achieving Authority.
Business citations, otherwise known as business listings or business directory profiles, are listings or profiles on websites like Manta, Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.
As we explain in SEO in the Sustainability Sector: Understanding and Achieving Authority, a backlink or an inbound link is “a link from a website or webpage to your website or webpage. The more backlinks from other websites to your website, the more authoritative it is perceived to be by Google. But not all backlinks are created equal. Backlinks from websites that are perceived to have a high domain authority provide more authority with the links coming from their website.
Here’s an example:
A link from tesla.com to your website will be perceived by Google to have a significantly higher level of authority than a link from a small personal blog.”
In this same train of thought, links from high-powered websites like Manta, Yelp, B.B.B., Angie’s List and even Facebook provide high quality inbound links to your website. Finding opportunities to create more of these profiles and making sure that the information on all of them matches, are large parts of a Business Citation Audit.
Google My Business
Google My Business, also known as Google Maps, has evolved to become one of the most important digital marketing techniques out there for companies that rely on customers in their area for business. Whether it’s restaurants, doctors, plumbers or escape rooms, any business that serves a specific area needs to have some kind of strategy in mind when it comes to their Google My Business Listing. A Google My Business Audit can show a business potential ways to raise their rank in the Google Maps search results.
What does your company stand for? What does your brand communicate to your audience? A Brand Message Audit can dive deeper into these questions and ensure that your company’s branding efforts are maximized.
User experience, commonly abbreviated as UX, refers to the usability, ease of access and intuitiveness of your website. Does a visitor need help navigating the pages? Is the color scheme off putting? Is the page optimized for mobile devices and tablets? User Experience Audits can help a company make sure that they capture and convert as much traffic as possible.
The Customer Journey refers to an overall strategy over several channels that guides a potential customer through a value-based experience. For instance, a customer finds a blog post on your website while searching on Google. From there, they visit your company’s Facebook page, where they find some helpful or interesting information, they like your Facebook Page. Later, while on Instagram, they see an ad from your company and like the page. A few days later, they see a post on Instagram that has a free giveaway for a digital product like an e-book, or even a discount offer on a product. This then takes them to a landing page where they subscribe with their email address. They then receive an email with their free product or discount, and have joined your email list. At this point, you are able to reach this customer through Facebook, Instagram and Email, always providing value, whether through newsletters and blog posts, or cool pictures on Instagram or relevant news on Facebook. When a potential customer engages with a company this many times, on this many channels, they are almost guaranteed to make a purchase at some point. A Customer Journey Audit can help you and your team develop or optimize your strategy.
The Next Steps
Now that you know a little more about the steps an SEO expert would take before they even get started, you can start to see the benefits of SEO and why it’s so important to work with a qualified team when it comes to your company’s digital marketing strategy.
In our next blog posts, we’ll discuss some of the steps your team can take to start Search Engine Optimizing your website today!