5 Steps to Optimizing Content for the Web

Feeding the continuous improvement process is the key to search and content marketing success.

Writing and distributing content on the web is as much a science as it is a form of art. Back in high school, we all learned the importance of having a methodology – a series of steps or processes – to follow in order to ensure what we were doing was logical and most importantly, repeatable. Whether you’re looking to increase online sales, generate leads, increase customer retention, or simply create a presence for your company or brand, following a set of steps will help you create compelling content to meet or exceed your goals.

At Johnson Direct, Direct Branding™ is the approach we’ve created to deliver Marketing that’s Measurable. This proven process drives our strategic recommendations and plans — energizing the work we do, from advertising to website development and everything in between. Applying Direct Branding to our clients’ search engine optimization efforts is no exception.

THE FACTS: Search engine optimization is the process of developing and optimizing content to rank and perform better on searches via Google, Yahoo! and Bing. A recent Forester Research study showed that 93% of all web traffic is generated through search engines. Furthermore, a 2010 B2B Online survey showed a projected 57% increase in budgets for “content marketing” making now the best time to throw your hat in the ring and compete on search.

Direct Branding + Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Direct Branding™ is at the core of any traditional or interactive marketing solution offered by Johnson Direct. Whether your organization decides to work with us to improve organic search rankings or not, we advise anyone looking to boost web traffic to take a closer look at our approach.

The process in planning search engine optimization and content marketing differs little from that of other marketing strategies and tactics – it deserves a strong, persistent commitment in time, resources and energy to produce results.

Here’s a bird’s eye view of the 5-step process, inspired by Direct Branding, brought to you by the interactive team at Johnson Direct.

  1. Fact-based Analysis
  2. SEO / Content Audit: The first step in finding a solution should always be to first define the problem. Whether your issue is stagnant or decreased search traffic, page four rankings, or the inability to track and measure your investment in online marketing, it’s necessary to pop the hood and take a look at what you’re currently doing. Take a look at everything from your sites architecture and navigational structure to the copy on your pages to make sure everything is up to par.

    Keyword Analysis: More often than not, we find that our clients don’t have a grasp of their target market. Sure, they may think they know what their users are searching for and where they go to search but unless you look at past results and go through the process of research it’s a shot in the dark. The key is to use a variety of resources, not just one, from keyword research tools to market intelligence. Using a variety research tools will limit the chance of error and give you a better idea of who is visiting your site.

    Competitive Analysis: Equally as important as defining your problem and a path of improvement is knowing what you’re up against. Often times, your traditional competitors are not the same as your online competition. Using keyword research and analysis, it’s easy to find out what strategies your top competitors are employing to outperform you in search. Strategic competitive analysis levels the playing field and allows you to compete – even if they have a bigger budget.

  3. Branding / Marketing Strategies
  4. The heart of a search engine optimization and content marketing strategy lies in strategy development. When working with our clients, everything is pulled together – SEO best practices, content development suggestions, keyword placement, link building techniques and viral marketing strategy – and rolled up into an easy to understand report so you can be well on your way to improving your visibility in search.

  5. Build Program Components
  6. If you read any interactive marketing, SEO, or copywriting blogs, chances are you’ve seen the phrase “content is king” thousands of times. To be honest, it is. Having the knowledge of what works and what doesn’t is one thing but actually developing copy that plays to both your audience AND the search engines is another. Careful planning and cross-departmental collaboration is vital to the success of your content. It doesn’t make sense to have your web developer write your call-to-action or for your PR rep to set up Google Analytics, right? Play to your team members’ strengths and collaborate to produce end results that drive traffic (and revenue) through the roof.

  7. Execute Tests & Campaigns
  8. Whether you decide to implement your search engine optimization strategies in-house or utilize our experienced professionals to do it for you, the execution phase is where the magic happens.  By following the step by step process outlined in the recommendations report, you will be able to improve the efficiency of your current content and build a foundation of knowledge for future development.

  9. Track & Measure
  10. Everything done up to this point is useless without a method of measuring the results. To do this, we’ll optimize your web analytics and implement conversion tracking and goal funnels if you already have an analytics platform. If you don’t already have one, there are both free and premium solutions so you can track performance and assign value to your investment.

Continuous Improvement

We consider search engine optimization an interactive and ongoing process. A lot of marketers go through the steps of improving a process, see positive results, and call it a day. SEO, and any interactive marketing initiative for that matter, requires constant monitoring so you can see improvements as they happen and tweak for further improvements.

Why Johnson Direct?

Johnson Direct is not an interactive shop. We are an experienced, results-oriented full service marketing agency providing our clients with solutions that are proven to increase ROI. By working with a full service agency to deliver interactive solutions, you are choosing to partner with a firm that has a complete grasp of your goals and objectives to form a holistic marketing strategy, be it via interactive or traditional means.

Like anything else in marketing, search engine optimization is an “all-hands-on-deck” process. Involvement is required from all departments – marketing, copywriting, design, web development, and even public relations. Partnering with a multi-channel marketing leader like Johnson Direct will ensure that your search strategy is seamlessly integrated with your other campaigns and organizational goals.

If you’re interested in learning more about our experience in search engine optimization and content marketing, contact us today and speak with one of our interactive marketing pros to learn more about how we can help.