SEO Marketing Strategy
In this video, Dr. Karen Finn, an expert in SEO shares the steps to develop an effective SEO Marketing Strategy for your organization. We cover the steps, illustrated above and dive into how healthlaunchpad has successfully implemented this approach. As a result, we have seen organic traffic increase by 150% within 6 months.
Key Lessons With Time-Stamps
From this video, you will learn the following:
- [01:40] – Developing SEO Marketing Approach – The 5 Basic Steps
- [08:30] – Why SEO Content Marketing is a long-term process
- [10:45] – How healthlaunchpad implemented its SEO Marketing
The Podcast Video: SEO Marketing Strategy
SEO Marketing Approach – Podcast Transcript. Guest: Karen Finn, Ph.D., SEO Expert. Host: Adam Turinas, CEO, healthlaunchpad
Introduction To The SEO Podcast.
[Adam] – 00:14: Hi, and welcome! I’m Adam Turinas. I’m the CEO and founder of healthlaunchpad, and I’m here today with my superstar partner in crime Karen Finn, PhD., who is my fantastic partner when it comes to all things SEO. Say Hi, Karen.
[Karen] – 00:32: Oh, and thank you for that lovely introduction, Adam
[Adam] – 00:36: You’re welcome. I’m so glad to be here today. So today we’re going to be talking about all things SEO and I’ve been working with Karen now for several months, working on some really interesting work with a whole bunch of clients.
But I first came to know Karen because I engaged her to help with my site and I was blown away with the work that she’s done.
I’ve done SEO in several guises across all sorts of people. And I’ve never found it working as effectively as it has with Karen.
And so today we’re going to share some secrets with you. We’re going to share how Karen does what she does, and the magic of SEO.
Do you want me to go ahead and share the screen or do you want to say a few things?
[Karen] – 01:28: Sharing the screen might be a really lovely way to give everybody some context for you on how I put together an SEO marketing strategy.
[Adam] 01:38: Cool
[1:40] – The 5 Basic Steps In The SEO Process
[Karen]: Thank you. So, I start with what I call the basic SEO process and it’s basically because I consider this to be the foundation that you have to have before you go off and do anything else.
#1. Undertaking an Audit For SEO Marketing Strategy
And this is what we’ve done with several clients and of course with Adam’s site and it’s got five basic steps as you can see, and it all starts with an audit.
The audit is not just so that I can understand what’s going on with businesses’ websites; it’s also so that I can better understand the business.
Because the whole idea of putting together a marketing strategy is tailoring it exactly to the needs of that business.
And to do that, we have to communicate about, you know, what the end goal of the business is? Who is the persona or personas? Is that the correct term?
[Adam] – 02:38: Yeah. I think so. [Laughter]
SEO Marketing Strategy 1: Mobile-friendliness
[Karen]- 02:47: You know, who we are marketing to, and I have to have all that kind of information kind of stewing in my mind in the background, as I’m looking at what’s the current state of the website.
And with that, we can find out things that you know, like mobile-friendliness.
Mobile-friendliness is a really big deal because Google switched to Google first, I mean, mobile-first indexing.
This means if you don’t play well on mobile devices, you’re not going to play well in Google. And SEO was all about playing well with Google.
SEO Marketing Strategy 2: Site Speed
So we have to take a look at that. We also look at things like site speed. If your site is slow, nobody’s going to want to hang around for the page to load.
That’s where it displays all of the information. And we also take a peek at who the competitors are. Because you can gain a lot of interesting information about how the competitors are performing.
And I think in a couple of cases with clients, we have competitors that we thought were doing well. Yet from an SEO standpoint, they weren’t doing so well.
It helped us see that the SEO marketing strategy isn’t the only strategy these folks have in place. They have other marketing pieces in place, too.
So after the audit, we go on to the keyword research.
#2. Keyword Search
And this is where I consider the magic starts to happen, in the research phase. I gather all the words that a business wants to be known for. It can be the actual services or products that they offer.
It can be a philosophy that they want to be known for. And I started thinking about all the different ways that what they tell me might be searched for.
Using Tools to Understand Those Doing the Search
Of course, I have tools that I use to help me know what they are. Once I start understanding how people are searching for these words, I can also get an idea of whether or not the people searching are the people we’re trying to target.
And that’s a really big deal when you put together an SEO marketing strategy. It’s making sure that you’re not just doing something that Google will love.
You’re doing something that Google will display to the people who you want to love you.
So after the keyword research… I feel like I’m talking a lot …
[Adam] – 05:28: Keep going. This is interesting.
#3. Keyword Recommendation For Search Engine-Optimization Strategy
[Karen] – 05:30 : Ok, yeah. Okay. So after I gather all these words and start formulating how they might work together, I develop the keyword strategy. I have what I like to think of as kind of a main keyword for the site.
And sometimes too, I think in all the years I’ve been doing this, I have one case where I had three main keywords. Usually, it’s one.
I think of the keyword as being descriptive of the entire site. Right, so I’m not talking Django sites like you, you know Apple or somebody like that.
It has to talk of a fairly concrete site, and that delivers a very specific product, set of products, or services that are all pushing similarly to work well together.
And from there, right, that’s going to have a lot of keywords search, is going to be fairly general a fairly general term returns.
[6:35] – Identifying Supportive Keywords
And then I look at what other words do I need to have to support this main keyword and I take those supportive words and I apply them to the page, especially the main pages on the website.
So you know, the Contact page, the about page, nobody’s going to Google those pages. So I save those pages for less important support words.
Right, so I still get all my support words to hold up this big keyword that I want to rank for.
And then I look at smaller words typically, because the smaller words are going to be what helps inflate everything with the content creation:
So the blog posts, the videos that are on-site, the video descriptions that are on the site. And then you can also use them or reflect them on to other places like social media.
And so that’s kind of the whole strategy that requires what I call kind of the magic, everything kind of gels, and this is what happens when you do this.
[7:40] – Page Titles & Meta Descriptions
And so after I sign the keywords then, I go back and create the Page Titles and Meta descriptions and the new URLs.
#4. [7:54] – Content Creation
So everything is aligned and supportive of this SEO marketing strategy. And then the content is created with the regular publication of blogs.
I like to push people and it’s pushing them to do two pieces of content a week.
Yeah, tedious, and I know because I’ve done it too [laughter] because I learned all this stuff, right.
It is a whole lot but you know if you got more time to business, or if you’ve got a large enough organization, then that’s what you do.
But if all you can do is you publish regularly, once a week, once every other week, you could still get the traction.
#5. On-going Evaluation – Monitoring Results
[8:30] – SEO Content Marketing – Needs Patience
The challenge is that SEO isn’t one of those things where you put in the effort to get immediate results.
If you put in the effort, you start to see some results, you put in the effort, you put in the effort, you put in the effort…
But what was nice about your site, Adam, is that we saw phenomenal results because you follow the SEO marketing strategy to a tee, and in six months we doubled.
[Adam] – 09:06: Yeah, more than double. I think my traffic has gone up. Yeah, I think it’s up 150% in the space of six months.
[Karen]: Wow. Yeah
[Adam]: That’s exciting, but there are lots of ways of growing traffic, you know, all sorts of other things that I do.
[9: 26] – Increase in Traffic From 30% To 65%
The most interesting thing is that the source of traffic has gone from being about 30% driven by SEO to being 65% driven by SEO.
And, you know, I look very closely like, where are people coming into the website?
[Adam]: And until about four months ago, so far, well over a year, when I launched the business, the homepage was the main entry point like it is for most people.
[10:00] – Four Top Entry Points into the Website
Now it’s entry point number three. There are top four entry points into the website and they’re all about the same amount of volume in terms of entry points into the website.
Three out of the four are blog posts. I’m not going to tell you which ones they are just in case competitors are watching [laughter], but there are four blog posts.
Another interesting thing is, you know, I thought they would be blog posts that would be a lot a great deal of interest, but I could not have predicted that they would be the ones to drive the most traffic.
You Only Know The Performance When You Publish
And so, you know, one of the reasons why you got to create a lot of a lot of content is you don’t know until you publish them to know which ones will work which ones are going to work the best.
[10:45] – How healthlaunchpad Approached SEO
Maybe we switch over and talk a little bit about, you know, the actual process that we went through together.
So, you know, when we started, I think my site’s performance was okay but not brilliant.
We did some things to optimize it, just to get it up out of some easy fixes without engineering the website, and to make it mobile-friendly.
#1. [11: 13] – Research on the Business & the Competition
Yeah, we looked at the competition, but really what we looked at was in the research.
You spent a lot of time getting to understand my business where I was trying to go with the business and, you know, there’s sort of the old cliché, like:
Where’s the hockey puck going for me and my business, and thinking about that as a long-term thing.
#2. [11:38] – Developing 4 Different Topics For SEO Marketing
We came up with, I think, three or four different pillars, sort of different topics, and you can kind of figure them out like ABM and Marketing Optimization, Content, and SEO.
I mean, they’re the sort of things that you know, in particular on the healthcare, and you did a ton of research to figure out which are the keywords that are high volume but are never going to run.
So we said, okay, you know, you’re never going to be dominant on that, and not worth spending a lot of effort on.
And which ones you think are worth going after and spending much effort on because you can dominate on them, but nobody searches or very few people do.
The sweet spot keywords with enough volume, and have got a good chance of actually getting on the front page
So my head but the ones that weren’t worth going after which ones to spend much effort on because you can dominate them, but nobody searches or very few.
Those sweet spot keywords you know have enough volume, and I’ve got a good chance of actually getting on the front page of that site
#3. [12:55] – Optimizing All the Pages
And then what we did is several things. So firstly, you went through very granularly through the website to make sure that all of the pages were optimized.
Starting with the URL and working down the whole page to make sure that we picked a strategic keyword. And the top of each page was optimized for that.
4#. [13:12] – Content Creation Strategy
So we did that as a sort of foundation, and then the content strategy. And then what we did together was put together a 12-month calendar.
I think it’s now up to a calendar of 70 posts of which I think I’ve done probably about 40% of them, where we picked a keyword, we picked a title, and I wrote a post to each one.
It was easy to do it, thanks for working with you, in a way that’s not too clunky. So it’s like when you read the posts you don’t go like: well this is just like any other posts.
It’s written so that hopefully, it adds value to people. And then I just got busy and did it.
#5. [14:02] – Leading Indicators of SEO Marketing Strategy
But and you know, as we were going through it, the thing that I found was so helpful, and I think I’ve seen with my clients as well is that you’ve got some leading indicators.
And the leading indicators that I think were most interesting were things like:
- How many of your pages are ranking for more than one keyword?
- How many pages rank for any keywords
- Which keywords are you ranked or starting to rank in the top 10 for?
In month two or three we started to see results on that.
So, that was a leading indicator that we were doing the right thing.
It’s in the months 4th and 5th months that we’ve seen the results
It has just been a fascinating process. And now, together, we are doing that for several of our healthcare clients, and it’s going well.
[Karen] – 14:52: Yeah. Thank you I do too. You know, I look at the data at least every month, sometimes more than that because I get curious, and it’s really fun to see time and time again, that what we worked to put in place or strategy has paid off.
#6. Increasing the Use of Good Keywords
You know, when I start to see the number of keywords, you know, instead of doing this whole up and down stuff that most people have going on, we start to get the trajectory that’s a month after month after month increasing.
We may not see the traffic yet but we start to see month after month the number of keywords increasing and they’re good keywords
[Karen]: And they are relevant to the site, then I know it’s just a matter of time you just have to follow the process. It’s like anything else, right?
If it was all instant success everybody would be doing it, but it’s having the fortitude to continue to follow the process even when you’re saying:
It’s paying off yet, it’s not paying off yet, I’m not getting any business yet, but it will happen.
[Adam] – 16:06: Absolutely it does. If you’re strategic about the way that you think, starting with the personas and how they’re searching, what they’re interested in, then you’ve got a very systematic way of addressing those needs and those questions that they have and addressing those with content that answers those questions, it pays off, but you do have to stick at it.
And you know, fortunately, I love what I do. And so you know writing content and creating webinars is easy.
Getting Smarter About Content Creation
I think the other thing that you know forces you to do is to get smarter about the different types of content that you create, and the way that you leverage them.
So you know what you know, I do a lot of webinars. I did a series of demo series of webinars with HIMS.
And so what I did with those was, first of all, write blog posts about each webinar. Secondly, to each webinar, chop them up into videos, and then turn those videos into mini blog posts.
And then create a ton of different you know, blog posts that sort of reference back to those webinars.
Those became a source of content because it’s really hard to start every week with, you know, a blank slate and trying to create original content.
So you know, I’m certainly staying the course because I’m seeing the results.
#7. [17:42] – Creating Good Internal Links
[Karen]: What’s cool about what you’re doing, Adam, is something that I don’t usually get too much into in the basic SEO process, but what you are doing is you are creating a lot of really nice internal links
[Karen] – 17:59: Right. So, typically, you know, we get somebody on the path and get them used to doing this and once we start seeing things pay off, then we say okay, these are the internal links we want you to start using right with all your new content. So then we start building depth.
#8. [18:16] – SEO Marketing – Collaboration With Content Writers
[Adam]: And that’s interesting because I think, you know, what we’ve, is a great working relationship between you and the content writers.
So when I’m writing the content it’s mostly the content for my site, but when we’re working on client business, and we have other writers, we’ve got I’ve got several people who are terrific writers.
We are not constraining them with the SEO which is like saying look, this is what we’re trying to optimize.
Providing Guidelines For Quality & Enjoyable Content
You guys work together to figure out a subject line that works and then give them guidelines on how to write it in a way for SEO which is helpful, you know, which is a guideline. Not prescriptive, but content
It’s not prescriptive, but content that’s genuine, very readable, and enjoyable.
The writers don’t feel like they’ve got that one arm tied behind their back. But from an SEO standpoint, works well
[Karen]- 17:59: Yeah, it does. And it’s a fun process to co-create those titles. Oh my gosh, because, well, I love learning new things, and they’re always bringing new things to the table.
You know, I saw on this webinar, or I saw this report, you know, and they’re bringing new things to the table, I’m like, wow! Ok, I never saw that. [Laughter]
So my mind keeps turning in all different ways as I’m searching for the right keyword and strategy on what they want to write about, it’s a lot of fun.
[Adam]: 19:54: It’s good. Well, Karen, thank you for taking the time to go through this today. I hope this sort of mini webinar is going to be useful to people.
And, you know, I certainly hope that for anybody interested in engaging us to help them with SEO and content, this will give you a real sense of what we’d like to work with, but thank you for your time today.
[Karen]: 20:13: Thank you, Adam. I appreciate your time too.
Other Relevant & Insightful Links:
- Making SEO a Culture In Healthcare Marketing
- Content & SEO – Positioning Frequency
- How you Can Turn Your Customers To Headline Creators
- 10 Reasons Why Content Marketing Is Important In Healthcare Marketing
- Effective Communication for Brand Marketing Optimization
- The Use & Benefits of ABM
- How Sailing Taught Me About Social Media and SEO