Momentum is very important in marketing online. Once you get that much-needed “spark” that could springboard your online activities, it’s pretty much about maintenance and analysis from then on. But how will marketers create that spark?
Digital marketing expert Prashant Puri offers tips on how to generate traffic early on in the SEO game.
#1: Build SEO accessible sites – from the beginning
This is a common pitfall for a number of start-ups because the site wasn’t developed with SEO in mind. The homepage is hosted on subfolders (e.g., xyz.com/content/main/home), the URLs are non-SEO friendly (e.g., xyz.com/content/node96?param=keyword) and there are a host of duplicate content issues. Building an accessible site is the foundation of great SEO.
#2: Deciding with data to drive ROI
Getting an analytics platform and Google Webmaster in place and keeping a close eye on key performance indicators is critical to growing your startup efficiently. Here are a couple of key performance indicators that I would recommend all marketers track (at least) on a monthly basis:
1. SEO visits: non-branded, branded and “not provided”
- Branded: Keywords that contain your brand name.
- Non-Branded: Everything else.
- Not Provided: The notoriously cryptic segment of keywords created to confuse marketers!
- With Google encrypting all SEO data, it’s become tougher to analyze segments of traffic within analytics.
2. SEO average order value, conversion rate and eCPC
- Tracking and comparing the above metric with other channels and marketing programs is imperative in making decisions around which campaigns are driving a higher ROI and which aren’t. This helps you decide the areas where you should be doubling down!
- It’s important to get a comparative view of PPC vs. SEO eCPCs to understand which channels are working best for you and drive the highest ROI.
3. SEO number of landing pages driving traffic
- This is an important post-SEO project indicator of how well the projects are working for you. Keeping a track on these metrics helps analyze if your deeper pages are being indexed, ranked and driving traffic.
#3: Hire an Agency vs. In-House
All start ups face two common challenges: a) resource constraint and/or b) budget constraint. Due to these two challenges, it becomes difficult to set up a team that just concentrates on all the various elements of SEO – keyword research/data mining, content, platform architecture and link development. Hence, SEO often get de-prioritized.
Getting off the ground with the help of an SEO consultant or agency helps in getting that early start.