Anatomy of an Integrated Content and SEO Strategy
The recent upheavals in business and in day-to-day life caused by the COVID pandemic have brought an acute focus to technology, the internet and communication. Depending on where you are you have had periods of lockdown or are going through new restrictions.
I have seen data on people’s behaviour during the pandemic and for the most part it is probably not surprising that we have seen a large surge in the use of Google Search, Social Media and other platforms and channels for communication, for information and for entertainment.
For us, this has been a busy time and we are grateful that our expertise and experience is increasingly in demand. Many businesses realised that they had not been taking notice of the shift in consumer and B2B behaviour. And we have seen an increase in larger, more complex projects that require careful planning and collaboration with multiple suppliers.
Developing a successful content and SEO strategy
A successful content and SEO strategy involves much more than metatags, publishing content, links, keywords or any of a plethora of tactics.
It is a carefully considered representation of brand, reputation, trust, longevity, visibility, resources, authority and technical application that enhances your business to grow your business results in a measurable, defined way.
A project like this is more than the sum of its parts.
This post is a broad outline of a recent project. In this strategy we collaborate with several partners – branding, design, development, hosting as well as the marketing team from the client. We look after SEO, technical requirements, content marketing, social media strategy, measurement and reporting.
These key strategies are represented.
- Full SEO and web presence audit
- Development SEO
- SEO strategy
- Local SEO
- Content marketing strategy
- Social media strategy
- Measurement and reporting
Here is how it all works.
Full SEO and web presence audit
Google will be the largest supplier of traffic and business to your website.
So, it makes sense to ensure your site follows Google’s multiple guidelines and recommendations (more than 200 ranking factors and over 500 changes to the algorithm every year!).
This is an important foundation for an effective website in 2020 and beyond.
The audit is a comprehensive deep dive into the technical elements of your website, website optimisation, targeting and search demand, website content and content marketing strategy, social proof and social media presence.
Our audit takes around 4 weeks from activation of Google tools and delivers a report and recommendations to form the foundation for your SEO, social media and content strategy.
The audit report is more than 20 pages and 5,000 words of analysis, screenshots and insights.
Then, I follow up with a meeting to go over the results to explain each section of the report and how it impacts the future strategy in both technical and strategic areas.
If you are shifting to a new website and possibly a new platform these insights will also be invaluable during the new build as they will identify opportunities and failures in the current offerings.
You can find a full list of the elements and features we analyse here.
Redevelopment of websites is a critical time for getting SEO and content exactly right. A lack of attention in this area can lead to poor results and sometimes this can lead to significant drops in organic visitor numbers.
Losing all of the history and authority that you have accrued for your domain is not the outcome you want as this will impact your brand visibility, website traffic, your reputation and will have a big impact on potential business.
We work closely with your developers and designers to ensure all aspects are covered. We have a comprehensive checklist that ensures a successful website launch which creates a healthy foundation for your future strategy.
This means that your content will be unique and informative, will rank well on Google, will look great on social media and will reach your target audience.
These are some of the key areas we manage:
- SEO and content communications with design and development partners
- Development website audit
- URL review and recommendations
- Heading tag review
- Open Graph Tag review
- 301 redirect management
- Eliminate duplication from taxonomies
- Advise on navigation and conversion
- Advise on page content structure
- Keyword research
- Creation of metadata
- Add structured data where relevant
- Check custom 404 page
- Review hosting and secure certificate
- Addition of Analytics tracking code
- Pagespeed review for both mobile and desktop
- Mobile optimisation review
- Google Search Console audit
- Test Open Graph Tags
- Promote new website
You can find out more here.
Search engine optimisation
Change is a constant feature of SEO, and this is so fast that even university marketing degrees are unable to keep up to date.
We pride ourselves on being ahead of most other agencies when it comes to current and projected best practice. We implement new strategies after careful research and testing and these help you to stand out in your market.
There are a lot of moving parts in a successful SEO strategy. It is not a “magic trick box” where adding keywords or metatags to pages or getting hundreds of links get you top positions. These are the promises made in many spam emails and they are simply not true.
Good SEO is about your reputation and the quality of your offering. It is about the information you share and your connections to others. SEO requires consistent work and encompasses multiple strategies – technical optimisation, research and implementation, high quality unique content, PR, social media strategy and user experience.
Google analyses a range of behaviour in relation to your brand and your website and makes assumptions based on what they see.
We need to look at all opportunities to expedite the establishment of a strong online reputation. The initial audit will identify where many of these initial opportunities lie and we will be methodical in the implementation of these recommendations.
The goal is to ensure that you appear in prime positions in search for as many relevant phrases as possible. Relevance is critical as we do not want to attract people who are not keenly interested in what you do. That leads to poor user experience signals which hurt overall SEO performance.
Accurate targeting ensures you are only communicating with an audience that is worth the effort and that is our focus.
At the same time you will gain improved visibility in your industry through search and through the quality of your content.
You can read more on our approach to SEO here.
We have a strong advantage in optimising your business as a local entity. If the location or locations are specific and your market is based around these locations we can help you to be found by your local clients. The goal of the local SEO strategy is to take advantage of Google’s local business features so that you appear in a large number of locally focused searches in Google Maps and for local intent based on users’ IP addresses and search queries.
Over time, this will bring you a great deal of highly targeted traffic. These are the people we want to reach as they will be genuinely interested in your products or services. There is no point in having thousands of visitors from global locations if your market is local.
There are many moving parts to Local SEO but all of it is based at its core on reputation and authority.
For Local SEO, we use an optimised Google My Business listings and other opportunities to improve the local search performance.
These are the key parts of a Local SEO strategy:
- A trusted website with good history behind it
- Great website technical performance as per Google’s recommendations
- An optimised Google My Business listing
- Consistency in online listing information
- Structured data on the website with relevant location and contact details. This page connects in a reciprocal way with the Google My Business profile
- Keyword research and relevant targeting for each page of the website
Appearing in Google’s Local Packs (or Maps results) will supply a healthy number of organic visitors to your website and will improve your organic performance.
More on Google My Business here.
Content marketing strategy
Content marketing is the marketing discipline that HPE is most recognised for. This is because content has the highest presence and showcases our clients in a highly visible way.
SEO and technical performance should almost be invisible, but content should be hard to miss, it should be compelling and engaging when found in search or on social media. And they way content is presented should make you want to click through to read it.
As with everything on the web, a strong technical foundation is critical. Getting your SEO right will make the difference between effective content that people find and consume, vs content that gets lost in the flood of average content being produced every day.
Your content might be incredible but if SEO, content structure and some key features are absent then you are wasting time and money.
We ensure each piece of content has the maximum chance to do as well as possible. This includes optimisation of each post and page to gain SEO benefits and editing where needed to bring content up to best practice.
We can collaborate with your content creators to develop a schedule of topics with search demand, which builds a library of effective content that continues to do the work for you. Or we can research and create the content ourselves. This is something we do for the majority of our clients.
Over time you will have a number of posts ranking for multiple relevant phrases, all contributing to organic growth and a strong online representation of your brand.
This is a combined approach incorporating storytelling, informational content, and PR.
Read more on our approach to content marketing here.
And you can browse some of our work for clients on our blog. View our featured client posts here.
Social media strategy
The key here is to develop a strategy that takes into account target audience, tone of voice, purpose, engagement, reach and measurement. Content is produced according to these criteria and a promotional strategy is implemented to engage with the right audience and to grow reach.
Content may include posts from the blog, announcements, stories, memes, images, video and there may be content shared from other pages where relevant to the tone and goals of the strategy.
This is a collaborative process, often with input from Design and Copywriting to build your presence in an incremental way.
Key platforms are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter but other specialised platforms can also be used.
Facebook gives us the opportunity to reach people by location, demographic, interests, job title, education, behaviour and much more. It does require a boosted posts budget and ad budget but is highly effective.
A previous collaborative campaign we worked on reached 2 million people in New Zealand and resulted in over 10,000 followers within three months. That was a nationwide campaign aimed at getting youth enrolled to vote and it surpassed all KPIs.
Other strategies may be more localised, but this does demonstrate the potential of a successful campaign.
The other platforms allow us to reach different groups that may not be active on Facebook. Instagram is a powerful visual platform, Twitter is great for speed, customer service and content, LinkedIn is a more serious business platform.
They all bring something to the table when coordinated and targeted correctly.
The development of this strategy is a collaborative effort and we set social media KPIs at the beginning of the process.
We also mitigate any potential for bad behaviour by users by deleting any unwanted interactions and blocking those users. We are experienced in handling these issues.
Measurement and KPIs
Being accountable is extremely important to us. We test and monitor your website daily for trends and we look out for any issues that could cause concern. We also track social media insights to ensure we are hitting our targets and to look for additional opportunities.
Each month we create a report that focuses on important KPIs from Google Analytics Google Search Console, social media insights, backlink and performance tools, pagespeed measurement tools and others.
From this information we offer insights on progress and future direction.
The report will not overwhelm you with data. The key metrics are shared in easy to digest graphics and plain English.
How do we know that the strategy is working?
- Improvement in organic visitor numbers
- Improvement of overall visitor numbers
- Increased session duration and pages viewed
- Increased conversion
- Improvements in social media results
- Increased leads and increased new business
- Better retention of existing business
Who are we?
We are a specialist inbound marketing agency with a range of clients across New Zealand and Australia. This means that we focus on organic results from SEO, content marketing and social media.
The Directors have over 15 years of experience in this space and our team bring specialist skills and years of experience to their roles.
We have been recognised by some of the largest content marketing and SEO organisations on the planet for our work including Content Marketing Institute, Copyblogger Media, Chief Content Officer magazine and a number of specialist SEO blogs.
Our business approach is all about trust, transparency, a commitment to quality and representing our clients with integrity.
Here are a couple of recent reviews from Google:
HPE take the scary out of SEO and talk in real and relative terms, achieving our website hit rates and turning those hits into clients. Highly recommend Mike, Midge and the team – Robyn Schoch, Financial Director, Rapid Facility Services
We have been working with Mike, Midge and the team for almost a decade. They have helped us expand our business online and in the real world with expert advice, great initiatives, attention to detail and tireless customer service. What more can you ask. Darren Woolley – Global CEO, TrinityP3
We have worked with HPE for over 7 years on optimising our on-line investment. Not only have they been instrumental in lifting the quality of our digital assets, but also have achieved significant growth in our profile internationally. David Marshall – CEO, immago
If you would like to have a no obligation chat about how we might be able to help your business to grow feel free to leave your details here.
Mike Morgan works with innovative businesses in New Zealand and Australia developing custom web marketing strategies integrating SEO, Content Marketing and Social Media. Mike has been featured in 41 Rising Stars of SEO and Top 100 Most Followed SEO Experts on Twitter and has his opinions on SEO and Content Marketing published on a range of global content marketing blogs.