Purpose of SEO (search engine optimization) is to drive traffic to a website. What are you looking to gain from your visitor? Maybe you want visitors to consume your content. it is financial transaction or maybe it is getting your brand message out there. I listed 4 different scenarios when you could benefit from SEO, what kind of keywords you should consider and how to optimize your site.
SEO for Raw traffic
As the name signals, raw traffic is not tied to specific demographic or interest. The goal here is to
optimize website for search engines and crafting highly targeted content to gain more visibility in the most valuable search queries. This typically leads to direct traffic, social sharing, referral traffic and traffic from naturally earned links.
Typical way of monetizing raw traffic is through advertising. Actions or financial transactions are not the ideal way to monetize raw traffic.
Typically news outlets are looking to benefit from raw traffic.
Keyword targeting is very broad. The goal is not to target specific keywords, but rather create high-quality content which naturally targets high volume and long-tail search terms.
Page and content
It all comes down to on-page optimization and good information architecture.
- Concentrate on great content
- Create outstanding category and subcategory structures
- Optimize headlines, internal links and meta descriptions
- Make your articles easy to share for viral spreading – twitter cards, featured Facebook images etc,
SEO for Ecommerce Sales
This is straight forward – you have an online store and you want to boost your sales by driving relevant traffic to increase sales. Search traffic is highly valuable for boosting sales, as people are expressing interest to products / services by searching them with matching queries.
Testing the potential of your target keywords is crucial here. Find those ‘golden eggs’ that have reasonable amount of traffic and convert well, run a test PPC advertising campaign. This way you can determine if you’re going after right keywords.
Page and content
Unique, interesting and accessible content for crawlers and your potential customers. Potential links and social sharing will increase overall site traffic and of course, organic rankings.
Putting together interesting, compelling and link-worthy content should be primary focus of any website. Manual link building is always an option, but you have to think about scalability – what if you 10x / 100x / 1000x your sales? Can you still handle manual link building?
Creating community around interesting content, can be as equally or even more powerful than channeling resources to link building efforts.
SEO for branding purposes
SEO can be powerful choice for branding purposes. Big brands,
Using SEO for branding purposes works much like traditional advertising – using ad repetition to enter buyer’s consideration.
Internet marketers generally believe, that top position in SERP’s adds more trust and value for brands
Use SEO for branding purposes when communicating your brand message is your primary goal.
This is critical for branding purposes. It is crucial to do in-depth keyword research to find the right keywords, which are going to bring you visitors who are likely to be interested in your brand.
It is tempting to go after generic keywords that receive the high search volume, but this comes down to money and resources. If money and resources are tight, you’re better off going after long tail keywords.
Page and content
Smart linking structure, clear navigation and best SEO practices.
SEO for lead generation
Online lead generation is less direct approach compared to e-commerce sales.
There are millions of search queries that have buying intensions, that are fulfilled directly. This kind of searches can relate to almost everything ranging from webhosting providers to legal services.
This is useful when you are promoting a non-ecommerce product / service / goal that you want users to complete on your site.
You can test the potential of your target keywords by running PPC campaigns. Generally you can apply same strategy as e commerce SEO.
Page and content
Find the pain points of your target audience, then educate and persuade your audience via content. Avoid technical vocabulary / industry jargon. Make it easy for regular folks to understand why your solution will fix their problem.
SEO can used in many different ways and it doesn’t always mean that there is financial interest behind it, SEO can be used for reputation management or even ideological influence. I truly believe, that we haven’t figured out all the possible ways how individuals or businesses can benefit from SEO.
Remember: The longer you can keep the visitors on page is a signal of quality and will increase the value of the traffic.
Interested learning more?
If you want to get really in depth on SEO I highly recommended checking out book called “The Art of SEO”. It is not a light-ready, but it has some interesting details about SEO and search engines.