A sales team goes out and finds leads and these are given to the most experienced sales people in the organisation to close the deal. The best marketers don’t go out and sell, they make people come to them and desire what they have for sale. This is even more relevant for an architect or design-build industry website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Is it Dead?
To get people to find and come to you is a whole new ball game. SEO is dead? Not at all, alive and well, but gaming search results is dying on the vine. There are a few things that might still work, but the amount of effort and expense to implement these remaining “grey hat” techniques is getting close to the cost of doing what Google says you should do anyway.
Additionally as Google gets smarter, whatever “grey hat” tactics work now might not work tomorrow and your investment in SEO can disappear overnight as many companies experienced with the role out of Googles algorithm changes over the last couple of years.
The alternative is to play by the rules. Google’s core business objective is to produce the very best results for anyone that searches for anything. If you invest in your website and make your website the best result for the search term you want people to find you for then over time you can prove to Google that you are the best result. It may cost more initially, however it is a much more sustainable long term investment
Make your website the best result for the search term you want people to find you for.
Simple really. But how? Your website needs to the best resource of information in your niche and it needs to be judged the best by your visitors. This is known as authority and the metrics Google has available to them to determine “authority” are numerous.
Search engines can tell how popular you are by how many people link to you from other sites, especially other popular sites, how many people are sharing about you or linking to you from social networks. And they can tell how engaged people are with your site by how long they spend there and how often they return.
The bottom line is if all you have on your site is about you then that’s all you will rank for; your name.
Google is like a Big Mean School Girl
Brian Clark, Founder of Copyblogger likens Google to a big mean school girl. The way to manage a big mean school girl is to be a valuable friend and ally to all the other kids and become popular in your own right while politely ignoring her and then over time she will be attracted to you and want to be your friend.
All the indicators that search engines use to gauge popularity, relevance and authority are the same key performance indicators (kpi’s) you should be using in your own business to judge how well you are attracting and building an audience. If you do these things well the less you will need to rank well in search and the better you will.
To be able to be interesting enough to your clients and architecture and design industry for them to engage with your site, return to your site and link to your site you need to create content that is interesting and educational.
Determine what will appeal to your audience. Here are a few examples; case studies, white papers, ebooks, blog articles, tutorials, and interviews with industry thought leaders.
What information can you provide to your audience that will solve or help the problems they are facing? It doesn’t have to even have to be directly related to a service or product you offer, it can just be related tangentially or a periphery issue.
It may not create a sale straight away but it’s not meant to, the objective is to set your company apart as the authority on the topic.
Some good questions to ask yourself and your team are what questions do we regularly get asked by clients? Record some phone conversations or look at past email strings, there is possibly a wealth of information there. If you have a sales team, speak to them, what questions do they get asked, what resources would they like both for themselves and as a sale tool.
Sometimes the internal stakeholders are too invested in the problems of the business and find it hard to step into the needs of their audience. Everything sounds like a bit like a sales pitch with the objective of solving the companies’ problems not the audiences. This needs to be overcome and it’s worth getting some consulting from an external content strategist to get a better perspective.