Greg Walthour

CO-CEO, Intero Digital

Greg Walthour, CO-CEO of Intero Digital, is a pioneer to the digital marketing space. He began his career as a commercial real estate broker and in 1996 took on the challenge of getting this website to rank higher in search engines. Greg has over 20 years of experience in digital marketing and enjoys camping, ATVing, traveling, and coaching football. Greg also has a passion for photography.

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Are Your SEO Strategies Keeping You Off The First Page (And Losing You Money)?

Are Your SEO Strategies Keeping You Off the First Page (and Losing You Money)?

Are Your SEO Strategies Keeping You Off the First Page (and Losing You Money)?

Greg Walthour, CO-CEO • Intero Digital • October 28, 2022

Are Your SEO Strategies Keeping You Off The First Page (And Losing You Money)?

Brands are more connected with consumers than ever before. Every day, social media and video-sharing channels like YouTube and TikTok help marketers reach consumers in new and engaging ways. These platforms allow content creators and brands to create authentic, personalized content that generates results.

However, some brands miss the mark when it comes to creating content that resonates with their audience. Because of this disconnect, consumers often only support brands that align with their expectations and disregard those that don’t. The Gustavson Brand Trust Index reports that brand trust has hit an all-time low, and 90% of consumers say that authenticity is an important factor when deciding which brands they will and will not support.

It isn’t just consumers you should worry about, though. Google also understands the value of authenticity. That’s why it released the helpful content update this year. This “for the people, by the people” update is designed to ensure users see more original and helpful content when searching the web. For all companies, the helpful content update reinforces the importance of intimately knowing your ideal customer profile (ICP) and then creating content that is helpful and engaging for that target audience. In other words, if you want to see first-page SEO rankings, you must create helpful content.

Making a Good First Impression

While there might be an entire black hat SEO market to secure Google’s first-page ranking, most companies are no longer engaging in those types of schemes. But they’re still employing ineffective digital marketing strategies. A few years ago, Pepsi’s “Live for Now” commercial saw Kendall Jenner join a protest and hand a Pepsi to a police officer. The ad sparked criticism, as many viewers felt it trivialized and mocked social justice issues. Large companies like Pepsi might be able to recover from the bad PR associated with unsuccessful campaigns, but smaller brands might not be as lucky.

Fortunately, the helpful content update is a push in the right direction to inspire brands to do what they should’ve been doing all along: connecting with target audiences. For those already creating EAT (expert, authoritative, and trustworthy) content, this update could help provide some much-needed growth. It might even earn you a Google first-page ranking. This would be a welcome benefit, as the first search result is 10 times more likely to get clicks than other organic search listings, and the top three organic search positions capture over 54% of all clicks.

Now is the time to make the most of user-centric content. Improving your organic search rankings all starts with your ICP.

  • Get to know the basics.
    This includes age, gender, income, city, neighborhood, and other demographic and geographic details. Add a bit more flavor with information on lifestyle, interests, habits, values (a big one, as almost two-thirds of consumers are belief-driven buyers), and pain points.
  • Dig deeper.
    Once you have the basics taken care of, round out the profile with behavioral data (e.g., purchase history, product usage, brand loyalty, engagement level, and so on). Use this information to inform the direction of content and SEO strategy development in order to help your business fare better in today’s online landscape.
  • Give your ideal customers a reason to stay.
    Once you drive traffic to your website, give your ideal customers a reason to stick around. Remember, it only takes consumers 50 milliseconds to develop an opinion about your site. And never underestimate the value of responsive design. Regardless of the device, all visitors should experience the same accessible and understandable experience. Get it wrong and 88% of them will likely never return.
  • Employ SEO strategies geared toward relevance.
    Bottom line: If your business gets knocked out of the top results or never breaches the surface, you are losing market share, traffic, and revenue. Roughly 65% of Google searches end without a click, and only 17% of websites retain the same position across devices. You might rank well on desktop but fall short on mobile, for example. You can stack the deck in your favor by employing advanced search engine optimization strategies that lean toward relevance over keyword stuffing. If your ideal customers want a feature breakdown, give it to them. If they want comparison charts, do that, too.

Going the Extra Mile to Improve Reach

While effective content marketing and keyword strategies might reign supreme, additional channels in the marketing mix can help you gain traction online and support your advanced SEO strategies.

  • Website development:
    If you want your ideal customers to be able to find your site, engage with it, and keep coming back time and time again, your website has to be set up for success. Make sure your website is fully functional, optimized for search, quick-loading, and engaging to interact with.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC):
    PPC is not only highly targeted, but it’s also one of the more effective methods of paid advertising. HubSpot’s annual marketing report can certainly attest to that, revealing that 63% of consumers have clicked on a Google ad. PPC also provides an average return of $2 for every dollar spent, and you’re only paying for the consumers who click the link. Talk about cost-effectiveness, especially when trying to reach “warm” audiences.
  • Battle-tested strategies:
    All good marketing strategies include at least one tried-and-true component that has stood the test of time. In this instance, email is the most effective way to go. People are responsive to this channel, with 50% of consumers buying from marketing emails at least once a month. Another 59% report having been influenced by marketing emails to purchase a product or service. However, understand that most emails (41%) will be viewed via mobile devices, which is likely one of the reasons people spend just 10 seconds reading such correspondence from brands. In the digital age, it’s essential to get to the point — and fast.

A digital marketing strategy and an effective digital marketing strategy are two different things. By committing to a less-than-effective digital marketing strategy, you stand to lose even more than if you hadn’t engaged at all. Wasted time, wasted investment, and even potential market share or traffic loss — not to mention the worst-case scenario of blacklisting — are opportunity costs much too high to pay. Fortunately, alternative SEO methods will allow your business to find success and might even land you on the first page.

If you’re interested in exploring how to rank for more keywords on the first page of Google, contact us at Intero Digital for a free SEO audit. We know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to improving your search rankings. Our team can run a complimentary audit to help you improve your search rankings.

Greg Walthour

CO-CEO, Intero Digital

Greg Walthour, CO-CEO of Intero Digital, is a pioneer to the digital marketing space. He began his career as a commercial real estate broker and in 1996 took on the challenge of getting this website to rank higher in search engines. Greg has over 20 years of experience in digital marketing and enjoys camping, ATVing, traveling, and coaching football. Greg also has a passion for photography.

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