On this episode of the Rivergate Marketing Podcast, Christine McQuilkin answers an attendee question from her presentation at the Control System Integrators Association’s 2022 Executive Conference… “Tell me more about SEO!” asked an eager attendee.
Follow Christine’s step-by-step advice to use her top SEO tip and drive better traffic to your company’s website. Listen below!
If you wish to read through the episode, the full transcription is available below!
Hello and welcome to the podcast.
I’m Christine McQuilkin, Vice President of Account Services at Rivergate Marketing. Today I’m going to be talking about how to get better website traffic with SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
In case you are unfamiliar with SEO, Wikipedia defines it as “the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic from search engines.” I will add that it’s completely free. This is not paid traffic such as from AdWords or other pay-per-click – PPC – programs. Not only is it free, it’s usually very high-quality traffic, with visitors staying on your website for longer, looking at more pages and bouncing less often than from other types of traffic.
With two engineering degrees, I love numbers and spreadsheets, so to avoid a tangent, let’s get back to our discussion… Together with Georgia Whalen, Rivergate Marketing’s founder and president, I presented at the 2022 CSIA Executive Conference in Denver.
Our presentation was entitled ‘From Hiring Top Talent to Driving Sales Growth, Your Digital Footprint Matters – 7 Strategies to Success.’
We had a large audience in Denver and there were several questions we did not have time to address so I’ll be covering those in our podcast. Although not really a “question,” one of the attendees asked us to tell them more about SEO. SEO is important because it can make or break how you are seen by search engines and where you will show up in search results. Search engines like Google, YouTube, Bing, Baidu, Pinterest, and others give results using their proprietary algorithms.
In years – and decades – past, you could try to “win” by outsmarting the search engines with tactics like keyword stuffing, using link farms, etc. If you don’t know what these are, don’t worry. Anyone who tries to use these old methods to game the system will be punished by the search engines.
Focusing solely on SEO is a rabbit hole you probably don’t want to go down, unless you are a Chief Marketing Officer for a large company. If you are, you can stop listening here and check out one of our other podcasts instead. This advice is not for you. My advice today is for small- and medium-sized businesses with a single marketing practitioner or a company that has a small marketing team. It’s also for you if you are just beginning your marketing journey. We are going to talk about tasks you can do and best practices going forward to give you the most bang for your buck.
Our #1 and most important tip is to WRITE!
Write blogs, articles, case studies, white papers, press releases, checklists, eBooks… Post them on your website. Talk about your project wins, your core technical knowledge, industry trends, new technologies, customer questions and more.
Don’t talk down to your audience. Just as your employees are searching the Internet for technical content, so are your prospective clients. Use those technical terms. Include brands and model numbers. Talk about the specifics, but don’t neglect the business case for your topic. Be sure to address the high level “so what?” question. Writing technical pieces is a lot of work, so why should you bother? Writing keyword-rich content will help your SEO in so many ways! You will be updating your website frequently, which Google takes as a sign that you are alive, well, and still in business. This is really important. Websites that aren’t updated regularly slip in search engine rankings over time. Posting new technical content will also help you get the keywords onto your website that you want to be found for.
There are tools to see what keywords your website currently ranks for – Moz is the tool we use at Rivergate Marketing. When we first start working with a client, we see their keyword list is primarily made up of terms using their name and / or location. Over time, as we implement a content creation strategy, we see this list change and deepen, with the company’s name being replaced with technical keywords. We routinely take a deep dive into our clients metrics and SEO, and we are always happy to show concrete results that the marketing strategy is working.
Anyone who is searching for our client by name is going to find them. What we want is to be found by the people who need our client’s services but *don’t yet know* to search for them by name. Prospective clients they haven’t met yet! This content creation strategy does take some time to see results. We have seen the best results when our clients post at least 2 blogs per month and a larger piece, such as a case study, every quarter.
Once new content is posted, the next time search engines crawl your website, they will index the new information. Then, they will start serving your website up as the answer to people’s queries. As time passes, your authority will grow, sending an ever higher amount of traffic in your direction. If you don’t have the capacity for creating this much content, you will still see results, it may just take longer, and the rise in traffic will likely not be as dramatic. We have gathered many success stories of using this content creation strategy for our clients.
One client published content on a problem they solved with a very specific technology – traverse spool winder control systems. Now the company is getting inbound sales leads from all over the U.S. asking for help with repair, reprogramming, and building new systems. In fact, another one just came in as I’m recording this!
I’m going to stop here, with just this one tip. It is the single most important piece of advice I can give you about improving your SEO: write educational, keyword-rich content and keep to a regular cadence of publishing.
Do not make it salesy, and write about the type of work you want to do more of – your core services and value proposition. I could talk about this stuff all day, but you don’t have time to listen to me give more SEO tips. You need to go find a quiet place and start writing some technical content for your website.
Reach out on LinkedIn and let me know the results! For more information on the original presentation and to download our slides and a helpful eBook on improving your executive LinkedIn profile, visit this link or RivergateMarketing.com.