Are your online marketing efforts not producing a positive ROI? Are your link building efforts failing to drive traffic and sales on your website?
A big part of successful link building and online marketing campaigns is the planning and preparation before you start. This article takes a look at three steps you should take in order to achieve a successful campaign that increases your website’s rankings, traffic and, ultimately, sales.
The Receptional 3-step check to improve the profitability of your link building work is as follows:
1. Selecting the right keywords
There are a number of keyword tools out there that can show you which terms are popular and which terms are easier to rank for but none will tell you which are profitable for your business.
When Google removed organic keyword data from Analytics three years ago things started to become a little tricky. Previously we could see which keywords were driving the most traffic and which were driving the most sales: then we optimised those keywords to make sure they were ranking above the competition. For keywords that were driving traffic but not conversions we could look at optimising the page.
Nowadays we don’t get that keyword data. When we work on a new campaign there are three places to go to help discover which keywords are the best to target:
The client can be helpful in telling us which keywords work best for them and they can also help by telling us which products do better than others. This and Google Analytics data helps give us a better picture of what’s working.
Provided you have set up your tracking correctly there are reports in Analytics for Transactions via Landing Page:
Example of Transactions via Landing Page report in Google Analytics
Here we can see which pages convert the most (Transactions) and convert the best (E-commerce Conversion Rate). This, combined with the clients’ data of which products are most profitable to them, helps us identify which pages and keywords are best to target.
A page with a high conversion rate may not necessarily have the most profitable products in which case your budget is better spent elsewhere.
Google Search Console
This leads us onto the Google Search Console. This tool gives us a lot of useful keyword data: the number of impressions you are receiving for specific keywords, the number of clicks they are driving through and the average position of those keywords.
The data in Search Console only goes back as far as 90 days. However you do have the option to easily download the data in a spreadsheet to view it at a later date if needed. Search Console can also be integrated into your Analytics account so that you can access data from one account.
Firstly, filter your Search Console data to show non-branded keywords and then look at which of those have the highest number of impressions. Then cross-reference this data with the keywords which your business wants to rank for and those that you are already ranking for.
Analytics data tells us which pages are converting well and Search Console tells us the keywords that are driving traffic to those converting pages. The combination of these tools shows us which keywords are the most profitable to implement in your link building strategy.
If you or your client are running a Google AdWords campaign and tracking is set up correctly then you have a fantastic head start on knowing which keywords currently convert.
Google shows keywords data for AdWords so you can go through this data, or work with the pay-per-click team, to see which keywords are converting and choose a few to start targeting with your link building efforts
Exact match terms are the ideal way of working out which keywords convert most effectively on the website, whilst AdWords campaigns can also help you identify which pages are currently converting most successfully.
If you are not currently running any campaigns you can use Google Keyword Planner to give an idea of potential keywords by entering a word or phrase related to your business, this tool will give you the average number of monthly searches and the ad competition, helping you choose popular keywords which have little competition. It is also good for discovering long tail keywords to help diversify your anchor text.
Example of Google Keyword Planner data
2. Optimise the Right Landing Pages
The content on the landing pages you’re targeting for your keywords is also essential. Your main focus will be ensuring the user finds what they are looking for and, of course, converting the users who land on it.
Your page titles are the most important SEO ranking factor here so be sure to include your keywords in your title whilst making it look natural. Remember, the title is what appears in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) to help entice users to click through to your website.
To further help rank your pages for specific keywords you’re going to need to mention those keywords on the appropriate page. If you have more than one keyword you want the same page to rank for then make sure you include all of these keywords on the page. If it’s possible to include more than one in your page title whilst still making the title read well, then do so.
Avoid keyword stuffing, this is a frowned upon SEO technique that involves loading pages with keywords in the page elements or content in order to increase rankings. This technique can, however, cause the opposite to happen and can actually cause websites to be penalised. This could see your page go the opposite way in Google’s results rather than where you want it to go. Likewise, you’ll want the content on your page to seem as natural as possible as it may be a key part of converting new users into customers. Cramming a lot of keywords into one page may affect the readability and deter potential converters.
Example of a low competitive keyword jumping from page 10 to page 1 after changing on-page content
3. Creating Awesome Linkbait
Now that you have your target keywords and pages set up you’ll need a way of receiving or building links to them in order to move up the Google SERPs
If you or your client have an awesome product that’s always an advantage as it’s generally easier to get people talking about something awesome. However, it is possible to get attention for something deemed not as exciting in the eyes of the public, it is just a matter of being creative with content ideas.
A great example of this is Squatty Potty’s video entitled This Unicorn Changed the Way I Poop which inherited lots of links, shares and helped build brand awareness:
For what doesn’t appear to be the most exciting of products, a potty, this sales video has had more than 28 million views on YouTube and a link from The Daily Telegraph amongst others.
Perhaps you don’t have the budget or facilities to create a funny video like the one above. Your strength may be content writing or images – these too can help gain links to your site.
Infographics, memes and photographs are all great ways sites have inherited links – as long as you make something that resonates with an audience then you can make a success out of any product you’re telling to sell.