Search engine optimization (SEO) can bring a tremendous amount of high-intent traffic to your website (people who are actually in the process of searching for things...things just like what you're selling), and unlike pay-per click (PPC) marketing, also known as paid search, you don't have to pay every time a visitor reaches your site.
But optimizing a website for search traffic is not a simple process.
It's important to understand the three most common reasons for failure in a search engine optimization campaign:
- Poor Workflow Prioritization - There is nearly always something you can do to or for your website to make it more search-friendly. The problem is being able to differentiate the vital from the frivolous, the crucial tasks from the "nice to haves."
- Hopeless Time Sinks - Much of the work that goes into continually optimizing for search traffic is incredibly repetitive and mundane. This not only discourages talented employees, but saps many of your most valuable resources.
- Insufficient Information - Because search engine optimization campaigns require so much leg work, and because it takes much longer to see results from an organic search engine optimization campaign than from a pay-per-click marketing campaign, having accurate information at the start of a search campaign or a site redesign is imperative.
Misfiring with a poorly targeted SEO keyword list that doesn't help drive the specific types of traffic that you are looking for can cost you months of effort that you'll have to duplicate (but in a new direction) to accomplish the results you're after.
Overcoming these three pitfalls is imperative for any marketer or business hoping to:
- Increase Productivity - Finding a means of automating away redundant and time consuming tasks is crucial to keeping employees engaged while improving efficiency.
- Receive Greater Value - Man hours squandered on under-informed campaigns, rote tasks that could be handled by a machine or SEM keyword software service, and mis-prioritization can cost your business thousands upon thousands of dollars in wasted resources and missed opportunities.
- Improve Relevance - You'll be able to generate more relevant, more effective keyword lists and data sets. Possessing the requisite information, automating the right tasks, and better prioritizing how you allot your resources inevitably lead to marked increases in traffic, sales, leads and any of the metrics you deem important to your business.
The question becomes: How to go about answering each challenge?
That's precisely the focus of this tutorial: leveraging WordStream's keyword management solutions to improve your search marketing efficiency.
Search Engine Optimization Improvement With WordStream
WordStream offers a Web-based keyword management software solution that integrates PPC and SEO, keyword analytics and action, to improve the efficiency and profitability of your Web marketing efforts.
While we often think of pay per click when we mention keyword grouping, believe it or not, a keyword management solution like WordStream can truly make or break an organic SEO program. By finding the right keywords through your site’s actual search data, intelligently segmenting those keywords, practicing keyword optimization and prioritizing your content, you can develop a comprehensive search engine keyword strategy that will drive more traffic and leads.
Creating a WordStream account will provide you with a powerful SEO keyword tool and methodologies which will enable you to:
- Visualize low-hanging fruit and the highest-priority, most likely to succeed keyword suggestion and keyword grouping options.
- Automate the processes of keyword research while having relevant keyword ideas, information architecture, and on-page content and structure suggested to you by WordStream.
- Learn from your pay-per-click efforts to gain crucial insights about which keywords and groups of keywords drive traffic and convert well for your business, and do it before you expend time, money, and other resources targeting the wrong key terms.
Search Optimization workflow prioritization
WordStream offers sophisticated keyword grouping and visualization tools that work on a continuous basis to help grow your campaigns. This functionality enables you to create carefully segmented keyword groupings, and then track the performance of those groups with WordStream's Web analytics tools.
WordStream will parse your website's existing log files, then track search traffic to your site day after day. If your site is new and your log files contain limited data, you can get started by using WordStream's keyword suggestion tool. Just enter a word, phrase or URL to get a list of relevant keyword suggestions, which you can import with the click of a button.
Ideally, the keyword suggestion tool will serve as a starting point only, since personalized keyword research will greatly benefit your search engine optimization efforts. When you begin pulling keywords from your own website data, you'll be presented with a list of meta keywords that looks something like this:
WordStream houses your entire collection of keywords and allows you to view your keyword database along with the visual presentation of the graph. You can then drill down and create closely segmented keyword groupings based on relevance, and targeted landing pages to match.
Here, we see that cheese cake is a popular key term. We can now:
- Segment - Create a Keyword Group based on the key phrase "cheese cake."
- Further Segment - Further segment this list, creating sub-groupings around all of the variations of "pumpkin cheese cake" or "cheese cake recipe."
- Receive Workflow Suggestions - Additionally, WordStream offers intelligent keyword grouping suggestions and workflow prioritizations which can highlight for you which keywords and groups of keywords you should be focusing your time on (learn more about WordStream's SEO management and workflow tools).
Those groups can then be turned into Ad Groups, but this segmentation can also be used to prioritize organic search workflow.
Here we've created a number of closely related keyword groupings:
Once our keyword groups are created, we'll want to keep track of which groups have an associated landing page. WordStream's workflow tab indicates which groups are all set and even prioritizes those that need your attention.
We can then further investigate not only our specific keywords, but the performance of our Keyword Groups with WordStream's search analytics tools:
This functionality enables you to prioritize workflow in two key ways:
- Identifying areas that need optimization - Determine which keywords are bringing traffic and which are converting:
- Optimize for entire pages or sections of your site: See which groups of keywords are driving traffic and sales, then optimize a page or a collection of pages for the right terms.
- Get specific, tested, relevant information: We may notice that while cherry cheese cakes have always brought in a lot of sales, pumpkin cheese cakes are actually driving more traffic. But no one is buying! We can focus on reworking the pumpkin cheesecake pages of our site to make them more conversion-friendly.
- Discovering high-reward opportunities - WordStream can also bring to your attention areas you've neglected entirely, which could bear very valuable, low-hanging fruit.
- Identify Specific Traffic Acquisition Opportunities: Imagine that our pay-per-click campaigns are bringing a lot of high quality traffic to the site via the "no bake cheese cake recipe" Keyword Group. We have been sending this group to a landing page about "no bake cheese cakes" but don't have any content targeting the recipe variations, specifically.
- Act on that Information: We can now think about building out more content to target these keywords and capture this audience, since we are certain it will drive traffic and sales.
Search Engine Optimization Tools - The Value of Automating Tasks
Achieving maximum efficiency is a pivotal aspect of experiencing success in any endeavor, and is particularly crucial in SEO campaign management.
Automating away mundane, repetitive (yet necessary) tasks frees you and your employees to focus on higher level responsibilities that are equally important to your search engine optimization success.
WordStream offers a suite of online SEO solutions that will not only perform crucial tasks for you, but will perform them better than any human could hope to, while also making sure not to "over-automate." You are still required to make the important, intelligence-driven decisions about your campaigns. WordStream is there for you to lean on, providing you with the data and the action suggestions in order to make the best decisions possible. Two of the most overwhelming time sinks in SEO are:
- Keyword Research - Companies spend hours upon hours attempting to find keywords that are highly trafficked, conversion friendly, and relevant to their business.
They then spend even more time, effort, and money creating content and building links in the interest of targeting these terms. WordStream presents you with a dynamic, ever-growing keyword list that is based on your own data. This ensures that the information you are using to guide the construction of your site is both accurate and relevant to your business.
- Information Architecture Design and Content Structuring - Determining a search-friendly information architecture for your Web content can be a laborious process that involves a lot of guess work.
WordStream's nested, hierarchical grouping capabilities offer a suggested site architecture with close segmentation that is designed to be algorithmically favored by the search engines.
Here's how it works:
First, WordStream's Web actalytics tools return for you an entire keyword database derived from your site's web traffic:
This is where WordStream's approach to keyword research becomes unique: instead of querying a third party keyword research tool and getting a static list of a handful of the "most popular" keywords, a list that your competitors are also accessing, you are presented with this list of keywords that is singularly yours. This ensures that the numbers you're looking at are:
- Accurate and Precise - These numbers aren't guesstimates extrapolated from small sample sizes or a rough ball park approximation of predicted traffic. They are actual traffic numbers pulled from real activity on your website.
- Relevant - You aren't querying a database with every keyword for every vertical: these keywords are yours; they've been used to reach your site, meaning they are either related to your Web content, or are a part of your ad campaigns.
Thus, WordStream has already performed the most labor-intensive part of the keyword research process for you. Additionally, WordStream's Web analytics tools will update our list of keywords every single day. This leaves your competitors, who are still performing these tasks daily by hand, struggling to keep up. After awhile, your long tail keyword list will have reached the millions, while your competitors are still limited by the number of words their staff can manually control at any given time.
This provides you with a lot of information while providing both actionable suggestions and in one collaborative, easy-to-use workbench.
We can now query our database of researched keywords to determine the best means of segmenting this keyword list for the sake of information architecture and content structure:
In this example, we'll imagine we own an online cheese cake retailer. Since we sell cheese cakes, we'll want to start with that phrase.
To query our keyword database for all the terms containing "cheese cake" we simply type the phrase into the query bar, as pictured above.
Note that WordStream has queried your database and returned the results in .008 seconds.
Here, almost six thousand keywords are returned. That's a lot of ways of saying cheese cake! Now we can view these keywords and segment the list even further:
We see that all of these terms contain "cheese cake". We can create similar groupings for each of the more specific variations (pumpkin cheese cake, cherry cheese cake, etc.).
Having grouped the terms, we wind up with the same hierarchical grouping we had when utilizing WordStream for workflow prioritization, but this time, we can take things a step further.
We can now create a search optimized page for each of the Keyword Groups. This information can suggest search friendly:
- Title tags
- Meta data and meta tags
Additionally, we can leverage the above groupings to create an intelligent information architecture, linking off of a "parent" page to more "specific" children pages:
- Cheese Cake
- Cherry Cheese Cake
- No Bake Cheese Cake
- Cheese Cake Recipe
By utilizing WordStream's keyword research, querying, and grouping tools, we've now built an entire organic search information architecture complete with proven targeting, intelligent design, and content authoring suggestions (in the way of page titles and recommended headings).
Informing Organic Search Engine Optimization With PPC Data
Perhaps the most powerful WordStream feature is how closely integrated the tool is with every aspect of your Internet advertising campaigns. This is particularly important in terms of gaining an informational edge for your search engine optimization efforts.
You can launch a pay-per-click campaign and have results pouring in the next day. WordStream will track search traffic from your PPC campaigns, and you'll be able to tell before you even start your SEO campaign what the best performing keywords and groups of keywords are. This aids in:
- Content Authoring - Don't waste time writing content no one is searching for: create content in response to keywords you know that people, and more specifically your customers, are interested in.
- Information Architecture - Develop a site hierarchy based on the most important, relevant keywords after having first actually tested all of the terms and groupings; know how the people you are targeting are responding to each idea so that you can know whether to place things higher or lower in your site's IA, and create an internal linking structure that really works.
- Keyword Research - Learn from your PPC campaigns which keywords to target: running analytics on a PPC campaign on your own site is the only way to truly gain the most accurate, precise, and relevant information about the keywords you are about to dedicate months to rank for.
In the event that you’ve created content on your site based on your suggested keyword groups, you can use PPC to quickly prove that your groupings are producing the traffic, clicks and conversions that you’ve been hoping for. As WordStream narrows the granularity of your keyword groups, you can create more narrowly-focused landing pages and build your content to maximize for low cost, and high ROI.
Search Engine Optimization Services From WordStream
The Search Engine Optimization benefits in WordStream’s integrated keyword management solutions will help to identify the most likely paths to success, and to automate away the more painful SEO processes necessary for search success.
To get a better idea of what an impact improved efficiency and better, more personalized data can have on your organic search campaigns:
- Try WordStream Free Today
- Request a Live Demonstration
- Sign up for our Search Marketing Webinar
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