Agencies offering organic SEO services are now reaching the tipping point where they must decide either to evolve or face extinction.
Sadly, many SEO "experts" skate by, performing the bare minimum amount of keyword research, slapping a blog together, sending out a tweet and calling it a day.
They get away with this by citing outdated research and cherry picking statistics that make them sound like heroes to the uninformed client. It's not until months go by and nothing has changed that the underperforming "experts" start to say, "have you considered PPC?"
An SEO agency worth their salt, doesn't cover up poor performance with expensive bandages. Here are some organic SEO strategies that actually work in today's world wide web.
Basing Keywords Around Google's Search Intent Factor
When an agency hands you an Excel sheet full of hundreds of keyword options, don't get fixated on the potential search volume. All the volume in the world is irrelevant if your content won't rank for it.
Take a look at this screen shot of the top results on SERP for "car accident lawyer" —
Notice how none of the top results are Buzzfeed-esque "You Wont Believe How Much $$$ A Car Accident Lawyer Can Get You" blog posts. This is because of what's been called the "Yelp and Amazon" effect. Google understands that when a person searches for this term, they either want to get in touch with a firm right away or compare options.
Through analyzing billions of searches, Google determined that blog posts aren't the right fit for this particular query. Keep that in mind when an agency shows you a keyword with great face value statistics like below and recommends you pay them to write a blog about it.
Earning Great Backlinks By Creating Link Profiles
Links remain in the top 3 Google ranking factors, second only to creating truly killer content—that's for another blog post though.
Many companies are (wisely) weary of talk of acquiring backlinks. It conjures memories of old-school "black-hat" SEO spamming, manual Google penalties and steep traffic chart dips.
Some experts are willing to roll the dice and purchase backlinks, swearing by the expedited results. We believe that naturally occurring links, however, are the way to go and should be included in any agency's organic SEO services.
The first step is conducting a link profile audit to see what you have to work with.
Tools such as Semrush let you find known backlinks for any domain name. Enter your target domain and navigate to the backlinks section.
Then use Excel to sort the anchor text section into the following types —
- Naked URL Anchors - Anchor text that looks like "www.watermarkadvertising.net"
- Branded Anchors - Anchor Text that looks like "Watermark advertising"
- Keyword Anchors - Anchor text that looks like "Organic SEO Services"
- Generic - Anchor text that looks like "Click here"
Once that's done, add up the totals and see which type of anchors you want to focus on. Google trusts and displays sites that have a balanced link profile much more than imbalanced ones.
If your anchor totals look like —
- Naked URLS - 13
- Branded Anchors - 30
- Keyword Anchors - 77
- Generic - 37
- Images - 4
…then you should focus on acquiring naked URLS or image links. You can use this same SEMrush process on your competitors' domains to find relevant opportunities to reach out to!
Using this method allows you to safely pursue those valuable links to your content without worrying about penalties or your checkbook.
Optimizing for Local Search
Google STRONGLY prefers to show the user local search results. For small businesses, this is great. It provides a legitimate chance for the local David to overcome the national Goliaths. But, of course, only if David's website is set up properly for local SEO.
Tools like Yext.com are the first step in this journey. The service scours hundreds of directories for your business and places any information you set as the universal result.
This means your information looks exactly the same on your Google My Business Page, Foursquare, Bing and dozens of other directories in use. Consistency across the board is key.
Almost always, the formula is: super quality content + best local result = top 3 search result.
Organic SEO Services Are Not Going Away
So often companies bite the bullet and pay for traffic they could be earning through effective SEO. Although it now takes a little more thought, organic SEO is still alive and will be around as long as Google is.
Agencies can either choose to evolve with the times or eventually find their clients leaving them in the dust with the other fossils of advertising.
Find out more about Watermark's professional SEO services with a free consultation here.