Marshall McLuhan might have said it best when he said, "The medium is the message."
There are thousands, upon thousands of pages on the Internet competing for your audience's attention. So just how are you going to solidify your company's ability to stand out virtually? What mediums are you going to leverage in order to capture that attention, and keep it long enough to have them hear what you have to say?
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a tough pill to swallow for many marketers. You might have a specific style that you really like, or simply have become comfortable with your current website, and like most people are adverse to change. I know for myself, one of the toughest things to do is explain to a client that their site doesn't really speak to their targeted audience. Or, maybe it just isn't cutting it anymore.
That said, whether you or anyone likes it or not, the reality is that the medium really is the message. And without a crystal clear medium, excellent up-to-date content that gets every message across clearly and intuitively, and all the inbound know-how -- your site will never be optimized adequately and will never stand out as well as it could have. And at the end of the day, aren't we all in the business of standing out and delighting our customers?
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Across many of their webinars in their Academy certifications, HubSpot continuously reinforces that we are not in the business of delighting ourselves; we are in the business of delighting our consumers. We don’t design our sites the way we personally may prefer them, we design them in the hopes of attracting, converting, closing and delighting our consumers. Statistics demonstrate that over 75% of consumers who browse websites and their design, care not about the appearance or the experience, as much as they care about how easy it is for them to find exactly what they want.
I've found one of the easiest ways to digest the SEO sandwich and all its ingredients, is by sticking to the following 3 tips as recommended by HubSpot. The stronger the page performance, the more chance to ensure that your visitors are converted into leads, and those leads are being nurtured into customers.
1. Make the goal of your page crystal clear
Start with your end goal in mind. In a sentence or two (or less!) you should be able to explain exactly why your page exists. How is this page helping the visitor find or get what they want? It may seem simple, but bringing this goal down to brass tacks can be surprisingly tough for some. Talk with your team and do what you can together to ensure the goal is as clear as possible. Nothing on your page should be random or lacking purpose. As a productive exercise, try assessing a few webpages from other companies in your industry and see where your company stacks up.
2. Add content that fully supports your goal
Your site's content is essentially the fuel operating your site's engine. Your content is what is ultimately going to drive your site's goal, and reinforce your point. So while there may be different headlines within your page, each section should still be adding up to the same overarching goal or topic.
3. Use inbound marketing techniques to optimize your page
Hopefully by now you are familiar with a few things "inbound." These are actually the centerfold of what is going to help your page get found on the internet. Inbound marketing techniques that should be actively employed when building a site should include: [A] keywords, [B] on-page SEO practices (including page titles, page URLs, page headers, content & meta descriptions), [C] off-page SEO (including citations or inbound links to your work on other pages), [D] social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.), and [E] call-to-action (CTA) click throughs.
Are you a particularly visual person? Another useful resource I stumbled on recently was this infographic, which breaks down the different elements of SEO like a sandwich. Check out this clever little infographic from Vertical Response:
Keep in mind, our webpages are quite literally our virtual storefront and may very likely be our first and last impression on our consumers. Our visitors expect the same overall experience, the same level of interactivity, and the same clarity of information as they would receive in an actual store. If your message is unclear or lost in translation on your webpage (AKA. your medium or message is unclear), consequently, your page visitors are going to have low expectations for real-life interactions with your company.